Don’t Panic or Draw the Wrong Lessons From Miami Dolphins’ Loss to Philadelphia Eagles

The Miami Dolphins are going to get buried after their two-score loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Check back in a month to see how well those takes aged.

The Miami Dolphins hadn’t formally lost yet to the Philadelphia Eagles before Twitter wrote their obituary.

A common takeaway? The Dolphins simply are too soft and finesse to beat a team like the Eagles, who out-gained Miami by 111 yards and controlled the ball for 13:26 more minutes Sunday.

And certainly, the Eagles were a handful in the trenches, particularly in short yardage. The Tush Push is basically unstoppable and might have been decisive on Sunday.

But the Eagles very well could have played the same exact game and lost had the injury-ravaged Dolphins not self-destructed and had the officiating not been horrendous.

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Real Reason Miami Dolphins Lost to Philadelphia Eagles

You won’t find that kind of nuance in most of Monday’s commentary. But it doesn’t mean it’s not true.

“I don’t think we listen to the outside noise in regards to how people feel about our team,” Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said postgame. “I think the most important thing is the guys in the locker room sticking together. There’s a lot of football to be played, a lot of football. It’s a long season.”

The real reason the Dolphins lost? They couldn’t get out of their own way.

Tyreek Hill dropped two passes he always catches. The special teams were spotty.

What’s more, the Dolphins were called for 10 penalties. The Eagles were called for zero.

And while the officials certainly stunk — a phantom roughing the passer on Christian Wilkins and a missed fourth-down facemask/DPI on James Bradberry were together at least a seven-point swing — let’s not act like the Dolphins were blameless.

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They regularly lined up offsides and couldn’t get their very first offensive play of the game off in time.

Even with all that being said, it was still very much a game in the fourth quarter.

They had the ball, down a touchdown, at the Eagles’ 24 when an otherwise solid Tagovailoa threw a terrible pick to Darius Slay, who peeled off his man to cut off a poorly thrown ball to Raheem Mostert.

“It was just an underthrow,” Tagovailoa said.

From there, the Eagles did what they do best: They leaned on a gassed defense with a game-sealing touchdown drive that covered 83 yards in 13 plays.

The Dolphins’ short-yardage defense was no match for the Tush Push — but that’s not a unique failure. No one can stop that play.

But back-to-back converted fourth downs deep in their own end predictably led to a deep ball to A.J. Brown, who drew Kader Kohou in coverage because Xavien Howard and Jalen Ramsey were both out.

But here’s the truth:

Assuming the Dolphins’ injury luck changes in the coming weeks, the Eagles beat the weakest possible version of this team, one that was without three offensive linemen and Jaylen Waddle for key stretches Sunday.

Sometimes, you get manhandled. And sometimes, you just lose because of boneheaded mistakes. Sunday’s Dolphins loss was the latter, just like the Eagles’ loss to the Jets in Week 6 was.

“You have to feel what it’s like to play such a good team on the road,” Mike McDaniel said postgame. “The margin for error is so small. It’s an important building block along your progression for the season.

“If you’re going to lose games, you want it to be against a really good team, and you want it to hurt. The collection of coaches and players in the locker room right now are hurting because, you know, they feel like they left some plays on the field for sure.”

Tagovailoa added, “This is a good, good test early in the season. You know, people can say the penalties this, the penalties that. Like for us as a team, we’re not throwing that as an excuse, you know. They went out there, they did what they had to do to win that game, and we didn’t do enough to win that game.”

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