Eagles Show Some Promise in Win Over Dolphins
In their third preseason game the Philadelphia Eagles’ potential flashed, but some of their weaknesses showed as well.
On Miami’s first play running back Jay Ajayi, produced a 26-yard gain on the ground. However on that same series in a third and eight, new Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler was strip-sacked by defensive tackle Vinny Curry. The football was then recovered by All-Pro defensive lineman Fletcher Cox, who had his teammate and first round pick Derek Barnett by his side. Similar to Miami the Eagles were faced with a third and eight on their first possession, unlike Miami the Eagles’ third and eight resulted in a 50-yard touchdown.
Here is why: The Eagles’ have an elite quarterback and not an average one.
The second year gunslinger, Carson Wentz stepped up in the pocket, and threw a bomb that resulted in a 50-yard touchdown catch by veteran receiver, Torrey Smith. The speedy Smith was brought to Philly for this exact reason: to take the top off defenses.
New defensive weapon Ronald Darby, deflected a pass and showed his potential, but he had his worst game in an Eagles uniform. On a first quarter play, Darby ran step for step with Devante Parker, but mistimed his jump this gave the Dolphins the ball at the two-yard line, which set up Ajayis’ first of two touchdowns.
Wentz threw his first pre-season interception, a ball intended for the open Zach Ertz was tipped at the line of scrimmage, and Miami’s Jordan Phillips came down with it. Miami then setup their Cutler led offense on the Eagles’ one-yard line, and this was where Ajayi scored his second touchdown.
After the interception, the North Dakota State product bounced back. Philadelphia began their no-huddle series by giving the ball to running backs, LeGarrette Blount and Wendell Smallwood. The sophomore quarterback found his rhythm and the drive ended with a 15-yard touchdown catch by Alshon Jeffrey.
New cornerbacks have to adjust, Darby got beat again on a double move by Dolphins speedster Kenny Stills, and this ended in a Julius Thomas touchdown catch. Cutler did not play as well as his number suggest, he went five for eight with 105-yards and a touchdown. Similar to Jared Goff’s impressive game last week against the Raiders, the secondaries these quarterbacks faced did not show up.
A memorable play was when Wentz stumbled after gathering the snap, and collected his balance to complete a throw that resulted in a 18-yard gain and a first down.
Wentz's athleticism does not receive nearly as much credit as it deserves. He constantly makes defenders miss and moves to avoid pressure, he is a sneaky allusive similar to Aaron Rodgers. Although the Eagles’ benefit from this it also hurt them. Wentz held the ball way to long and took some dangerous hits. His coaches must remind him to just throw the ball away.
Other that that it appears to the naked eye Wentz and Andrew Luck have the same level of talent, but the Eagles organization helped their budding star, unlike Indy. They did a great job this offseason surrounding him with an elite defense, sound wide receivers, a robust offensive line, and an ex-NFL quarterback as a coach. The former Bison and current Eagles quarterback keeps showing the command he has of this offense, even though he recently lost his security blanket in Jordan Matthews. It is transparent that Ertz, a tight end is seamlessly becoming the new trusted pass-catcher.
Third string quarterback, Matt McGloin came in and threw an interception that was hauled in by Lawrence Timmons. On the very next play, Miami’s Matt Moore threw a pass that was intercepted by Philly’s Jaylen Watkins. Eagle Mychal Kendricks picked off a Moore pass as well and he even scored.
Rookie corner, Rasul Douglas looked the part of a real NFL corner tonight. Fellow rookie Mack Hollins showed he’ll be seeing the field during the regular season. Running back Corey Clement scored again, tight end Trey Burton looked quick, and wide receiver Marcus Johnson caught a McGloin touchdown pass.
Philadelphia came out on top 38-31. The NFC East underdogs again looked stout in the pre-season. Still their secondary, offensive lines’ chemistry, and Wentz getting rid of the ball quicker must improve.
Eagles’ play the New York Jets in their final preseason game next Thursday.