Dolphins’ offense produces, secondary struggles in loss to Eagles

 

The Miami Dolphins offense put up enough points to come away with a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Thursday night’s preseason game, but they instead fell to the Eagles 38-31.

Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler connected on big plays with his wide receivers throughout the week during joint practices with the Eagles and tonight’s contest was no different. Cutler hit DeVante Parker on a 72-yard bomb which set up the first of Jay Ajayi’s two, two-yard touchdowns. Cutler also got an explosive play from Jarvis Landry who hauled in a 32-yard reception from Cutler. Cutler also managed to get tight end Julius Thomas involved as they connected on a one-yard score.

Cutler finished the night 5 of 8 for 105 yards, but it wasn’t just the Dolphins’ passing game that flourished, the run game put forth a very nice effort against the Eagles as well. The Dolphins had both Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake at their disposal for the first time this preseason and both backs averaged over five yards per carry.

While the offense managed to pick up where they left off during joint practices with the Eagles, the defense struggled – particularly in the secondary.

Cornerback Byron Maxwell and safety Reshad Jones appeared to have a communication breakdown on Torrey Smith’s 50-yard touchdown from Carson Wentz. Later in the first quarter, Wentz’s pump fake to the right caused the defense to react, allowing Alshon Jeffery to sneak down the field untouched for a 15-yard touchdown.

Backup quarterback Matt McGloin entered the game in the second quarter and managed to throw a touchdown of his own to speedy receiver Marcus Johnson who beat Lafayett Pitts on a whip route to seal the game 38-31.

The Dolphins will need to shore up communication between their cornerbacks and safeties if they wish to prevent explosive plays against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1. Thankfully they have one final week of practice to amend technique and communication errors in the secondary that cost them dearly against the Eagles.

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Brandon Howard joined the Sports Talk Florida team to cover the Miami Dolphins in April 2017 and will work diligently to provide daily Dolphins content and give accurate analysis of the roster, coaching and front office. Last season, Howard was the curator of content for Miami Dolphins Wire/ USA Today while aggregating high school sports results in Broward and Palm Beach counties for the Sun Sentinel. Prior to moving to South Florida Howard developed NFL content for Pro Player Insiders while covering the Cleveland Browns from 2014-2015. Howard, a Columbus, Ohio native graduated from West Virginia in 2004 in Athletic Coaching and Education. He also was a scholarship track and field athlete and walk-on football player. Howard was the 2003 Big East Long and IC4A long jump Champion and was a provisional national qualifier in the event. He also maintained his status as a member of the Athletic Director Academic Honor Roll during his time as a Mountaineer.