5 players to watch when the Eagles battle the Dolphins on Sunday Night Football

Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) high fives Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Philadelphia Eagles are preparing for probably one of their toughest matchups to date. On Sunday night, the Eagles will host the Dolphins for a matchup that’s set to be an interesting one. Philly is coming off of a very disappointing loss against the Jets last Sunday and is hoping to rebound.

While the Eagles are 5-1, they are still trying to find their identity on offense and hoping to get healthy on defense. With the stars coming out for Sunday night football, here’s 5 players to keep your eye on:

D’Andre Swift

Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles running back D’Andre Swift (0) falls with the ball near Washington Commanders safety Kamren Curl during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

After a very disappointing game against the Jets, Swift will be itching for a big bounce-back game against a defense that is allowing 4.1 yards per carry. With the offense still trying to find its rhythm in the passing game, it’ll be on Swift to set the tempo on his attempts. If Swift can open up the offense with long runs then life could be easier for the Hurts and company.

The Eagles are at their best when they control the time of possession. Swift is currently averaging 5.3 yards per carry on the season and has a 61% rushing success rate, which is a career-high. If he can expose the Dolphins defense then the Eagles will have a path to a big win on Sunday night.

Jalen Hurts

Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, left, throws during the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Jalen Hurts had the worst game of his career against the Jets. Four turnovers aren’t ideal for the Eagles franchise QB. Luckily, he’s facing a Dolphins defense that will be missing both Jalen Ramsey and possibly Xavien Howard. The Dolphins have only forced two turnovers this season and rank 19th in passing yards allowed this season. 

If Hurts can trust his offensive line and allow the routes to develop then the Eagles QB could be in line for a big game. It will be on the Eagles’ offense to set the temperature for this game and that starts with their fearless leader, Jalen Hurts.

Sydney Brown

The Eagles safeties group is falling apart and despite all of the rumors out there, it doesn’t look like the Eagles have anyone coming to in to save the day yet. That’s why it’s on Sydney Brown to make his stamp on this game. Sean Desai won’t have Justin Evans to rely on and Reed Blankenship doesn’t seem like he’s trending to play.

Brown was a highly coveted third-round pick of the Eagles and will most likely have his number called against an offense that is ranked on top of the league. Desai said that the way to beat speed is with physicality, and Brown’s game screams physicality as we’ve seen at times this season.

DeVonta Smith

Eagles vs. Jets
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) catches the ball and runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

It’s been a tough stretch for DeVonta Smith as of late. In his last three games, he has 13 receptions on 24 targets for 128 receiving yards and no touchdowns. He hasn’t been a forgotten part of the pass game at all but his targets have been questionable. Whether it’s a drop like the one seen against the Jets or just a bad pass from Hurts, Smitty resembles an offense that is out of sync.

He could be due for a big redemption game against the Dolphins when the lights are the brightest. While the focus has been on A.J. Brown’s target, which he’s been targeted 30 times over the last three games, the reality of the matter is that Brown is just doing more when the ball is in his hands. Smith hasn’t done that this season or been put in a position to do more. 

Haason Reddick

Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick celebrates after sacking Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

He’s alive and well folks! Haason Reddick has been a madman as of late. Ever since the removal of his thumb cast, Reddick has put up 5.5 sacks, 5 tackles for loss, and 9 pressures. It’s safe to say that the Eagles’ best pass rusher is in his bag once again.

Reddick finished last season with 16 sacks and at this rate, he could surpass that total from a year ago. The Eagles will need Reddick to make Tua as uncomfortable as possible. Philly’s pass rush could be a huge difference-maker against this speedy offense.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum