by Alejandro Fernandez
On Sunday night prime time, the Miami Dolphins faced off against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. Both teams headed into the game with a 5-1 record and were facing off in a possible Super Bowl preview.
The Dolphins were without star cornerback Xavien Howard injury and starting center Connor Williams who both had groin injuries, in addition to their other injuries. This moved Eli Apple into the starting lineup for Howard and Liam Eichenburg for Conner Williams. On the other side, the Eagles were without starting slot corner Bradley Roby.
The Eagles started the game with the ball and on the opening drive drove down the field to score a field goal. After a quick drive, the Eagles got the ball back and Bradley Chubb forced Jalen Hurts to fumble. After the turnover, Dolphins took advantage of the short field and were able to score a field goal, ending the quarter 3-3.
In the second quarter, it was a touchdown frenzy between both teams. The Eagles got the first touchdown on the scoreboard with a 19 yard pass from Jalen Hurts to tight end Dallas Goedert. On the next Eagles drive, Hurts scored with the infamous “Brotherly Shove” that was a struggle for the Dolphins to stop all night long. To counter, the Dolphins scored on a long 3rd down on a 27 yard pass by Tua Tagovailoa to Tyreek Hill. This touchdown brought the Dolphins to one score game going into the half.
The Dolphins began with the ball to open the second half and drove almost all the way down the field. However, the Dolphins turned over on downs after a no-call facemask by James Bradberry on Cedric Wilson. On the next play by the Eagles, Kader Kohou deflected Jalen Hurts and it landed in Jerome Baker's hands, which led to a pick 6 to tie the game. Although the pick 6 tied the game, the Dolphins were done scoring for the night. Toward the end of the 3rd quarter, Jalen Hurts threw a 13 yard touchdown pass to AJ Brown, who split Andrew Van Ginkel and Kader Kokou tackles.
To open up the 4th quarter, Dolphins drove down the field, but failed to score once again. Tua Tagovailoa tried to hit Raheem Mostert in the end zone, but Darius Slay jumped the passing lane to pick off the ball. Philadelphia Eagles had a 6 minute drive down the field where they converted on two 4th downs with the Brotherly Shove and ended with a Kenneth Gainwell 3 yard touchdown run. This extended the Eagles lead to two touchdowns.
Although the Philadelphia Eagles won, there was a major controversy about the referees.
Overall, the Dolphins had a total of 10 penalties and the Eagles had 0 penalties, which was the first time an NFL team had no penalties since 2013. There were many screenshots making the rounds on social media displaying countless missed calls. An additional, "bad call" as noted by the NFL rules expert on the broadcast was the roughing the passer on Christian Wilkins in the first half that resulted in the first Eagles touchdown.
However, these penalties are not why the Dolphins lost the game. Tyreek Hill dropped a touchdown pass, Lester Cotton holding call brought back a touchdown by Tyreek Hill, and Tua threw the interception in the end zone.
Despite the loss, I expected the Dolphins to lose this game in my preseason record predictions and I have yet to get one wrong - hopefully continuing the pattern to set the Dolphins up for the playoffs.