We're only half-way through the first quarter and already the Dolphins/Eagles game is scaring the hell out of me. We've seen 3, 3-and-outs, a long TD from McNabb to Reggie Brown called back for an LJ Smith holding penalty and an interception of another McNabb pass on the five-yard line. Not a good start, and not what you want to see from the Eagles at the beginning of this game against the 0-9 Dolphins.
I'll be updating throughout. One very positive note: McNabb had a 26-yard scramble on a 2nd and 22 play. By far, the best he's looked on the run this season.
- 3rd and 12 for the Dolphins with 4:00 to go, Beck completes to Ted Ginn for a conversion. The Eagles put no pressure on the rookie.
- 2 plays later the Phins are on the 28 and making the Eagles D look bad.
- Jay Feeley misses a 47-yard FG attempt, still 0-0 with 11 seconds to go in the first. The Eagles need to put some points on the board soon, the longer you let the Dolphins think they have a chance, the more confidence the rookie QB is going to gain.
- McNabb bounces his first pass of the game on 1st and 10.
- I'm really questioning the Eagles play calling in the first quarter. The Dolphins are putrid against the run and they've thrown the ball on first down all but once. Westbrook has 3 rushes for 4 yards, two of those runs came out of the shotgun formation. Just lineup and pound the ball. The o-line should have a huge advantage here.
- 87-yard punt return for a TD by Ted Ginn. 7-0, Dolphins.
- The Eagles finally line one up and run it right at the Dolphins, 36 yards for Westbrook. KEEP DOING IT!
- The Boo Birds have officially arrived after McNabb throws another pick near the end zone. The blitz was coming and he basically just threw one up for grabs. It looked like the receiver broke off his route. Ugly, ugly start to this game. McNabb is 3/9 for 34 yards with 2 picks.
- The D came up huge, pinning the Phins on the goal line. After a horrible punt, the offense will get the ball on the 36.
- A heavy dose of Westbrook gets them into FG range, Akers converts with a 34-yarder. 7-3, Dolphins.
- McNabb hobbled off the field after that series, they're looking at him on the sidelines.
- McNabb just walked into the locker room. Better get warmed up, A.J.
- X-rays on McNabb's ankle.
- Feeley throws an interception inside the 5-yard line. That's three interceptions in the red zone so far. Unbelievable.
- The defense holds, again. Eagles get the ball at the 50.
- Three and out, a holding penalty to boot. At least the Dolphins didn't bring the punt back for a TD.
- Still no word on McNabb's ankle, halftime is just about over. The Eagles get the ball to start the third.
- Even if McNabb doesn't come back, the Eagles must, and absolutely should win this game. Brian Westbrook can carry the offense the rest of the way, the defense has been playing great, and Miami is legitimately the worst team in the league. There are no excuses here, a loss would be a failure of epic proportions.
- The x-rays were negative, but Feeley is still in there. McNabb is on the sidelines, but not playing. He looks like he wants to get in there, I'm not sure what's going on.
- The Birds catch a huge break. Feeley was sacked, fumbled and the Dolphins recovered, but the defense was offsides.
- TD for Buckhalter on a nice run right up the middle for 8 yards. 10-7, Eagles.
- 10 minutes of forgettable football later, no change to report.
- TD, Feeley to Avant after Westbrook just tore the Miami defense to shreds. He's up around 140 yards on the ground now, a career high. 17-7, Eagles.
- 1st and goal from 1 for Miami lead to a 4th and goal from the 1 for Miami leads to Juqua Thomas making a HUGE play for a 12-yard loss and another spectacular goal-line stand for this defense. Great work by Thomas in his debut as a starter.
- That's all she wrote. Ugly start, decent finish, and a win.
The Eagles are now 5-5 with a trip to New England on the schedule next week. This is where I said they needed to be if we were going to talk about the playoffs. This is also where I said they would be before last week's win. Is it a tease, or do they have a shot? Who knows.