FINS FALL BACK TO EARTH WITH 26-10 LOSS TO PHILADELPHIA
The Dolphins played one of their worst games of the season as the team failed to capitalize on the success the team has had the past five weeks that included four blowout wins. The Dolphins failed to produce on offense and an explosion of offense by Philadelphia helped lead the Eagles to a relatively easy 26-10 victory over Miami. The Dolphins fall to 4-9 on the season and have clinched a third straight losing season, something this franchise is not used to.
The game did start out well for the Dolphins as rookie cornerback Jimmy Wilson blocked an Eagles punt on the games very first drive that set up a 16 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Moore to wide receiver Brandon Marshall. That score gave the Dolphins an early 7-0 lead, but that was the only time the Dolphins offense would find the endzone.
The defense played decent today, but the offense's inability to score was the big story of the day. It didn't help the offense that elite Pro Bowl left tackle Jake Long left the game in the 1st quarter with a back injury and never returned. Also, Moore got knocked out of the game late in the third quarter which put the offense in the hand's of former Buffalo Bills' quarterback J.P. Losman. The severity of the injuries to Long and Moore have yet to be determined. Guard Vernon Carey and cornerback Vontae Davis also missed time during the course of the game due to injuries. Both returned though at different parts of the game.
The Eagles blew to a 24-7 halftime lead thanks to two rushing touchdowns by running back LeSean McCoy and a 34 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Michael Vick to the explosive DeSean Jackson. The Dolphins would add a field goal by kicker Dan Carpenter in the third quarter and the Eagles sacked Losman in the endzone in the fourth quarter for a safety to wrap up the games scoring.
While it was certainly a day to forget, with the Eagles recording 9 sacks against the Dolphins the one bright spot continues to be the play of running back Reggie Bush. He was the only one that seemed to put in another terrific day at the office. He had 14 carries for 103 yards and 5 receptions for 27 yards. He now has 770 rushing yards on the season and continues to prove he was well worth the Summer trade the Dolphins pulled off with the Saints. Today he also broke his career high of rushing attempts in a season.
The Miami Herald reported last night that the only way head coach Tony Sparano would seemingly have a shot to return to the Dolphins in 2012 was if the team finished 8-8 and continued to dominate the final four weeks of the season. Even then, Sparano was not guaranteed to be retained. This day was certainly not what Sparano envisioned or needed as he attempted to remove himself from the hot seat. A loss where the team was dominated, and clinching a third straight losing season sure looks like the final decision on Sparano's future has been made. It doesn't help Sparano that two of the final three games are on the road and are all division games. A realistic fan looks at the remaining schedule and probably sees a 5-11 final record and a hopeful fan sees a 6-10 record. While it appeared Sparano was close to getting off the hot seat, the performance today might have lit him on fire in the eyes of owner Stephen Ross
The Dolphins will try to rebound when they head to Buffalo next week to take on the Bills. The Dolphins won the first meeting in a dominating 35-8 blowout and will look for their first sweep of the Bills since the 2008 season.
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