Eagles @ Dolphins
Final Score: Dolphins 48, Eagles 10
Writer: Mike Miklius (@SIRL0INofBEEF on Twitter)
The Dolphins struck first in this one as Tua and the first-string offense went 75 yards for an opening-drive touchdown. They then struck second, third, fourth, and fifth–making it 27-0 at halftime. The Dolphins continued dominating in the second half, ultimately winning by a score of 48-10. Miami sat Chase Edmonds and Jaylen Waddle while Philadelphia was without Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown, DeVonta Smith, and seemingly the rest of their first string.
Reid Sinnett: 12/22, 104 yards, INT, 2 Sacks, Fumble | 1 carry, -1 yards
Gardner Minshew: 6/9, 48 yards
Carson Strong: 1/3, 6 yards
Gardner Minshew looked solid on the opening drive, hitting his first four passes for a combined 34 yards. He wasn’t asked to do too much, mostly making quick strikes on what seemed like his first reads. With Jalen Hurts out, I’m guessing the Eagles just wanted to get Minshew some reps. The Eagles’ first drive ended with a failed 4th-and-1 run, and Minshew played just one more series before his day was done. Minshew is a solid backup and would keep the Eagles afloat if anything happened to Hurts. Reid Sinnett and Carson Strong took care of mop-up duties, though I’m doubtful either will remain on the roster come week one.
Jason Huntley: 11 carries, 93 yards, TD | 6 targets, 4 receptions, 22 yards
Kennedy Brooks: 9 carries, 33 yards | 4 targets, 2 receptions, 8 yards
Kenneth Gainwell: 2 carries, 0 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 8 yards
Kenneth Gainwell is the name everyone wants to know about from this backfield, but his day was predictably short with all four touches coming on the first drive. His best play was a nine-yard catch over the middle. Gainwell ran out of the backfield and fought hard to gain the first down marker. Gainwell had a big opportunity on third-and-one and then again on fourth-and-one, but failed to pick up the tough yard despite two shots at it. On the first play, a defender reached Gainwell in the backfield and stood him up. On the next run, it looked like the Philly O-line made a good enough push, but Gainwell just couldn’t quite make it. This was an uninspiring day for a running back who wants to steal the workload.
Kennedy Brooks and Jason Huntley did the bulk of their damage in the second half when the starters were out and the game was well out of reach. Jason Huntley had the rush of the day, making a cut to his left, stiff-arming the first tackler, and breaking down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown. To be fair, I saw three missed tacklers and then a defender took out his own teammate–who might have been the fourth. That’s what happens in the second half of preseason games. I see Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, and Boston Scott as the names to watch here.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
John Hightower: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 52 yards
Grant Calcaterra: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 30 yards
Deon Cain: 8 targets, 2 receptions, 26 yards
Jason Huntley: 6 targets, 4 receptions, 22 yards
Noah Togiai: 2 targets, 1 reception, 8 yards
Britain Covey: 1 target, 1 reception, 6 yards
Deon Cain caught the first two Eagles passes of the day for a combined 26 yards but sadly failed to grab any of his last six looks. He seemed to be tightly covered the whole night and had trouble gaining separation. John Hightower made a nice grab in the second half. going over his defender and pulling the ball down for a 19-yard gain. Hightower is heavily buried on the depth chart here. Rookie tight end Grant Calcaterra made a big play right before the first quarter ended, but it was a broken coverage and he ran free for most of the play. Calcaterra is simply a depth stash and is currently third on the depth chart.
Tua Tagovailoa: 6/7, 121 yards, TD, Sack
Skylar Thompson: 7/10, 103 yards, 3 TD | 3 carries, -3 yards
Teddy Bridgewater: 4/10, 74 yards
Tua Tagovailoa looked sharp today, completing his first three passes en route to an opening-drive touchdown. Tyreek Hill made it easy, catching the first two passes before an eight-yard touchdown to tight end River Cracraft. The Dolphins had Tua rolling out early, creating space and time for him to make decisions and develop some rhythm. It looked like the first reads were clicking, which often happens when your WR1 is an elite talent. Tua faced more pressure on the second drive–when the Eagles sacked him on a 2nd and 7 play. Tua didn’t feel the pressure coming from the right side after RT Austin Jackson was beaten. He had a short throw over the middle available but instead went down on the play. On the ensuing third down, it looked like Tua panicked as a free rusher came barreling at him. He targeted River Cracraft, but the throw was a bit off. He had a short throw available to Adam Shaheen, but I don’t think he noticed it.
