Sunday Night Football: Hurts’ Eagles and Tagovailoa’s Dolphins square off in matchup of 5-1 teams

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


Sunday, 8:20 p.m., NBC

OPENING LINE: Eagles by 2½, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Miami 6-0; Philadelphia 4-1-1

SERIES RECORD: Miami leads 9-6

LAST MEETING: The Dolphins defeated the Eagles 37-31 on Dec. 1, 2019, in Miami

LAST WEEK: Dolphins beat Panthers 42-21 at home; Eagles lost 20-14 at the Jets

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TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Dolphins minus-4; Eagles minus-1

DOLPHINS PLAYER TO WATCH: WR Tyreek Hill torched Carolina for 163 yards on six catches last week to up his NFL-leading yards receiving total. The speedy Hill also tops the league with six receiving touchdowns. The Eagles’ secondary will have its hands full with Miami’s star wideout.

EAGLES PLAYER TO WATCH: WR A.J. Brown has at least 125 yards receiving in four straight contests, including seven receptions for 131 yards against the Jets last week. For the season, Brown has 42 catches for 672 yards, which is second in the NFL behind Hill (814 yards). The Dolphins’ secondary will have its hands full with Philadelphia’s star wideout.

KEY MATCHUP: Philadelphia’s run defense vs. Miami’s rushing offense. Sure, quarterback stars Jalen Hurts of the Eagles and the Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa figure to grab the pregame headlines and hype, but Miami’s ability to run the ball and Philadelphia’s ability to stop other teams’ rushing attacks have been keys to their records. Veteran Dolphins RB Raheem Mostert ran for 115 yards on 17 carries against the Panthers, and Miami tops the NFL by averaging 181.8 yards per game on the ground, helped by five consecutive contests with a 100-yard rusher. Philadelphia’s stout front seven hasn’t allowed a running back to gain 100 or more yards in a game since last Nov. 3. Defensive coordinator Sean Desai’s unit has limited opposing teams to 65.8 yards on the ground per contest, which is second in the NFL. Miami’s ability to establish the run, or Philadelphia’s ability to stop it will go a long way toward determining Sunday night’s winner.

KEY INJURIES: Eagles: LT Lane Johnson (ankle), a four-time Pro Bowl selection, left Sunday’s game, resulting in Hurts being under pressure from the left side of the strong Jets defense. Coach Nick Sirianni, at Wednesday’s press conference, didn’t count out the possibility of Johnson returning to the lineup Sunday. Johnson did not practice Wednesday. … S Reed Blankenship (ribs) also didn’t practice Wednesday after taking a vicious hit against the Jets. … DT Jalen Carter (ankle) and CB Darius Slay (knee) were sidelined against the Jets but returned to practice this week. … Dolphins C Connor Williams (groin) and CB Xavien Howard (groin) didn’t practice early in the week. … CB Jalen Ramsey returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since knee surgery in July. Ramsey will not play against the Eagles.

SERIES NOTES: Miami has won the last two matchups, in 2015 and 2019.

STATS AND STUFF: With a 21-10 record, Miami has the best winning percentage in Sunday night contests. … Tagovailoa tops the NFL with 1,897 total yards. … Mostert was selected the AFC offensive player of the week Wednesday after rushing 17 times for 115 yards and a pair of touchdowns and catching three passes for 17 yards and a TD against the Panthers. … Philadelphia uncharacteristically turned the ball over four times against the Jets with Hurts throwing three interceptions. Philadelphia’s quarterback had just six INT’s all of last season. … DE Haason Reddick is beginning to heat up for Philadelphia. Reddick had a pair of sacks Sunday to increase his season total to 5½. … The Eagles will wear their throwback kelly green jerseys Sunday night.

FANTASY TIP: Eagles K Jake Elliott has the second-most points in the NFL with 61. He has converted 16 field goals, which also is second in the NFL. With an expected high-powered offensive outing, Elliott’s leg could see a lot of action Sunday.