Dolphins get sacked by Eagles, 26-10
MIAMI—One sack cost the Miami Dolphins their quarterback. Another resulted in a safety. With the last one, the team matched a franchise record for bad blocking.
Nine sacks had the Dolphins going in reverse, ending their recent surprising surge, and they lost Sunday to the Philadelphia Eagles, 26-10.
Pro Bowl tackle Jake Long left the game in the first quarter with a back injury, and after that the Dolphins had trouble blocking anyone. The Eagles took advantage of three takeaways to score 24 points during a nine-minute span in the second quarter, and later sent Miami quarterback Matt Moore to the sideline with a head injury.
The Dolphins (4-9) had won four of their past five games, but now they're assured of a losing record for the third year in a row.
"We've been on a roll," receiver Brandon Marshall said. "It stinks that our momentum was stopped."
The underachieving Eagles (5-8) won for only the second time in the past six games and still need a sweep of the final three games to have any chance of repeating as NFC East champions.
"The Eagles have been inconsistent like we have," Marshall said. "But that's a team with a lot of talent. At any moment they can be an undefeated team, or look like one."
Philadelphia's short-yardage defense stuffed Miami on four possessions, twice on fourth down and twice to force kicks. The Dolphins went 3 for 18 on third- and fourth-down conversions.
The nine sacks of their QBs equaled a franchise record set in 1999, and Miami's offensive linemen took responsibility for the loss.
"All the blame is squarely on our shoulders," guard Richie Incognito said. "We got Matt hurt. They're a physical group. They just beat us one on one."
Miami's lone touchdown was set up by an early blocked punt. Moore threw only his second interception in the past six games, lost a fumble and was sacked four times. He left the game midway through the second half after being hit from behind as he threw an incomplete pass.
Marshall was held to four catches for 27 yards.
"There comes a time when we as players and coaches have to do a better job of getting guys involved that need to be involved," Marshall said. "It just didn't seem like we had anything on offense in the second half that could attack what they were throwing at us."
The Dolphins' offensive ineptitude negated a lot of good work by their defense. McCoy, who came into the game second in the NFL in rushing, averaged only 1.4 yards on 27 carries. Jason Taylor sacked Michael Vick twice in first eight minutes to increase his career total to 138 1/2, which ranks sixth all time.
Jason Babin led the Eagles' pass rush with three sacks to increase his season total to 15, and he forced a fumble. Moore's replacement, J.P. Losman, was sacked by Phillip Hunt for a safety.
Vick, back after missing three games with broken ribs, won for only the fourth time in his past 12 starts. He threw for 208 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson, and shook off four sacks.
"I'm in a lot of pain, but I just wanted to finish and get through the game," Vick said. "I got hit a lot, and it kind of wore me down. I tried to hang in there."
Miami's Jimmy Wilson blocked a punt to set up the game's first score, which came when Moore hit Marshall on third down for a 16-yard score.
A gamble by the Dolphins then backfired when they tried a 55-yard field goal that fell short. Vick took advantage of the field position to drive his team 54 yards for a tying touchdown, which McCoy scored on a 2-yard run.
Turnovers by Miami on consecutive possessions led to 10 more points for the Eagles.
"We committed several errors," Miami coach Tony Sparano said. "It wasn't good."
Notes: Eagles LB Darryl Tapp suffered a rib injury on the safety and left the game. X-rays were negative. Receiver Jeremy Maclin departed when the sore hamstring he has been nursing tightened. ... Honored at halftime was Howard Schnellenberger, who recently retired as coach at Florida Atlantic. He was the Dolphins' offensive coordinator during their 1972 perfect season. ... A Dolphins assistant coach was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct with less than three minutes left.