The Philadelphia Eagles will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak when they visit the struggling Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
The Eagles fell to 5-6 and remained one game behind the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East following a 17-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks last week. After moving to 5-4, the Eagles have since dropped close games to the New England Patriots and Dolphins.
Quarterback Carson Wentz committed four turnovers in the loss to Seattle — two interceptions and two lost fumbles — the first four-turnover game since he joined the Eagles in 2016. Wentz also injured his throwing hand, though X-rays came back negative.
“I think we just have to keep two hands on the ball in the pocket when we start to feel pressure,” Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh said of Wentz. “Obviously, he’s really good in escaping, but being able to keep two hands on the ball, protect it against your chest, lock it up until you do break out in the clear, get out of the pocket.”
The Eagles were competitive in the past two games despite being undermanned on both sides of the ball.
All signs point to the return of tackle Lane Johnson and wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor against the Dolphins.
Starting running back Jordan Howard was ruled out for the contest on Saturday with a shoulder injury, while tight end Zach Ertz is questionable after being limited in Friday’s practice with an ailing hamstring.
Regardless of the personnel, the Eagles’ offense must play a cleaner game to get back in the playoff race.
“There won’t be any of that,” left tackle Jason Peters said of players pointing fingers and possible unrest. “Not in our locker room. Not while I am here. We’ll keep all the guys together, rally around each other and just go forward.”
The reeling Dolphins lost their first seven games, rallied to beat the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts and then dropped their last two games against the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns, both by 17 points.
The Dolphins’ offense was similar to the Eagles on Sunday in that it scuffled for most of the game. The Dolphins had only 7 total yards in the first quarter and were called for four pass interference penalties — three in the first half — in the 41-24 loss to the Browns.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick did toss a pair of touchdowns and ran for another, but he also threw two interceptions. Too many drives stalled because of penalties and miscues.
“I’ve got to continue to do a better job,” Fitzpatrick said. “Overall, we need more consistency, and that starts with me.”
The 37-year-old Fitzpatrick — who played through right forearm and shoulder injuries in the loss — will continue to compete despite the disappointing season. It’s the only way he knows how to play.
“I just want to show them, every single play, whether we’re up by 28 or down by 28, I’m going to give it everything I have and continue to try to put the team in the best position to win,” Fitzpatrick said, referring to his kids. “I’m hoping that rubs off on them a little bit, whether it’s football or life.”
The Dolphins fell behind 28-0 against Cleveland, but head coach Brian Flores said he didn’t consider switching from Fitzpatrick to Josh Rosen.
“I think we have to keep the score competitive, and it wasn’t that way,” Flores said. “We’ve got to play better across the board.”
—Field Level Media