Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Eagles-Dolphins Up-Down Drill: Jalen Mills, Ronald Darby and defense deliver dud | Jeff McLane

The Eagles corners aren't dependable over a long period of time. After some early promise, the D wilted in the Miami heat.

Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) makes a catch despite pressure from Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills (31) in the fourth quarter.
Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) makes a catch despite pressure from Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills (31) in the fourth quarter.Read moreTIM TAI / Staff Photographer

The Eagles defense that had been so stout against New England and Seattle the last two weeks was nowhere to be found in Miami on Sunday.

Here’s who was up and who was down in the Eagles’ loss to the Dolphins:

Jim Schwartz

DOWN — Schwartz’s defense held its previous four opponents to 17 points or less, but somehow allowed Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Miami offense to torch it for over 400 total yards and 37 points. The Eagles defensive coordinator didn’t make the right adjustments and overall had a terrible day.

Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby

DOWN — The return of Mills and Darby had stabilized the defense over the last month, but they can’t be trusted for long stretches. Fitzpatrick had the hot hand, receiver DeVante Parker the hot hands, and there was nothing the cornerbacks could do to stop them.

Eagles pass rush

DOWN — The Eagles brought the pressure on their first several series, but they wore down in the Miami heat as the game progressed. Miami was throwing on nearly every down and the pass rush still couldn’t get home.

Carson Wentz

SIDEWAYS — His numbers were fine, and he had some great throws, but he also missed open receivers and couldn’t compensate for the Eagles’ defensive inefficiency. Wentz rebounded after the worst game of his career, but he’s still falling short.

» READ MORE: Eagles QB Carson Wentz, coach Doug Pederson offer same old lines after 37-31 loss to pitiful Dolphins

Eagles leaders

DOWN — While captains Malcolm Jenkins, Brandon Graham, and Wentz stood up and addressed the carnage after the game, several other leaders and veterans declined to talk. This isn’t a self-serving down arrow, but Fletcher Cox, Jason Kelce, and Jason Peters need to be held accountable.

Mack Hollins

DOWN — He has now gone eight straight games without a catch and took a costly illegal block penalty that negated a Nelson Agholor first-down catch. Eagles coaches praise Hollins for doing the little things, but he can’t seem to do anything right. Why is he even on the team?

Zach Ertz

SIDEWAYS — His day can’t be addressed without mentioning the hamstring strain he played through for the second straight week. But Ertz could have had three touchdown catches. He slipped on the first, dropped the second, and couldn’t hang onto the third after a Dolphins defensive back ripped the ball out.

Alshon Jeffery

UP — He returned after missing the previous two games and had his best effort of the season. Jeffery caught 9 of 16 targets — several of them contested — for 137 yards and a touchdown.

» READ MORE: Eagles fans rightly embarrassed as Doug Pederson’s team blows lead in 37-31 loss to awful Dolphins

Dolphins trickery

UP — Give credit where credit is due. Miami, with nothing to lose, went for it on fourth down at the Eagles 1-yard line, and executed a nifty trick play. With field-goal personnel, punter Matt Haack took the snap, ran the option, and shoveled a touchdown pass to kicker Jason Sanders after Josh Sweat took the bait.

Brandon Brooks

UP — It won’t be talked about much after a brutal loss, but Brooks conquered his anxiety demons for a week and deserves all the praise one can muster.

Doug Pederson

DOWN — The Eagles are only a game behind the Cowboys in the NFC East with four games remaining. But Pederson’s squad doesn’t deserve the benefit of doubt at this point. There’s no excuse for losing to a 2-9 team that had the NFL’s worst point differential. Of course, someone’s got to win the division.