The Eagles ended a week of practice being outplayed by the Miami Dolphins with a preseason game being thoroughly outplayed by Miami, 48-10, on Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium.
The Eagles’ third preseason game seemed to erase many of the good things that surfaced a week ago against Cleveland.
Eagles’ coach Nick Sirianni didn’t seem like he wanted to be there, constantly looking up at a time clock back to Philly, and consequently, the Eagles took a cue from their leader and they did not appear as if they wanted to be there.
It all translated in the final result.
Here’s a look at very minimal good, some bad and a whole lot of ugly in Miami’s 48-10 victory over the lackluster Eagles.
In a case of too little, too late, running back Jason Huntley’s 67-yard touchdown run down the sideline with 9:25 left in the game. He was one of a few bright spots in a dismal game.
Quarterback Gardner Minshew started well against the Miami starters. He drove the Eagles to the Miami 41, before the drive was stuffed on a fourth-and-one, when Kenneth Gainwell was stopped.
Defensive end Tarron Jackson was a flicker of light in the Eagles’ opening defensive drive when Miami’s ones ran through them for 75 yards in four plays. It was Jackson that forced Raheem Mostert outside, with help coming up to make a play.
Linebacker Patrick Johnson’s seven-yard sack of Dolphins’ quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on a second-and-seven at the Eagles’ 30 in the first quarter. Johnson beat Dolphins’ starting tackle Austin Jackson to get there.
Defensive end Matt Leo’s hustle on recovering a muffed punt early in the third quarter, which led to the Eagles’ first points of the game, a Jake Elliott 26-yard field goal.
Minshew on the Eagles’ second series, when he failed to hit an open Jason Huntley swinging out of the backfield. The Dolphins scored on the ensuing series, going up 17-0.
The blown coverages and missed tackles on the Dolphins’ last drive of the first half, which resulted in a Jason Sanders’ 27-yard field goal to give Miami a 27-0 halftime lead.
Tight end Grant Calcaterra looked good one moment, bad the next. He’s considered a bubble player by some, and it didn’t help that he got nailed for a holding call on Kennedy Brooks’ nine-yard TD run with 13:00 left in the third quarter. It was a good call.
Okay, okay, it’s preseason, but the effort put out by the Eagles, their players and staff, was awful. There were players playing for jobs and depth position, and knowing this, you would figure that they would have at least put in an effort. The attitude seemed poor, and that, regrettably, lies with Eagles’ head coach Nick Sirianni.
The days of the stern fire-and-brimstone NFL coach of the Vince Lombardi days appear over (see Bill Belichick to know otherwise). It wasn’t Playland on the other sideline. The bookish Mike McDaniel, the Dolphins’ head coach, may be someone in search of a missing library card, but he was gearing his team up for the upcoming NFL season by getting some work in for his starters and amping up the intensity.
The Eagles seemed land locked in Sirianni’s Camp Casual.
The Eagles’ second-team defense on the Dolphins’ first drive. The 75-yard scoring drive looked like child’s play. Tyreek Hill’s sprawling catch of a 51-yard bomb over Eagles’ second-team safety K’Von Wallace is a wincing example of where the second team is. Wallace got caught looking in the backfield, while Hill ran behind him. It’s not the first time Hill has done that. But Wallace did not seem to be anywhere near Hill.
Miami needed just four plays to go 75 yards for a 7-0 lead. Safety Jaquiski Tartt, who’s in danger of not making the team, was literally inside when Tagovailoa bootlegged left and hit River Cracraft with an eight-yard touchdown pass. It’s literally comical if you watch it on replay, with Tartt coming in on Tagovailoa with his head turned left, while Tagovailoa looped right by him to hit Cracraft.
It was embarrassing.
The effort on tackling Elijah Campbell on his 30-yard touchdown interception return. First off, it was an awful pass by third-string quarterback Reid Sinnett, but he compounded it with a poor display in even trying to tackle Campbell.
Sinnett’s throw to tight end Noah Togiai that went right through his hands on the Eagles’ first drive of the second half on a first-and-10 at the Miami 48.
The Eagles failed to recognize the Dolphins’ bootlegs. On Miami’s first scoring drive, and then again on Skylar Thompson’s four-yard TD lob to Cethan Carter in the third quarter, the Miami quarterbacks went one way, the Eagles’ defense went the other, leaving a whole section of the field wide open.
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter based in the Philadelphia area who has written feature stories for SI.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com, MLB.com, Deadspin and The Philadelphia Daily News. In 2006, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for a special project piece for ESPN.com called “Love at First Beep.” He is most noted for his award-winning ESPN.com feature on high school wrestler A.J. Detwiler in February 2006, which appeared on SportsCenter. In 2015, he was elected president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.