Miami, FL (AP) - Another week, another dominating performance. The Eagles run over the Dolphins, racking up nearly 500 yards of offense en route to a 47-0 laugher to improve to 13-0 on the season. The win wraps up what many believed was inevitable after the way Philly has been playing: home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
"Anytime you can lock up home field advantage like this, it's a big deal," said Eagles Head Coach Andy Reid. "The challenge over the next few weeks is to stay sharp for the playoffs. We've already been kind of working on that anyway, with some of the big blowouts we've had. A lot of guys are getting reps, and a lot of guys are getting rest as well."
One of the major struggles over the last few weeks by Philadelphia, if you can really call it a struggle, is the team's struggles early on in games. The Eagles have gotten behind with turnovers and early drives by their opponents most of the season.
This time, it was a very different story.
|VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Celek stretches out to make a tough catch for 37 yards. The reception helped lead the Eagles to a TD and a 20-0 halftime lead.|
The Birds were able to hold the Dolphins to a three and out on the first drive of the game, and that was a trend that would hold true much of the contest.
Philly then moved the ball down the field very methodically, taking 13 plays to drive 61 years down to Miami's two yard line. But, the drive stalled and the Eagles had to settle with a 19 yard field goal to take the first lead of the game. The Eagles converted two third downs on the drive, including a seven yard pass to Jeremy Maclin on a third and six and a 19 yard strike to Jason Avant on a third and four. With the way the defense played, that was really all the points Philadelphia would need.
"We've had some trouble putting points on the board early and getting behind," said Eagles QB Michael Vick, who threw for 278 yards on the day. "Even though it was just a field goal, that first drive established some momentum, and we just kept it going."
|VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Jeremy Maclin shows off his concentration skills with this 41 yard catch that was deflected by a Miami defender.|
After another three and out by Miami, Vick and the Philly offense went back to work on another extended drive that started in the first quarter and ended in the second quarter. LeSean McCoy was able to punch the ball into the endzone from three yards out for the first of his two touchdowns on the day, increasing the lead to ten points. The key play of the 80 yard drive came on a third and six from Miami's 29. Vick was able to hit Steve Smith for a seven yard gain to keep the drive going. Vick was 4-5 for 62 yards on the series.
Another three and out gave Philadelphia the ball back, and the Eagles once again were on the move. They were able to get the ball down to the Dolphins 21 yard line. But, Vick could not complete a first down pass to Maclin, was sacked on second down, and hit Celek for 11 yards on third and 14. Alex Henery came on to kick his second field goal of the half.
The Eagles finished out the half with another scoring drive that saw a great catch by tight end Brent Celek, who also made a key 29 yard reception on third down to get the ball down to Miami's 9 yard line. McCoy took it to the house one more time for a 20-0 lead.
|VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: The Eagles got a lot of use out of Alex Henery's foot, as he kicked 4 field goals, including this 32 yarder.|
The lone bright spot for the Dolphins in the first half was on its last possession. Miami ran out of time before being able to score, but the team finally had its first play in Eagles territory on the last play of the half. That's just one indication of how dominant Philly's defense was. Meantime, the Birds scored on all of their possessions.
"We took care of the ball, we made plays when we needed to, and we kept moving the sticks. That's a recipe for a lot of success," said Reid.
The second half was much of the same for both sides, although Miami started turning the ball over a bunch. Dolphins Quarterback David Garrard ended up throwing three interceptions, including two to Eagles corner back Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Cromartie now has six picks on the season, leading the way for Philadelphia's defense.
|VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Casey Matthews steps in front to intercept David Garrard.|
Garrard also started to run a little more often. In fact, he was able to scamper 76 yards into the endzone on one second half play. But, the run was called back on a holding penalty. And, Garrard promptly threw an interception on the very next play, setting up another Eagles TD.
"We put out a much better effort on the defensive side of things today," said Philadelphia Defensive Coordinator Juan Castillo. "We got good pressure and stopped the run in a big way. That really allowed our cover guys to do their job, and they did it well. A good effort all around."
This was Philly's second shutout of the season. The first one came in week three at the New York Giants. The Eagles take on another New York team this coming Sunday. They'll welcome the Jets to the Linc.
|Philadelphia Eagles at Miami Dolphins|
|Dec 11, 2011||1ST||2ND||3RD||4TH||SCORE|
|Philadelphia Eagles (13-0)||3||17||17||10||47|
|Miami Dolphins (5-8)||0||0||0||0||0|
|Punt Return Yards||28||0|
|Kick Return Yards||20||0|
|3rd Down Converstion||6-11 (54%)||3-11 (27%)|
|4th Down Conversion||0-0||0-0|
|Red Zone Touchdowns/Field Goals||4/4||0/0|