The Dolphins played harder than the Eagles did. That was the key takeaway following Sunday’s 37-31 loss.
It’s a simple conclusion for anyone who watched the game to draw — an embarrassingly pathetic defeat to a tanking team, with the NFC East up for grabs. Still, it was rather disheartening to hear the Eagles head coach admit his team was outhustled. On Monday, Doug Pederson admitted it in those exact words in an appearance on 94WIP’s “The Morning Show.”
“They played harder than we did,” Pederson told Angelo Cataldi. “They wanted it more than we did.”
When asked to elaborate on how to justify that harsh reality to fans, Pederson tried to soften the blow.
“I don’t think overall that was the case,” Pederson said. “I think you look at certain plays, DeVante Parker elevating and making a play, you know, their tight end making a play. We had people in position and yet they made the play and we didn’t. We played hard. We played tough. It’s none of that. It’s the fact they made plays and we didn’t.”
Doug Pederson Calls Eagles ‘Long Shot’ to Make Playoffs
As bad as the Eagles looked Sunday in Miami, they are still on a crash course to make the playoffs. Seriously.
The team has four very winnable games remaining on the schedule: Giants, Redskins, Cowboys, Giants. In fact, they have a 37-percent chance of winning the NFC East and opened the week as 8.5-point betting favorites over the Giants. Impressive numbers after an uninspired loss to the hapless Dolphins.
After Sunday’s game, Doug Pederson downplayed any talk of division crowns or playoff aspirations. The head coach called the Eagles a “long shot” to make the playoffs. The 5-7 Eagles sit just one game behind the 6-6 Cowboys for the NFC East lead.
“As crazy as this is — I would say it’s a long shot — but we’re not out of it,” Pederson said about the playoffs. “We do have four of our divisional [matchups] coming up and the guys have got to understand that. It’s my job to make them understand that we’re still fighting and still coming to work this week.”
Dolphins Were Laughing at Eagles for Falling for Trick Play
The Eagles were once thought to be at the forefront of trickery in the NFL. Remember the fabled “Philly Special” in the Super Bowl?
Those days are long gone. Philadelphia has been fooled by trick plays in three straight games, all of them were converted into touchdowns. The Dolphins were openly laughing at the Eagles for falling for the “Mountaineer Shot,” a well-executed trick play that saw Miami’s punter throw a touchdown pass to Miami’s kicker.
Defensive end Christian Wilkins was captured on camera pointing at the Eagles defense and laughing uncontrollably. It was the first time a kicker had caught a touchdown pass from a pure punter in NFL history, per Dolphins.com.
The worst part? Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said they had been expecting a trick play and rehearsed defending it all week.
“We knew that coming in here that this is one of the more sort of gadget plays special teams coordinators and teams that we have faced, and our guys were prepared during the week for anything they presented us,” Pederson said. “Again, just great execution on their part.”
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