The Eagles lost 37-31 to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium. This is the team’s third straight loss, dropping their record to 5-7 with four games left. The Eagles will face only NFC East opponents for the remainder of the schedule. In this edition of Morning Roundup presented by Microsoft, we will cover the entire Week 13 matchup and what the future holds for this team. Let’s get right into it.
1. Doug Pederson 'disgusted, mad, and angry' about loss
Head coach Doug Pederson told the SportsRadio 94WIP Morning Show earlier today that he is "disgusted, mad, and angry" about Sunday's 37-31 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
Pederson admitted that the Dolphins "played harder" than the Eagles, who had a chance to tie the Dallas Cowboys for first place in the NFC East with a win.
Immediately after the game, Pederson cited the team's inconsistency, penalties, and lack of execution – especially offensively on third down – for the defeat.
2. Carson Wentz: 'We're not making enough plays in critical situations'
Quarterback Carson Wentz threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday's loss as the offense put up 31 points, its highest total since the October 27 win at Buffalo.
But the Eagles surrendered leads of 10-0 in the first quarter and 28-14 in the third. What happened?
"It's really hard to say. Every game is different, but at the end of the day we're not making enough plays in critical situations to win ballgames," Wentz said. "We've been close in a lot of these, and just collectively as a team, we're just coming up short in those critical situations and it starts with me. I've got to be better in a lot of those big-time situations, too. That's probably the biggest thing that I noticed right off the top."
3. Zach Ertz: 'I didn't have a good game today'
The Pro Bowl tight end hauled in three catches for 24 yards on Sunday, but slipped on a route on the opening drive that could have led to a touchdown, dropped a critical pass that would have put the Eagles in a goal-to-go situation (the Eagles missed a field goal), and had a pass knocked out of his hands in the end zone.
Ertz was questionable for the game with a hamstring injury after only practicing in a limited capacity on Friday. He would not use the injury as an excuse.
"I mean, everyone is dealing with something right now," Ertz said. "It's Week 13 or whatever is it, so everyone is dealing with something. Obviously, no one is 100 percent and I am not going to use that as an excuse for why I didn't play my best."
Ertz said that the team will rally from what was a disappointing defeat.
"You just get back to work. I mean that's been one thing, one key characteristic about this team is that we just work to improve each and every day," Ertz said. "No matter what the odds are against us, we will battle for (17) weeks, I can promise you that. It doesn't matter whether we are in of it or out of it, we are going to continue to battle. There is never going to be a sign of quitting for this football team. I just have to play better. That's the bottom line. I didn't have a good game today."
4. Malcolm Jenkins says Sunday was 'probably the most frustrating' performance of the season
The Eagles had not allowed a team to score more than 17 points in four straight games. They had not allowed a quarterback to throw for more than 225 yards in five consecutive outings. Some of the quarterbacks on the calendar in that timeframe included Hall of Famer Tom Brady and MVP candidate Russell Wilson of the Seahawks.
Well, on Sunday, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns. Punter Matt Haack completed a fourth touchdown pass on a trick play to kicker Jason Sanders as the Dolphins totaled 37 points, the most allowed since the October 20th loss to Dallas.
"It's probably the most frustrating (performance), just because the entire first half we felt like it was really a culmination of three plays," safety Malcolm Jenkins said. "They had two big shots that they threw down there. They had the one Wildcat run we misfit, but we felt like everything else was under control. The second half obviously got away from us."
Wide receiver DeVante Parker had a career day with 159 yards on seven catches and two touchdowns. The Dolphins were 3-of-3 on fourth down and scored touchdowns on all four trips inside the Eagles' 20-yard line. Miami scored touchdowns on five straight drives at one point in the game (not including an end-of-half kneeldown). Down 28-14, the Dolphins rallied for 23 consecutive points.
"I pride myself on playing a lot better," cornerback Jalen Mills said. "I didn't play my best game."
"Any loss feels horrible, especially when you give up plays," cornerback Ronald Darby said. "You don't want to let down your team or the organization and fans."
5. Brandon Graham remains the most positive guy in the locker room
While the defense was able to be the backbone for the struggling offense the past two weeks, this game was different. The defense allowed 37 points including five touchdowns to the Dolphins offense, the most points the 3-9 team has scored all season. The always-positive defensive end Brandon Graham spoke after the game addressing the criticism circling the entire team.
“I’m going to flush this after I think about it for a minute,” Graham said. “See where we went wrong and move on to the Giants. Our destiny is still in front of us. This thing can be turned around, we just can’t get beat like this and they came out here today and beat us. Everyone has the right to feel disappointed because we are all disappointed.”
6. Spadaro: Eagles lose 14-point lead and game in disappointing upset to Dolphins
The crowd, mostly Eagles fans frustrated all day, gave it one last chance. With 7 minutes, 29 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and Philadelphia trailing by six points, the fans got on their feet, urging on the defense to get a stop. Boy, the Eagles needed a stop. As Miami quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick got to the line of scrimmage at the Miami 40-yard line, staring at a third-and-10 situation, safety Rodney McLeod tried to call timeout, to no avail. The defense reset. The crowd roared. And Fitzpatrick threw left and completed the pass to wide receiver Albert Wilson for a 13-yard gain.
Miami ball. Time dwindling off the clock.
Four snaps later, the Eagles' defense needed just one play to get off the field. On fourth-and-1, Fitzpatrick threw to the left side again and wide receiver DeVante Parker reached out and made a nifty catch for an 8-yard gain and another first down. Four plays later the Dolphins kicked a 51-yard field goal and took a commanding nine-point lead.
That’s the way it went all day for the Eagles in a shocking and incredibly disappointing 37-31 loss to the Dolphins, a team that was 2-9 coming into the day. Read the Eagles Insider's full recap of the game from Miami here.
7. Game Recap: Eagles fall in stunning fashion to Dolphins, 37-31
Ryan Fitzpatrick upsets the Eagles again in Florida. Last season, the veteran quarterback commandeered the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to an early-season win over the Eagles. On Sunday in Miami, in front of a pro-Eagles crowd, Fitzpatrick threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns as the Dolphins overcame a 28-14 third-quarter deficit to beat the Eagles 37-31. Chris McPherson provides the full recap here.
“As bleak as the outlook is, the offense got back on track with the return of Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor to the lineup. The defense that had been among the league's best in the month of November wilted under the South Florida sun. Miami scored 23 consecutive points in the second half. After starting with an interception and two punts, the Dolphins' offense scored touchdowns on five consecutive drives (not including an end-of-half kneeldown. The only other time the Dolphins punted for the remainder of the game was after milking the clock in the game's final minute.”
Take a look at the best photos from the Eagles' clash against the Miami Dolphins.