Analysis: NFL History Play-Making Key in Dolphins Win vs Eagles

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Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker catches a pass for a touchdown as Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills (31) and safety Rodney McLeod (23) attempt to defend. PC: AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

The Miami Dolphins made some magic happen at home against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday with a trick play that made NFL history, while also pulling out a win. 

The now 3-9 Dolphins bested the now 5-7 Eagles in a 37-31 showdown that kept the struggling Eagles’ playoff hopes in a very distant view.

Flores finally sees “Full 60 Minutes” he has wanted

For Miami, they played a good game all around, or at least that’s what head coach Brian Flores thought.

“We played 60 minutes. This team went and competed. That’s a good team we beat. That’s a really good team. They got a lot of good players; they got good coaches. It was a tough game we just played. We played well today, and it was a total team effort – offense, defense, special teams. We played for 60 minutes, this team – they compete and I’m proud of this team,” he said.

Fitzpatrick on target with Parker, Gesicki

Offensively, the Dolphins shined as quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns with only one interception. Two of those TDs came at the hands of wide receiver DeVante Parker, who caught the football seven times for 159 yards on the day. Parker has been on a hot streak as his totals from this past Sunday’s game push him to 854 receiving yards on the season and into a tie for tenth place in the league for receiving TDs. No WR in the AFC has more receiving yards than Parker since week five. 

“It felt great. I’m still here. I know I still have the ability to make plays and do whatever I can to help the team,” Parker said. 

Miami tight end, Mike Gesicki, hauled in five catches for 79 yards and also came away with his second career TD. The score came from 14 yards out and has now given him TDs in back-to-back games. 

“I’m not talking about it. I’m just focusing on my job and continuing to follow my routine and continue to work hard and hopefully good things will follow,” Gesicki said.

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Rushing woes continue, team loses Ballage

Unfortunately for Miami, the run game struggled as it always does, with the team running for a combined 58 yards on 20 carries, getting just one rushing touchdown. The Dolphins also lost RB Kalen Ballage to season-ending injured reserve, if not longer, for what is feared to be a torn Achilles tendon. Rookie Patrick Laird is in line to start on Sunday in New York and he had the team’s rushing score after Ballage exited against the Eagles.

Let’s etch our names in the history books

The most interesting part of this game was when Miami’s kicker, Jason Sanders, caught a TD from its punter Matt Haack in a fourth down and goal-to-go situation on the Eagles’ 1-yard line. The play was a direct snap to Haack, who flipped it out to a wide open Sanders in the end zone when scrambling to the edge and about to be sacked. This was the first time in NFL history that a punter threw at TD to a kicker.

Close, but no cigar for Philadelphia

It wasn’t a bad day for Philadelphia offensively, it just didn’t have the extra fuel when it came down to the wire. RB Miles Sanders was the Eagles’ leading rusher with 83 yards on 17 carries. The former Dolphin, Jay Ajayi, got in the game but only for two carries worth a total of nine yards. 

Additionally, QB Carson Wentz threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns of his own, also throwing an interception, just like Fitzpatrick. The big-game credit on Philly’s side of the ball goes to the wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, who had nine grabs for 137 yards and a touchdown in the game. The game ended on Wentz’s intercepted Hail Mary pass in the end zone. 

– Christian Chappell is a Sports Contributor for Full Press Coverage Miami Dolphins. Like and follow on and Facebook.

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