Dolphins win in part on Sturgis miss
By Brian Miller
O.k. the title is a little misleading but it’s also a little fun. The Miami Dolphins beat the Philadelphia Eagles 20-19 this afternoon. The title is directly directed at Philly place kicker Caleb Sturgis who missed a 32 yard field goal in the first half. As they say, it came back to hurt them.
The Dolphins opened the game with a long drive ending in a field goal. The Dolphins then surrendered a touchdown to the Eagles before surrendering another two points on a safety. It was the third safety in three weeks. Not sure if that sets a new NFL record but it should and it’s stupid.
Miami fell behind early 9-3 before dropping to 16-3 at the half. The 2nd half was all Dolphins as they scored 17 unanswered points before surrending a field goal late in the 4th. The Dolphins won on a punishing defense that finally found a way to get pressure on the opposing quarterback. Miami had four sacks on the day but the pressure for most of the last three quarters was stifling.
The Eagles however exposed the Dolphins biggest hole, the inability to cover TE’s. Eagles tight-end Brent Celek had over 100 yards in the first quarter alone. By the time the 4th quarter got going, the Dolphins had knocked quarterback Sam Bradford out of the game leaving the Eagles hopes on the shoulders and arm of former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. Sanchez led the team down the field on their final drive and appeared to have the Eagles set up for a go-ahead touchdown or at the very least a possible winning field goal.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, Sanchez was picked off in the end-zone by Reshad Jones. The Eagles would force the Dolphins to punt on the ensuing drive but Miami was able to keep the Eagles from the making enough plays to generate yards.
Offensively for the Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill completed 21 of 36 passes with no interceptions and 217 yards with two touchdowns. Lamar Miller ran hard rushing 16 times for 43 yards while Jay Ajayi carried the ball six times for 48 yards proving that he is a very valuable asset to the team. It’s his 2nd week in a row of solid running. Miller also added 50 yards on six receptions and a touchdown.
The game turned in the 2nd quarter when back-up linebacker Zach Vigil blocked an Eagles punt setting up the Dolphins for a quick touchdown. The blocked punt wasn’t the only fortuitous play. Needing a touchdown to take the lead early in the 4th quarter, Ryan Tannehill’s pass was deflected into the air at the goal line. The ball traveled four yards into the endzone and into the hands of Jarvis Landry. The score would turn out to be the winning touchdown.
The Dolphins victory puts Dan Campbell at 3-2 on the season and the Dolphins now stand 4-5 on the season. Overall today’s game was well played after a very shaky start. Ndamukong Suh looked very frustrated early on but the Dolphins defense, full of rookies and back-ups, stepped up.
The Dolphins lost Brice McCain in the game, was without Brent Grimes, lost Derrick Shelby, and linebacker Jelani Jenkins. Injury reports have not been released yet.