The Miami Dolphins will look to make it 5 wins in their last 6 games, as they welcome in the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday at 1pm. The Dolphins got back to their winning ways last week, dominating the Oakland Raiders 34-14. The Eagles, meanwhile, are coming off a very disappointing loss to the Seattle Seahawks last Thursday. Both teams are destined to be home for the playoffs in January, but coaches and players have a lot to play for…..their jobs.
It’s believed that Tony Sparano was a loss away from being fired in November. Andy Reid has heard ‘Fi-re An-dy’ chants at home games….repeatedly. It is possible that if 2011 does not turn around, both coaches could be shopping their services this offseason. Reid is probably on more stable ground, as he has a winning track record and a great relationship with Eagles ownership/management. Sparano, meanwhile, has endured back to back 7-9 seasons and is headed in that direction again. Add that fact to the belief by many that Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross, wants to make a big splash (like hiriing a big name coach).
The game itself should be an entertaining one. The Eagles arrive in Miami with the #3 offense in the NFL and will be welcoming back Michael Vick and Jeremy Maclin. The Dolphins counter with the #5 defense in points allowed. Yes, the Dolphins do give some yardage (14th in NFL), but they keep opponents out of the endzone and off of the scoreboard (where it counts!). The Dolphins will look to continue to stifle their opponents running game and will be tested when Shady McCoy gets the ball. McCoy is the NFL’s leading rusher. The Dolphins currently have the #6 defense against the run, and will have their hands full.
On offense, the Dolphins will look to get more efficient play from Matt Moore. Moore only has 1 turnover in his last 5 games and believe it or not, is making a run at a Pro Bowl birth. The Dolphins will likely look to attack the middle of the Eagles defense, as their linebackers are bad and their safeties are suspect. Expect to see a lot of Reggie Bush, Charles Clay, and Anthony Fasano, as the Dolphins look to create mismatches and atttack the Eagles in the passing game.
Prediction: I think the Eagles finally snap out of their funk and get a shot in the arm from Michael Vick’s return. The Dolphins will lose for just the 2nd time in 6 weeks, which will place the focus on Tony Sparano, yet again.