The Miami Dolphins dominated the Philadelphia Eagles early in the Preseason Week 3 meeting between the two clubs. The Dolphins jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, then extended it to 27-0 at halftime. The onslaught continued in the second half, with Miami pulling further away before the Eagles finally found the endzone for the first time in the fourth quarter.
The game, however, took on a secondary role during the night. At halftime, the Dolphins announced the passing of their Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs Jason Jenkins. It is a heartbreaking loss of a 47-year-old amazing man, husband, and father of three. It really just made the game not as important - though it absolutely matters to the players on the field who are trying to make the roster or catch the eye of another team.
Eagles 10 - Dolphins 48
First Quarter Reactions
The Dolphins opened with the ball at their own 25-yard line, and immediately gave the fans what they wanted to see. On the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw deep to wide receiver Tyreek Hill for a 51-yard gain. Tagovailoa went back to Hill on the second play, picking up another 13 yards. After a three-yard run from Raheem Mostert, Tagovailoa rolled out on a bootleg and found River Cracraft for the seven-yard touchdown. The opening drive was just about perfect for the Dolphins and the fans, with Tagovailoa and Hill hooking up twice and the team quickly moving downfield and scoring a touchdown. It is time to put some players on the sideline and keep them healthy for Week 1. Dolphins 7-0.
The first possession from the Eagles also saw some success early, with Garner Mishew able to pick up some chunk yards on the first few plays. However, after a nine-yard gain on a 1st-and-10 from the 50-yard line, an incomplete pass and two runs for no gain led to a turnover on downs for the Eagles. The two runs featured Miami defensive lineman Zach Sieler stuffing the run at the line of scrimmage, continuing the trend of good things happening when Sieler is on the field.
Tagovailoa returned to the game for the next drive, but Hill remained on the sideline. The drive started with Mostert breaking a run for 26 yards, moving the ball out to the Eagles’ 33-yard line. A sack of Tagovailoa backed the Dolphins up a couple of plays later and the team had to settle for a 55-yard field goal from Jason Sanders. Mostert showing off his speed continues the early theme of the game with the Dolphins showing exactly what the fans want to see. Dolphins 10-0.
Miami’s defense came out attacking on the next Philadelphia possession. Eagles quarterback Garner Minshew was constantly forced to get rid of the ball quickly, with Jaelan Phillips easily getting into the backfield. After five plays picked up 19 yards, the Eagles were forced to punt.
The Dolphins started at their own 12-yard line after the punt, with Myles Gaskin quickly moving the ball down the field. After a seven-yard run on first down, Gaskin backed it up with a 15-yarder on 2nd-and-3. Tagovailoa threw to Cedrick Wilson for 16 yards on the next play, with Gaskin then adding runs of 16- and 6-yards. Tagovailoa threw deep across the middle to tight end Mike Gesicki on a 2nd-and-4, picking up 18 yards and moving the Dolphins to the Eagles’ 10-yard line. After a Salvon Ahmed rush for eight yards, Sony Michel was given the ball on two straight carries, picking up one yard each time, leading to another Dolphins touchdown. Tagovailoa is looking sharp tonight, finding the right player, and making strong throws. Gaskin clearly wants to prove he should be on the 53-man roster. Gesicki over the middle looks so right - hopefully, his struggles as a blocker do not lead to his role in the offense being minimized. Dolphins 17-0.
The quarter came to an end after the Eagles picked up 24 yards on a pass from Reid Sinnett to Jason Huntley on 2nd down.
The Dolphins ended the first quarter with 185 yards of offense, 114 through the air, and 71 on the ground. Tagovailoa threw for 121 yards on 6-for-7 passing with a touchdown and a 158.3 passer rating. Gaskin ran four times for 32 yards while Mostert ran twice for 29 yards, Ahmed had the one carry for eight yards, and Michel carried twice for two yards and the touchdown. Hill, despite playing just four snaps, had two receptions for 64 yards, with Gesicki (18 yards), Wilson (16 yards), Trent Sherfield (15 yards), and Cracraft (8 yards, touchdown) each recording one reception.
Second quarter reactions
The 24-yard gain at the end of the first quarter marked nearly all the yards the Eagles would gain in the drive. The drive featured penalties from each team, but ultimately proved to be a nine-play possession that only picked up 30 yards and led to another Philadelphia punt.
Miami pulled most of their starters on their next drive, including replacing Tagovailoa with Teddy Bridgewater under center. The offense lost some of its sharpness on the drive, gaining just 21 yards out to their own 29-yard line. The drive did feature an 11-yard pass from Bridgewater to Cracraft, but the Dolphins had to punt.
Benito Jones is such a solid defensive lineman for the Dolphins and could have a place on the roster. On first down from the Eagles, he was able to stuff Huntley in the backfield for a two-yard loss. After a six-yard gain on a pass to Grant Calcaterra, Sinnett again looked to Calcaterra on third down, only to have Elijah Campbell pick off the pass and return it 30 yards for the touchdown. Dolphins 24-0.
The Eagles came back out after the pick-six, only to go three-and-out.
