Know your Eagles enemy: The Miami Dolphins

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The Eagles are staring at an under .500 record after losing to the Patriots last Sunday. Sitting at 5-6, the team currently has the 13th pick in the draft.

What’s that? There’s still five games left? Wait, you mean the Eagles control their own destiny?

You wouldn’t think it judging by how this season has gone.

But that’s where we are. The Eagles have a five game stretch in which, if they win all five, they can win the division. A five game win streak would include a win over the Cowboys and vault them to first place, even if the Cowboys win their other four games.

Regardless of late season scenarios, the Eagles will need to take care of business this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Before we take a look at the game, let’s look at how the Dolphins’ offseason went and where they rank this season:

Key arrivals: 

Quarterback Josh Rosen (trade – Cardinals),
Quarterback
Ryan Fitzpatrick (free agency – Buccaneers),
Tight end Dwayne Allen (free agency – Patriots),
Cornerback Eric Rowe (free agency – Patriots)
Head coach Brian Flores,
Defensive end Taco Charlton (waivers – Cowboys)

Key departures: 

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill (trade – Titans),
Defensive end Cameron Wake (free agency – Titans),
Defensive end Robert Quinn (trade – Cowboys),
Wide receiver Danny Amendola (free agency – Lions),
Guard Josh Sitton (retirement),
Running back Frank Gore (free agency – Bills),
Offensive Tackle Laremy Tunsil (trade – Texans),
Wide receiver Kenny Stills (trade – Texans),
Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick (trade – Steelers [damn it]),
Running back Kenyan Drake (trade – Cardinals)

2019 Ranks

  • Points per game: 30th (14.8)
  • Yards per game: 30th (264.9)
  • Passing yards per game: 26th (201.7)
  • Rushing yards per game: 32nd (63.2)
  • Points allowed per game: 32nd (31.5)
  • Yards allowed per game: 30th (400.9)
  • Passing yards allowed per game: 22nd (252.7)
  • Rushing yards allowed per game: 31st (148.2)

The Dolphins were in prime position to have the number one pick in the draft next season, but they just had to go on and win two games. After seven games of the defense allowing 34 points per game, they had two games of allowing 18 to the Jets and 12 points to the Colts. After those two wins, they got right back on the tank track and allowed 37 points to the Bills and 41 points to the Browns. 

Can the Eagles take advantage of a team allowing more than two touchdowns than they score?

The last time the Eagles faced a team this bad on both sides of the ball was October 6th against the Sam Darnold-less Jets. The Eagles won that game 31-6. 

QB controversy?

The Dolphins traded with the Arizona Cardinals for second year quarterback Josh Rosen on the second day of the NFL Draft. This came after signing veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick to a two year deal.  he Dolphins opted to start Fitzpatrick in the first two games of the season, but after being outscored 102-10 in those games they turned to Rosen.

Rosen wasn’t much better. He averaged 155 passing yards per game in his three starts and had a 1/3 TD/INT ratio. He’s played in six games overall and has that one touchdown but five interceptions.

After his three starts, Miami went back to FitzMagic and has gone 2-4 since then. 

The controversy here isn’t between Rosen and Fitzpatrick, it’s between Rosen and the front office. They obviously signed Fitzpatrick to be a stopgap option for their franchise quarterback, but is Rosen that guy? Will the Dolphins take a chance at one of the top quarterbacks in 2020? If the Bengals stay at number one, as they are now, it looks like Joe Burrow will be the pick. Can the Dolphins “Kyler Murray” Rosen and draft a quarterback (Tua?) a year after acquiring Rosen? It’s definitely something to keep an eye on and there’s a good chance the Eagles see both Fitzpatrick and Rosen on Sunday.

Florida FitzMagic?

The last time the Eagles face Ryan Fitzpatrick was September 16th, 2018 when they traveled to Florida to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

During that game, Fitzpatrick put up 402 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. One of the touchdowns was on the opening drive of the game:

The current version of Florida Fitzpatrick (thankfully) doesn’t have Desean Jackson anymore, but he can still throw it deep. The Dolphins’ top four receivers all average more than 10 yards a reception, so the Eagles’ secondary will have to hone in on their tackling techniques to make sure the receivers don’t run wild. Fitzpatrick is averaging 190.1 passing yards a game and has a 1/1 TD/INT ratio. 

Although Fitzpatrick has had some success against the Eagles in his career (2-3-1 record, yes he was the QB in the tie versus McNabb in 2008), don’t expect him to even up his record against an improved secondary.

For some history and predictions, check out the next page!

 

Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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