Sunday night was not a good night for the Miami Dolphins as they lost 31-14 to the Philadelphia Eagles.
They now stand at 5-2 in the AFC East, tied for the second-best overall record in the AFC, and now have the fourth-best overall record in the NFL.
As the game showed us, mistakes were made within the Dolphins. It also showed us improvements that are very necessary and something very unusual in an NFL game.
Let's take a look at my three takeaways from this past Sunday night:
1. Another defense that was just too strong
Much like in Buffalo, the Philly defense made it difficult for the Dolphins to get by.
The Dolphins were limited to a grand total of 244 yards. The 17 points that night is the lowest they scored in the season so far.
There were also season lows in the first half alone. They only made 10 points and started with 113 yards combined.
From there, it was a back-and-forth battle of plays and mistakes between the teams that culminated in a Dolphins' interception by the end of the 3rd quarter.
Darius Slay, who returned to the game from injury, intercepted the ball. Then, Kenneth Gainwell scored the last touchdown of the game and the rest is history.
It seems that dealing with a defense that's better than theirs has been the biggest obstacle to date for the Dolphins. If they can't overcome that, then what kind of team are they really?
2. A lopsided penalty night that saw Philadelphia not get flagged
One thing that rarely ever happens in the NFL is that a team somehow wins a game without being penalized even once.
That was the case last Sunday night between the Eagles and Dolphins. Miami was penalized 11 times while Philly had no penalties at all.
However, some things may have been missed or called wrong by the referees.
One of those things was the "roughing the passer" call by Christian Wilkins after he shoved, not tackled, Jalen Hurts in the 3rd quarter.
Another example was a possible, missed "face mask" call by James Bradberry on Cedrick Wilson, Jr.
Whatever what has been missed or not, what's done is done. And for fans who believe the referees are to blame for the Dolphins' loss, you're not the only ones feeling the same way.
There have been shares of those in the Browns-Colts and Steelers-Chargers games too.
3. The Miami Dolphins have to win the big games if 2023 will be a winning one.
First, it was the Buffalo Bills. Last night, it was the Eagles.
Somehow, the Dolphins can't seem to win against the tougher teams in the league. This is making the team look underwhelming to NFL analysts and experts.
All the wins the Dolphins have so far come from struggling teams with low records. It looks like things have come easy for them.
Miami fans might be happy right now, but others outside of them believe they're incapable of winning the games that really matter.
With their record right now, we definitely see the Dolphins making the playoffs. However, imagine what it will look like when they really take on the best of the best there.
If they couldn't hold up to the Bills or Eagles, then what are the chances of them going all the way in the playoff season? Right now, best not to get too ahead.
In two weeks' time, the Dolphins will face another tough challenge when they battle the Kansas City Chiefs in Frankfurt, Germany.
The Chiefs are now the best team in the AFC after the Dolphins' loss. If the Dolphins can't get on their same level in two weeks, that game will be a slaughter.