Out of the Nest: Eagles at Dolphins

Every week during the season, we’ll scout out the Eagles next opponent. This week, that opponent is the Miami Dolphins.

The Opponent: The Miami Dolphins

Record: 4-8, but a cagey 4-8!

The Line: Dolphins by 3.

Last Game: A mammoth 34-14 curb-stomping of the Raiders that knocked Oakland out of first place in the AFC West. The Dolphins held the Raiders to just 46 yards rushing and outscored them 34-14 before Oakland got a couple of garbage time touchdowns to make the end result a bit less severe. Since Week 9, Miami has outscored its opponents 139-54. Yikes.

The Coach: Tony Sparano. And I know Sparano has built up a lot of good will with the way the Dolphins have ended this season. But if they don't fire him? Oh, I promise you they will regret it.

The Offense: Quarterback Matt Moore is ALIVE WITH PLEASURE with five TD passes and no picks in his last three games. Why, it's almost as if he's a useful quarterback! Running back Reggie Bush has also hit his stride with five touchdowns in the last four games. That bodes poorly for an Eagles defense that Marshawn Lynch just treated like a pile of wet tissue paper. The Dolphins are more than happy to play efficient offense while capitalizing on your biggest mistakes. I know Mike Vick is due back this week, but Vick hasn't exactly been careful with the ball this year.

The Defense: This is the 5th-ranked run defense in the NFL, which means we're again faced with another game where the Eagles' running game could be stymied early, leading to Andy Reid passing his brains out. That's the LAST thing this team ought to do with Vick finally healthy again, but I never count on Andy Reid to do the right thing. Defensive end Cameron Wake has been quiet during this recent Dolphins' tear, but he remains the team's best pass rusher, and needs to be accounted for.

Key Matchup: The Eagles vs. the urge to tank. You know... this team isn't that far from Matt Barkley/RGIII drafting range. I'm not saying they SHOULD tank for a new QB, I'm just saying that things happen for a reason.

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