It’s just preseason!
There, I said it for you. Now you don’t have to fill the comment section with wisecracks meant to diminish what we saw from the Miami Dolphins during their 48-10 drubbing of the Philadelphia Eagles last night.
Sure, it was against Philadelphia’s backups, but the Dolphins’ starters did exactly what they were supposed to do against backups - they dominated. Oh... and then Miami’s backups came into the game and convincingly handled their business as well. Any which way you slice it, Miami was the superior team in South Florida on Saturday, which bodes well for their chances at success when the bullets become live against the New England Patriots on September 11th.
With that being said, let’s review the game and get down to the GOOD, BAD & UGLY of the Miami Dolphins’ defeat of the Philadelphia Eagles in week three of the 2022 NFL preseason.
The Tua-to-Tyreek connection is primed and ready for a big season
Tyreek Hill saw his first game action in a Miami Dolphins uniform on Saturday night, and he and quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, wasted little time in showing Miami Dolphins fans what they have to look forward to during the 2022 NFL season.
On the first play of the game, Tua faked a handoff, scanned the field and fired a ball deep down the middle of the field to a streaking Hill who beat two defenders, ran under the ball and made the diving catch for a 51 yard gain. Yes, Tua later admitted he wished he threw the ball a little bit further so Tyreek could have ran under the pass and taken it all the way to the house, but still... who is going to sit there with a straight face and criticize 51 yard gains after what we’ve grown accustomed to from the dink-and-dunk offenses of Miami’s recent past? The play was electric!
On the game’s second play, once again off of play-action, Tua found Hill once more for another 15 yard chunk play. Two plays later, Miami was in the endzone on a touchdown throw from Tagovailoa to River Cracraft. Now, that’s how you start a game!
Honorable Mention - Miami’s rushing offense finds their footing
Through two weeks of the preseason, Miami’s rushing “attack” looked like more of a pillow fight. Mike McDaniel was supposed to be a genius in the running game, yet the results weren’t showing up on game day.
Well, all of that changed against the Philadelphia Eagles on Saturday night. Miami, as a team, ran for 203 yards on 35 carries - good for 5.8 yards per tote. Raheem Mostert saw the field for the first time this preseason and he looked... fast. Really fast.
In an offense that clearly wants to run a lot of play-action, having a successful running game is of the utmost importance. Watching Miami’s backs carve up the Eagles’ defense last night was definitely a sight for sore eyes. Let’s see if that success can carry over into the regular season.
If Saturday night’s game was the last for Preston Williams in a Dolphins uniform, the tenure of the man nicknamed “The Unicorn” has ended with a whimper.
Williams muffed a punt in the third quarter which led to an Eagles field goal - their first points of the night. He also finished the game with zero catches on just one target. With a loaded wide-receiver room, Preston was seemingly always on the outside looking in this offseason, but Saturday’s lackluster performance probably put the final nail into Williams’ coffin.
Eagles overall peformance
Finding an “ugly” in last night’s game from a Dolphins’ perspective just wasn’t going to happen. Miami looked dominant from the first play of the game through the last. Tua Tagovailoa shined. Tyreek Hill shined. The running game shined. Skylar Thompson once again shined - his third consecutive solid outing. The defense - including a pick-six from Elijah Campbell - shined.
The Eagles - who played mostly backups - did not shine, however. They looked awful in all facets of the game. Obviously things would have been different if the starting units had played significant time, but if you’re ending the preseason and gearing up for the regular season, you’d rather end it the way Miami did - and not the way that Philadelphia did.
The Dolphins’ confidence should be at an all-time high once they kick things off for real on September 11th against the hated New England Patriots in South Florida.
Well, there it is. The 2022 preseason is over. How do you think Miami looked overall? Are you even more excited to see what they can do in the regular season after last night’s drubbing of the Eagles? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @MBrave13. Fins up!