The Philadelphia Eagles (5-8) went down to the warm weather of Miami to take on the (4-9) Dolphins in a bounce-back road game in week 14. Philadelphia got back Michael Vick and Jeremy Maclin, after both missed three games with injury, and the Eagles were able to knockoff the red-hot Dolphins 26-10. For only the second time all season, the Eagles defense looked totally cohesive and forced three turnovers, and the offense looked sharp against a weaker defense.
5. Michael Vick Proved He is Still a Good Starting Quarterback
Before Mike Vick went down with broken ribs, Philadelphia was getting on their $100 million man about being an incompetent starter. However, in his first game after missing three straight weeks, Vick looked determined. Aside from one interception, Vick knew what he was doing, making the right reads, finding his receivers, and kept himself protected as he only scrambled twice all game.
For those who were thinking Vince Young was a better bet to finish off the season, that shouldn’t even be in consideration. Vick is still the man in Philly, and this game adds some reassurance to his future.
4. LeSean McCoy Did What He Had To
LeSean McCoy was held to almost no yards with 38 in the game, but he still managed to score twice against the Dolphins defense. I tip my hat to Miami, as the Eagles handed the ball off to McCoy a season high 27 times, but yet he struggled immensely in finding open space. But those two touchdowns polished off an overall impressive Eagles offensive performance, and ended up giving Philly a comfortable margin to win the game.
Shady may not have gotten the yards this game, but he did increase his touchdown total to 17 on the season.
3. Matt Moore and Company Were Out-Played Physically
Philadelphia’s defense played a really tough physical game, something they haven’t shown all season. Philly’s elite defensive line dominated the Dolphins offensive line, and was able to sack Miami’s quarterback’s nine times. Matt Moore, the Dolphins starter, had to leave the game in the second half after suffering concussion like symptoms, and left JP Losman to take the starting role. Combine that pressure with three forced fumbles, two of which were recovered, and Philly’s defense was playing with serious brutality.
This was an impressive showing defensively, and a good step in what the Eagles defense was supposed to be.
2. DeSean Jackson Actually Showed Up
After being remed on national television for ignoring Vince Young on the sideline, DeSean Jackson actually performed in this game. However, I don’t think his four catch, 59 yard, one touchdown performance had anything to do with last week’s antics, but because he is playing for that new contract. Jackson’s season has been miserable, and if he is plans on getting paid what he thinks he deserves, he has these last few weeks to prove it.
Philly likely won’t re-sign him, but it’s at least he’s showing some effort.
1. Philadelphia Ignored The Critics
The Eagles have had an incredibly underwhelming season, and the pressure on the team to perform peaked a few weeks ago when they were stil in the playoff hunt. Most predictions had Philadelphia dropping this game on the road, due to their exceptionally poor performance over the last few games. But the Eagles and Andy Reid took advantage of the extra time from playing on Thursday Night Football, and turned it into a solid win against the Dolphins.
This was a rewarding win for Philadelphia, but to entertain any idea of playoff football is ridiculous. Even if Philadelphia ends up winning-out their remaining games, it is nearly impossible to believe the Eagles will end up winning their division. But this game does show that the Eagles can still play with immense heart and team pride, something that was being questioned just one week ago. Philadelphia takes on the New York Jets at home in week 15.
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