Lynn Bowden, Jr., looking to prove he deserves a spot on the 53-man roster attempted to return the punt, but was tackled at the six-yard line, setting up a long field for Miami on the possession. Ahmed fixed it for the offense on the first play, breaking out for a 14-yard gain to get out to the Miami 20-yard line. Bridgewater then began looking toward Cracraft. After an incomplete pass, Cracraft hauled in a pass for 15 yards, then another for 20 yards. Following the 2-minute warning, an incomplete pass was followed by a Michel run for three yards. On 3rd-and-7, Bridgewater found Ahmed in the flat, but a beautiful block from Cracraft opened the sideline to the running back who picked up 28 yards. Ahmed then picked up five more yards before an incomplete pass set up 3rd-and-5 from the Eagles’ nine-yard line. After another incomplete pass, Sanders connected on a 27-yard field goal. Dolphins 27-0.
Sinnett knelt to kill the first half clock after the kickoff.
That pretty much went as perfectly as it could go. Tagovailoa to Hill is now a thing and we have all seen it. The running game found itself. The offensive line blocked fairly well in both pass protection and run blocking. The defense has not allowed a point through the first 30 minutes, has been strong on third down (holding Philadelphia to one-for-six), and came away with a turnover. The Dolphins have a 291-to-110 yards advantage, a 188-to-96 passing yards advantage, a 103-to-14 rushing yards advantage, and a 15:53-to-14:07 time of possession advantage.
More importantly, no one seems to have been injured in the first half. Hopefully that continues in the second half.
Real Life Interrupts the Game
The Dolphins at halftime announced the passing of Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs Jason Jenkins. This is a major loss for the Dolphins and the world. He was just a great man.
Third Quarter Reactions
To be honest, we are nearly five minutes into the second half and on to the third series of the half before I have even watched any of the game since the news of Jenkins’ passing was confirmed. There were rumors earlier, but now that it is confirmed, it just kind of pushed the game to the side. I heard the Preston Williams fumble on the punt return with the Eagles recovering, but I did not see it. The Dolphins defense then kept the Eagles from doing anything with the ball, holding them to a field goal after starting with the ball at the Miami nine-yard line. Dolphins 27-3.
Trying to get back into watching the game, the Dolphins have already moved the ball from their own 25-yard line down to the Eagles’ 10. Included in that was an 18-yard pass from Skylar Thompson, now in at quarterback, to Hunter Long, and a 41-yard pass interference penalty. From the 10, Michel picked up four yards, then Thompson threw an incomplete pass as he was pressured and just got rid of the ball. On 3rd-and-Goal, Thompson threw a bad pass, directly toward an Eagles defender, only to have Hunter Long somehow reach in front of the defender and snag the ball for the touchdown. Dolphins 34-3.
The Dolphins' defense continued to stifle the Eagles, including a sack from Sam Eguavoen to force a three-and-out.
Starting at their own 38-yard line, the Dolphins started the drive with a Thompson pass to Braylon Sanders to 12-yards. Already at midfield, Thompson then threw to Erik Ezukanma for 10 yards before runs from Gerrid Doaks for nine yards, seven yards, four yards, and seven yards. On 1st-and-Goal from the Eagles’ four-yard line, Thompson rolled out to find Cethan Carter on an out-route at the goal line. Dolphins 41-3.
The Eagles moved the ball 40 yards in eight plays, assisted by a roughing the passer penalty on Benito Jones who was somehow supposed to break the laws of physics to not touch Sinnett, before the end of the third quarter.
Fourth Quarter reactions
The Eagles faced a 2nd-and-9 at the Miami 37 to start the fourth quarter, with a pass from Sinnett to Hightower just reaching the marker. After two runs for eight yards and an incomplete pass, the Eagles faced a 4th-and-2 from the Miami 20-yard line. Sinnett was sacked by linebacker Channing Tindall, with the resulting fumble picked up by an Eagles lineman, but he was stopped by Eguavoen and the Dolphins took over on downs.
Miami did nothing with the possession, however, and punted on a three-and-out possession.
After three plays picked up 12 yards on the next possession, the Eagles saw Huntley break down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown run. The Eagles jumped from 54 yards rushing on the day to 121 with that run. Dolphins 41-10.
Miami answered the Eagles' score with one of their own on the next drive. Starting at their own 25-yard line, the Dolphins turned to running backs Gerrid Doaks and ZaQuandre White to get the team moving. On three carries, Doaks picked up 19 yards while White picked up 17 yards on his own three carries. On 2nd-and-4 from the Eagles' 39-yard line, Thompson fumbled the snap, picked up the ball, and found Bowden in the flat, only to have the receiver turn a short pass into a 39-yard touchdown. Dolphins 48-10.
The Dolphins held the Eagles to another three-and-out on the next drive. Sam Eguavoen and Darrius Hodge made plays, with Hodge twice hitting quarterback Carson Strong to force incomplete passes. The punt return, however, featured Williams, who already fumbled one punt return, running backward on his return attempt and being tackled for a two-yard loss to give Miami the ball at their own seven-yard line.
Miami once again looked to Doaks and White to move the ball and run the clock. Doaks picked up nine yards followed by four yards to start the possession. White followed that with two runs of his own, picking up nine yards and five yards on the carries. After the two-minute warning, Thompson knelt to kill the clock.
The 48 points scored by the Dolphins is the most in team history in the preseason:
48 is the most points ever by the Dolphins in a preseason game. Previous mark was 45, set in 1974.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) August 28, 2022