The Miami Dolphins dismantled the Philadelphia Eagles 48-10 in the team’s preseason finale on Saturday evening. Dolphins fans have much to be pleased about with less than two weeks before the season opener against the New England Patriots.
Miami came out firing in this game with a 51-yard bomb from Tua Tagovailoa to Tyreek Hill on the first play from scrimmage. This connection had been anticipated since the Dolphins made the trade to bring Hill over from Kansas City this past summer. Needless to say, fans were overcome with joy seeing their new superstar wide receiver catch his first pass in a Dolphins’ uniform, as well as another pass, before sitting out the rest of the game.
“Knowing that Tyreek was playing, he wanted to go ball,” Tagovailoa said when asked about the first play. “We gave him a shot.”
Hill finished with two catches for 64 yards while Tagovailoa remained in the game for the remainder of the first quarter and finished a nearly perfect 6 of 7 for 121 yards and a touchdown.
Tagovailoa helped put up points in each of the three drives he played in before eventually being relieved by backups Teddy Bridgewater and Skylar Thompson. With two veterans above him on the depth chart, it seemed like a long shot for Thompson, the rookie seventh-round pick, to make the final roster entering training camp. However, after spectacular outings in all three preseason games, Miami has a lot to consider.
The 25-year-old out of Kansas State went 7 of 10 for 103 yards and three touchdowns to help the Dolphins break their franchise record for points in a preseason game. Thompson made a statement this preseason with three impressive performances including in the first game, where he started and led the Fins to victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I think he’s opened eyes with the way he’s played and you know, it’s made that situation very tricky in terms of whether or not you can try to have them on [the] practice squad or keep them on the 53,” McDaniel said, according to Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post.
While it is not common for starter-level quarterbacks to be found in the seventh round of the draft, general manager Chris Grier may have found a diamond in the rough with Thompson.
The game’s final score may not be indicative of the Eagles’ true strength, seeing as key starters quarterback Jaylen Hurts and wide receiver A.J. Brown, among others, sat this one out. Instead, players fighting for final roster spots got their last chance to show their value to the coaching staff.
One standout performance came from second-year running back Jason Huntley who hopes to avoid being cut in consecutive years. Huntley finished this game with 93 yards and a touchdown on only 11 carries while also tacking on four receptions for 22 yards. Additionally, second-year wide receiver John Hightower, who spent much of his rookie season on the Eagles practice squad, finished with five receptions for 52 yards.
The Dolphin’s defense dominated the Eagles’ second and third stringers, holding them to 0 first-half points. On top of that, fourth-year cornerback Elijah Campbell achieved his second interception of the preseason with another interception, this time returning it for a touchdown. Campbell is likely to be awarded a roster spot as the cornerback position is a concern for the Dolphins because of injuries.
Miami must now finalize the roster as the regular season approaches. All teams must bring their active rosters from 80 players down to 53 by Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 4 p.m. The Dolphins kick-off the season at home against the division-rival Patriots led by second-year quarterback Mac Jones at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11. The game will be broadcast on CBS4 in South Florida.