The Miami Dolphins were in full spoiler mode Sunday when they overcame a 14-point second-half deficit in their 37-31 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles entered the game with hopes of making the NFC playoffs. Miami managed to steal the game thanks to some aggressive coaching and the emergence of dynamic young players for the Dolphins.
Dolphins Aggressive, Tricky Play-calling
Miami had nothing to lose (other than draft position), and rookie head coach Brian Flores didn’t seem to care.
Down 10-0, Flores elected to go for it on 4th-and-4 midway through the first quarter. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick found receiver DeVante Parker for a 43-yard touchdown. Parker leaped and tiptoed the sideline en route to the spectacular score.
Flores’ next gutsy call was a trick play late in the second quarter. It started in an odd formation and ended with a touchdown pass by the punter to the kicker. Matt Haack took the snap from the center and scrambled left. Haack then flipped a pass to Jason Sanders for the score. Miami took a 14-13 lead at that point.
Finally, late in the game, Flores made one more aggressive fourth-down call. In what was ultimately the game-winning drive, Flores went for it on 4th-and-1, and Fitzpatrick found Parker on an 8-yard slant. Later in the drive, Sanders would net a 51-yard field goal to push the lead to 37-28.
Dolphins Dynamic Playmakers on the Outside
While some in Miami will bemoan another win, what might be more critical than the No. 1 overall pick is the emergence of legitimate playmakers on the outside.
Wide receiver DeVante Parker is having a breakout season in 2019. He hauled in seven catches for two touchdowns and a career-high 159 yards. Parker’s highlight reel receptions made the dream of his potential a reality.
DeVante Parker has 53 catches for 854 yards and six touchdowns this season. He’s been targeted at least ten times in each of the last four weeks, and he’s been productive. He has 25 catches for 454 yards and two touchdowns over that span.
Parker wasn’t the only playmaker outside. Second-year tight end Mike Gesicki flashed his potential as well.
Gesicki tallied 79 yards and a touchdown on his five receptions. He was a reliable outlet for Fitzpatrick on the seam. His 14-yard touchdown reception involved him leaping over Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills and toe-tapping the side of the end zone.
Sure, the Dolphins have played themselves out of the No. 1 overall pick. Still, the emergence of Parker and Gesicki as legitimate playmakers on the outside might be more important moving forward.
Dolphins use a little Fitzmagic in win
Ryan Fitzpatrick willed the Dolphins to this win over the playoff-hopeful Eagles. Fitzpatrick finished 27 of 39 for 365 yards and three touchdowns and one interception.
Fitzpatrick led the team to a season-high 37 points and a season-high 408 yards on offense.
Miami managed just 58 rushing yards in this one. They were led by receiver Albert Wilson’s 31 yards. Undrafted rookie free agent Patrick Laird led the team in carries with 10 (for five yards and a touchdown). Rookie Myles Gaskin added 20 yards on his two carries.
Philadelphia welcomed Alshon Jeffery back the lineup in this one, and the veteran wideout didn’t disappoint. Jeffery hauled in nine passes for 137 yards and a touchdown.
Next week, the Dolphins (3-9) travel to New York to face the Jets (4-8). Miami beat the Jets 26-18 in Week 9. Philadelphia (5-7) hosts the Giants (2-10) with their playoff hopes on life-support.
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