By Steve Kelly
This was the game that will haunt the Eagles and their Nation until the ball is teed up for the 2020 regular season.
Because for all intents and purposes their 37-31 loss to the Miami Dolphins ended their chances to make the 2019 postseason.
They dropped to 5-7, a game behind the dreaded Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East, and only one of them in this worst division in football will make it to January.
And their defense, which had kept them in the last two losses to New England and Seattle, completely dropped the ball.
Miami QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was other-worldly just as he was when he beat them as Tampa Bay in 2018..
The 37-year-old Fitzpatrick threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns, completing 27 of 39 throws. Last year in a 27-21 win with the Bucs, he threw for more than 400 yards and four touchdowns against the Eagles. He is now 3-3-1 in his career against them, with all seven starts coming with seven different teams.
Receiver DeVante Parker (above) was unstoppable, regularly burning Eagles cornerbacks Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby, and had a career-high 159 yards on seven catches, two of which went for touchdowns. Tight end and former Penn State star Mike Gesicki also did damage, making five catches for 79 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles, who have now lost three in a row and are now 5-7 with just four games to play. It doesn’t matter that three of those games will be against teams with losing records.
The Eagles have a losing record and the Dolphins had just two wins until they beat Philly.
The Eagles held a 28-14 lead early in the third quarter, but could not add on or protect it against a 2-9 team.
Quarterback Carson Wentz threw three touchdowns. He has 20 for the season and extended his consecutive games with a TD throw to 15, which is the longest active streak in the NFL. Russell Wilson has done it in 14 straight and will look to make it 15 on Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings. Wentz completed 28 of 46 throws for 310 yards with an interception that happened on a Hail Mary throw at the end of the game.
The Dolphins took the lead for good with 11:06 to play on a four-yard run by Patrick Laird. A two-point conversion pass to Laird made the score 34-28.
The Eagles’ defense, which had not given up more than 17 points in the last four games, allowed five touchdown drives to a Dolphins team that had scored just 18 offensive touchdowns all year.
For the third straight game, the defense was bitten by a trick play that led directly to a touchdown. Miami took a 14-13 lead on a touchdown pass from punter Matt Haack to kicker Jason Sanders on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. It looked like the Dolphins were going to try a field goal, but spread the field and direct snapped to the Haack, who rolled left and flipped the ball to Sanders in the end zone.