By Art Beitchman
Soon after the Eagles took at 16-3 lead with 3:55 left in the first quarter, inexplicably they took their foot off the gas, believing the Dolphins would just pack it in.
No such luck.
The fish came storming back, shut out the Birds in the middle quarters and flew home to Miami with a 20-19 victory, leaving the 4-5 Eagles scrambling to save the season.
Then the Eagles worst nightmare came to fruition when QB Sam Bradford took a hellacious hit by Dolphins LB Chris McCain, driving Bradford’s non-throwing shoulder and head into the turf, and out of the game with a concussion. X-rays on the shoulder came back negative.
Enter back-up Mark Sanchez for his first action of the season, and it looked it.
Sanchez and DeMarco Murray looked painfully awkward taking handoffs, as if they were strangers in a strange land, finally driving them on TD drive to Zach Ertz, which was called back on a Riley Cooper penalty, having to settle for a FG.
Sanchez led another drive to the Dolphins 8-yard line. But within field goal range, coach Chip Kelly dialed up a pass play, instead of protecting a sure FG attempt with over 5 minutes to go of the 4th quarter.
It would be a costly error in judgment with Sanchez throwing the killer interception in the red zone, instead of possibly taking a 22-20 lead.
It’s a terrible loss.
With the N. Y. Giants losing to the Patriots, the Eagles kicked away a chance to take the divisional lead, but still are alive in the NFC East. Bradford’s availability is still in question when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit the Linc, Sunday November 22 at 1pm/Fox-29