Heartbreak in Philly: Eagles Upset, 20-19


The Philadelphia Eagles drop this one to the Miami Dolphins in sickening fashion. Here’s the recap of week 10:

The Dolphins receive the kickoff and after a 37 yard return the Dolphins set up shop on the 32. Bennie Logan bursts through the line for a tackle for loss on 2nd down setting up a 3rd and long. Ryan Tannehill finds his RB down the near sideline for a big gain putting Miami in Eagles territory. A few plays later Connor Barwin comes up with a big tackle for loss with Miami threatening in the red zone, but Mychal Kendricks is drawn offsides on the hard count. The penalty is not a costly one, however, as Fletcher Cox comes up with a sack on 3rd down. Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham were also in the backfield on the play. Miami hits the field goal and takes the early lead, 3-0.

The Eagles are back to receive the kick and Josh Huff finds some daylight for a nice return. It’s only the first play of the game for the offense, and I’m already writing something that I would never have imagined I’d write: Sam Bradford hits Brent Celek running up the seam, and the tight end rumbles, and I mean rumbles, 60 yards to set up a 1st and goal. After a couple of runs, Bradford faces pressure on the rollout and somehow finds Huff in the end zone, throwing across his body while straddling the sideline. Huff did an awesome job of contorting his body and snatching the ball out of the air. 7-3, Eagles.

Coming in, we heard a lot about how the Dolphins have had their share of self inflicted wounds. Well, it didn’t take long for the ghost of weeks past to read its ugly head, as the Dolphins return man drops the kickoff and bafflingly decides to take the ball out of the end zone. He has second thoughts and tries to keep himself in, but ultimately ends up downed on the one. After a false start penalty, Walter Thurmond flies up on the safety blitz and folds Tannehill like a lawn chair. The ball tumbles out of the back of the end zone for the 3rd Safety in the last three games for Miami. 9-3, Eagles.

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The Eagles get the ball back and put together another great drive. Bradford makes a number of solid throws as Nelson Agholor makes his first catch since going down weeks ago. The running game gets going a bit as Ryan Mathews plows in for a touchdown. 16-3, Eagles.

The Dolphins are reeling now down early, and set up at the 20 after the touchback. Things aren’t getting any better though, as Tannehill drops back and delivers the ball under pressure and it’s deflected and nearly pulled down by multiple Eagles. Tannehill throws short of the sticks and the Dolphins are forced to punt.

The Eagles takeover and have a chance to really start to pull away. Bradford misses, throwing behind Zach Ertz who was wide open on a crossing route. On 3rd and 8, Miami jumps offsides and sets up a more manageable 3rd and 3. The Eagles convert on an inside run and extend the drive. Bradford hits Celek yet again, who’s having an all-world day at this point, to put the Eagles inside the red zone. On 1st down, Bradford drops back and is under immediate pressure, he shakes the first man, but tries too hard to extend the play and is brought down for a 7 yard loss. I admire Bradford’s gutsiness, but he has to throw that one away. The Eagles fail to convert and Caleb Sturgis come on for the 32 yard FG try, but misses. Ugh. Eagles still clicking though.

The Dolphins get another crack at it, as Jay Ajayi takes a second down carry 20 yards. Miami isn’t done either, as Lamar Miller rips off a nice run, before Ajayi totes it for another 18. The Dolphins are threatening now, as they’re on the precipice of the Eagles 20. 2nd and 10 and Byron Maxwell makes an excellent play to bat down a would be touchdown. Maxwell has been excellent this season. On the next play Jarvis Landry wins against Maxwell (who was holding on the play), and reels it in to put Miami inside the Eagles 5. The defense makes plays on consecutive plays, however, with Barwin batting a ball at the line, and Malcolm Jenkins nearly coming down with a pick. Jenkins should’ve had this one, but at the very least the Dolphins are held out of the end zone. 16-6, Eagles.

The Eagles regain possession. It’s absolutely asinine how frequently the Dolphins defense is getting burned on the rollout-crosser combination, as Nelson Agholor hauls in his 2nd reception of the day, this time for about 20. A holding call puts the Eagles offense behind the 8-ball beyond that, and they fail to convert and punt on 4th and long. Disaster strikes when a Miami blocks the punt, putting their offense inside the Eagles 15. On 2nd down Miller receives a pass in the flat and takes it in for the touchdown. The Eagles have throughly out played Miami in this one, yet the score doesn’t come close to representing the difference. 16-13.

Bradford and the offense quickly face a 3rd and 3, when Miami bring pressure and gets a strip sack. Olivier Vernon recovers and runs it back, but Dennis Kelly makes a heads up play by knocking the ball out and the Eagles recover. Ridiculous amount of confusion on the play in regard to possession and down and distance, but a Miami challenge as to whether Vernon ever actually had possession has the Eagles at 4th and 26 on their own three. A quick sloppy punt puts Miami on the Eagles 40, before a 15 yard taunting penalty backs them up 15 yards.

The Dolphins squander the opportunity and run three plays for a net loss of two, and are forced to punt. Good job by the Eagles front and perimeter defense on that drive. Sproles has a nice return to set the offense up on the Miami 33.

DeMarco Murray finds some room on a stretch play for 13. The Eagles don’t get much else than that though, as they approach midfield but ultimately punt.

Miami gets the ball but doesn’t do much with it; quickly giving the ball back to the Eagles after a Mychal Kendricks sack. The Eagles will get the ball back with about a minute left and a chance to score prior to the half.

Perhaps the Eagles should’ve just put a knee on the ball as Bradford reels back and throws an INT. Luckily, Miami is called for a a roughing the passer penalty, and the Eagles retain possession. Bradford checks down a time or two and the Eagles go into the half with a three-point lead in a game that they should be winning handily in.

The Eagles get the ball to start the half and immediately go to DeMarco Murray who slices the D for 9. 2 plays later Bradford hits Jordan Matthews on a vertical route into Miami territory, before Murray goes for another 10. On 3rd and 7 Bradford drops an absolute dime to Miles Austin who has a step on the near sideline, but the receiver drops it (surprise), and the Eagles are forced to punt. Bradford has made his share of mistakes on the day, but he’s made some nice reads/throws.

After a good Donnie Jones punt, Miami sets up inside their own 15. A nice throw and catch by Tannehill and Rishard Matthews on the rollout goes for a conversion. A few plays later the Eagles defense holds strong when Kendricks tracks down Ajayi on the screen. Kendricks is as fast and athletic as ever coming off his absence, and has already made his presence felt on the day.

Darren Sproles had a nice return, but a block in the back by Seyi Ajirotutu (that was pretty inconsequential as it were) brings it back. Bradford drops back on 2nd down and drops a bomb for Josh Huff who can’t make the catch, but draws the interference call. After a broken play results in Bradford falling down for the sack, Jason Kelce snaps the ball high and wide but Dennis Kelly is luckily there for the recovery. Kelce has had an awful year, and this has become an incredibly sloppy game on both sides. The Eagles should be blowing out the Dolphins.

The Dolphins regain possession but can’t get anything going. On 3rd down Fletcher Cox brings the pressure and Tannehill fires wide of his man. Another punt for Miami.

The Eagles takeover and disaster strikes; Bradford is strip sacked and comes up lame on the play. Kelly recovers after allowing the sack to recover the fumble, but the damage is done as Bradford heads into the locker room. Rough break. Mark Sanchez comes on in relief and dumps the ball off to Ryan Mathews who carries the ball for a 1st, but the offense fails to convert on the following set of downs and punt it away.

The Dolphins get it back and the sloppiness prevails: Tannehill drops back and throws to Rishard Matthews on a quick-hitter for the conversion, but things get much worse when Chris Maragos tackles Maxwell and springs Matthews for an additional 20 or so yards, down to the Eagles 5. Soon after, Barwin comes through untouched and deflects the pass at the line. The ball flies through the air and looks as though it might be intercepted, but the Eagles can’t locate the ball and Landry brings it down for the TD. This couldn’t get uglier. 20-16, Miami.

The Eagles take back over in hopes of getting things going. Sanchez maneuvers the pocket well on 2nd down and fires across the field for Zach Ertz who gains 15. A few plays later the offense faces a 4th and 1 in Miami territory and Kelly opts to go for it. Sproles takes the handoff and wiggles free for the 1st. Sanchez throws a beauty to Austin in the back of the end zone, but the receiver can’t get his feet in bounds. Right after, Sanchez makes another nice throw for Ertz who hauls it in for the touchdown. Except there are offsetting penalties and the score is wiped off the board. On 3rd and 7 Sanchez lobs a floater for Matthews and leads him into the waiting arms of Jamar Taylor who absolutely obliterates him. The ball is jarred loose and the Eagles are faced with a 4th and 7. Sturgis comes on an hits the field goal (despite the high snap by Dorenbos who has been uncharacteristically bad). 20-19, Eagles trail by 1. Matthews is up on the sideline and appears to be ok as well.

The Eagles defense is back on the field and every drive from here on out will be crucial. The front gets good push and Miller is stuffed on 1st down. Then the Eagles get pressure and Tannehill is forced to throw it away, before the secondary has great coverage and forces the three and out.

Sanchez is back on the field; Bradford is reportedly done for the day, as is Ryan Mathews who exited with a head injury. Sanchez makes a nice throw to Josh Huff, before a few miscommunications and a rushed throw leads to a punt.

A tremendous punt and good coverage has the Dolphins pinned down inside the 2. Lamar Miller is nearly brought down in the end zone but narrowly squeaks out. 2 plays later a well defensed pass by Nolan Carroll forces the punt.

Darren Sproles fields the punt and takes it across the 50. Sanchez and Murray get their feet tangled up for the umpteenth time, but Sanchez finds room to operate and hits Ertz for a first. On the next play, Sanchez rolls right and finds Murray for a gain of 20. Big play. Two plays later Sanchez throws a crippling interception looking for Austin in the end zone. Bad throw/decision by Sanchez, but Austin looked clueless on the play. Awful.

Miami regains possession and gets a couple of first downs putting the Eagles in dire straits. The Eagles are one first down away from their 5th loss of the season when the defense comes up big. On 3rd and 8 Fletcher Cox pushes the pocket and Kendricks and Barwin clean up. Huge play. Sproles returns the punt to about the 30 and the offense takes over.

Sanchez quickly finds Sproles on back to back plays for a 1st. After more drops and miscommunications Sanchez throws short of the sticks on 4th and 10 and the Eagles fail to convert. Game over.


Absolutely heart breaking loss for the Eagles in a game they needed to win to assert themselves in the East. Bradford’s injury is a tough break and will be a topic of conversation all week leading into the week 11 game against Tampa Bay.

Overall, the Eagles were ridiculously sloppy all afternoon. The defense played well, doing more than enough for the win, but a number of dumb mistakes, miscommunications, and the Bradford injury ultimately doomed the Eagles. This just isn’t a great team. The Eagles very well could still win the East, but it’s hard to see them making much noise in the post season.

This game shouldn’t have been close, and yet the Eagles find themselves on the receiving end of the loss. Hopefully Bradford comes back healthy in week 11 and can get the team back in the win column.