When we last saw the Eagles defense, they were being run over by Marshawn Lynch but things are turning out much differently for them this week.
They’ve dominated the Dolphins in the first half of their game in Miami, giving up only one score that came as the result of a short field following a blocked punt. They’ve sacked Matt Moore four times, picked him off and recovered a pair of fumbles (one forced by Asante Samuel, who wanted nothing to do with making tackles against Seattle) on their way to a 24-7 lead at the half.
Things looked like they would go much differently until the end of the first quarter. The Dolphins were up 7-0, pressuring Mike Vick every time he dropped back to pass and controlling the game when Tony Sparano opted to try a 55-yard field goal instead of pinning the Eagles deep with a punt. Dan Carpenter missed the kick, the Eagles flipped the field and took off to the races from that point.
It was a strange decision to try such a long kick at that moment in the game, given how well the defense was playing, and even odder to choose a kick over going for it if you didn’t want to punt for the corner.
Even when they tried to hand the game back to the Dolphins, things bounced the Eagles’ way. DeSean Jackson tried some razzle-dazzle on a punt return by passing the ball back across the field to Curtis Marsh, but Marsh couldn’t handle the toss and the Dolphins recovered with great field position. Moore fumbled on the next play, though, and Jackson caught a long touchdown from Vick to make it 24 straight Eagles points and a big halftime lead.