It was the most anticipated game for week seven in the NFL.
The “Birds and Phins in South Philly.”
The Philadelphia Eagles erased their week six loss to the New York Jets out of their minds; the Miami Dolphins offense, the best in the NFL, was their worst so far after an Eagles 31-17 win over the Dolphins.
Jalen Hurts threw for 279 yards and combined for three scores to lead the Eagles to the win.
“I am happy how we played together and persevered,” Hurts said. “We found ways to respond and did a great job in the fourth.”
The Eagles tush-pushed their way to converting two fourth downs on a clock-eating six-plus minute drive late in the fourth before Hurts hit A.J. Brown for a 42-yard reception, and Kenneth Gainwell sealed the win with a 3-yard touchdown run.
“Everyone has a role; the challenge every day is to dominate that role,” Hurts said. “Learn as much as you can about your role so you can do it at a high level.”
Brown finished with ten receptions for 137 yards and a touchdown — his fifth straight game of 125-plus yards.
The Super Bowl teams from last season, the champion Kansas City Chiefs and Eagles, are the only 6-1 teams in the NFL.
Dolphins committed ten penalties for 70 yards, Eagles zero.
Tua Tagovailoa was 23 of 32 for 216 yards in his first head-to-head matchup against Hurts in the NFL, the two 25-year-old QBs forever linked by their tenures under coach Nick Saban at Alabama. Tagovailoa replaced Hurts at halftime of the 2017 national championship and threw three touchdowns to lead Alabama to its fifth national title.
“It is tough when you come on the road against a good team and do not execute how we want to. Give credit to those guys and their coaching staff; they did a good job preparing for us,” Tagovailoa said. “Some things went well for us, some things were just trying to figure out there, but overall we have to get better.”
Statistically, it was Tagovailoa’s worst game of the season.
The Eagles limited the No. 1 offense in the NFL to just 244 total yards. The Dolphins had scored 30-plus points four times this season, and the 17 points was a season-low.
“You have to feel what it is like to play a really good team on the road,” Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said. “The margin for error is so small. It is an important building block along your progression for the season.”
The Dolphins had season lows in the first half with 10 points and 113 yards.
Dolphins finished with 45 total rushing yards and had negative seven rushing yards in the first half.
“If you are going to lose games, you want it to be against a really good team, and you want it to hurt,” McDaniel added. “The collection of coaches and players in the locker room right now are hurting because they feel like they left some plays on the field.”
The Dolphins’ five wins this season have come against teams with a combined record of 8-25. The only team they had faced with a winning record was Buffalo (4-3). Miami lost that game 48-20.
Dolphins fall to 5-2 and host the New England Patriots next.
Entering the game, the Dolphins were down five starters on offense (including De’Von Achane) and three on defense. Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle suffered a back injury during the game but later returned. Offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn left with a quad injury. It was the toughest test of the season for the Dolphins; however, they were not fully healthy.
It was hyped as the matchup of two teams with great offenses, but it was lopsided, with the Eagles appearing to have the edge with their defense complementing them. The Dolphins’ offense game plan did not work against the Eagles.
The offensive line struggled against the Eagles defensive front. Wynn went down on the game’s first possession. Connor Williams was inactive, and Terron Armstead remained out, leading to the Dolphins struggling to run the ball. Lester Cotton was called for holding, leading a touchdown to be taken off the scoreboard.
Cornerback Xavien Howard, out of the game, hurt the secondary for the Dolphins. Brown was lights out for the Eagles and fantasy team owners. Dallas Geodert on National Tight Ends Day was impressive for Philadelphia, finishing with five receptions, 77 yards, and a touchdown.