My favorite Tua play was his first throw on the third drive. He hung in the pocket and threw the ball to Trent Sherfield, who was running a comeback route. Tua understood the play and threw the ball before Sherfield made his cut–trusting his guy and showing good ball placement. I think the Dolphins are in good shape here, and I trust this offense to be productive with Tagovailoa behind center.
Skylar Thompson feels like a player worth discussing given his rookie status, as well as him being a pre-draft favorite of college scout extraordinaire Matt Waldman. Thompson’s first ball looked just a little high and was dropped. His second pass was a strike to Hunter Long into a tight window. Thompson threw a beautiful pass to Erik Ezukanma that didn’t connect due to pass interference. Ezukanma went deep and had a step on double coverage; he had two hands on the ball, but was pulled by his shoulder pad and couldn’t hold on. Thompson did a good job of managing pressure on the drive, twice escaping certain sacks and getting rid of the ball. On the second such play, he threw a touchdown to Hunter Long. To be honest, I didn’t love the throw and think a better corner would have picked it off. That being said, it ended up as a touchdown–one of three on the day for Thompson. He is a name to watch in deeper leagues and someone I think Miami should roster.
Gerrid Doaks: 11 carries, 67 yards
Myles Gaskin: 6 carries, 39 yards
Salvon Ahmed: 4 carries, 30 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, 28 yards
Raheem Mostert: 2 carries, 29 yards
ZaQuandre White: 4 carries, 26 yards
Sony Michel: 5 carries, 15 yards
If I loved any of the running backs in Miami, this is probably the point where I would tell you to run out and grab them. Raheem Mostert saw the first snaps and showed off his trademark speed on his second carry. Starting the second drive, Mostert lined up in I-formation and took the handout from Tua. Mostert made a slight cut to the right where daylight was waiting thanks to good blocking on the play. He easily outran the first defender but was eventually forced out 26 yards later. Mostert has this homerun ability and will go as far as his O-line allows him.
Myles Gaskin was next in the game, and he should be considered depth behind Chase Edmonds (DNP) and Raheem Mostert. His best run came with just under five minutes left in the second quarter. Gaskin ran past a falling defender, hitting the next would-be tackler hard and continuing forward. I assume Gaskin is buried for now, but he would be relevant if Edmonds or Mostert went down. Salvon Ahmed‘s big play was a catch in the Miami pre-half two-minute drill. Ahmed was left wide open and simply ran free with some help from River Cracraft. I think Ahmed is behind Gaskin in this RB room. I think this should be a good offense, so I recommend taking a shot on the back you like most here.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Tyreek Hill: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 64 yards
River Cracraft: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 54 yards, TD
Lynn Bowden Jr: 1 target, 1 reception, 39 yards, TD
Hunter Long: 3 targets, 2 receptions, 24 yards, TD
Erik Ezukanma: 4 targets, 2 receptions, 24 yards
Mike Gesicki: 1 target, 1 reception, 18 yards
Cedrick Wilson Jr: 1 target, 1 reception, 16 yards
Trent Sherfield: 1 target, 1 reception, 15 yards
Braylon Sanders: 2 targets, 1 reception, 12 yards
Cethan Carter: 1 target, 1 reception, 4 yards, TD
Preston Williams: 1 target
Tyreek Hill did his damage early, and then that was it. He went deep on the first play, blazing past his defender and then past the safety as well for a 51-yard gain. I didn’t love the deep ball as it seemed to float just a little bit, but Hill found it and pulled it in anyways. I just imagine fewer instances where he takes deep balls to the house compared to the Chiefs years. Tua went right back to Hill on the next play, hitting him for another 13 yards. River Cracraft made his impact felt, starting with the first Miami touchdown of the game. Cracraft was lined up in the left slot and ran a good out route. He ran ahead of his defender and made an easy catch near the side of the endzone. He also made a great block later on a catch-and-run by Salvom Ahmed. Cracraft is unlikely to be a factor, but it was fun watching him have a career day here. Mike Gesicki caught his one target, but recent trade rumors have his spot with the team looking tenuous. Rookie Erik Ezukanma almost made a great catch for a huge gain, but his defender interfered to break up the play–resulting instead in a 41-yard penalty.