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(Sunday, December 11th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 26, Miami 10
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The return of Michael Vick appeared to breathe life into the listless Philadelphia Eagles, at least for a quarter.
Vick missed the past three games with a couple of broken ribs and the Eagles saw their already-slim playoff hopes grow even more dim with a 1-2 record behind Vince Young. On Sunday, the Vick-led Philadelphia offense scored all of its points in the second quarter, thanks mostly to three Miami turnovers, and claimed a 26-10 victory over the Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium.
It wasn't a banner day for Vick, who completed only 15-of-30 passes for 208 yards with a touchdown and an interception. LeSean McCoy mustered just 38 yards on 27 carries, but scored on a pair of short runs.
The Eagles (5-8) entered the contest with a league-worst 29 giveaways and a minus-13 turnover ratio, but the defense forced Miami into the three big miscues and came up with a couple of key stops on third and fourth down. The unit also finished with nine sacks, three each by Jason Babin and Trent Cole, and accounted for Philadelphia's only second-half scoring with a safety.
"The defense stepped up," Eagles head coach Andy Reid said. "I'm proud of the way they played. The d-line got penetration and the linebackers filled in the void after that."
Miami (4-9) more resembled the team that started with seven consecutive losses and not the club that had won four of its last five.
The Dolphins had turned it around with strong defense and a solid rushing attack, but the team fell into a deep hole Sunday by mustering just 82 yards of offense in the first half while giving it away three times -- twice deep in its own territory.
Miami, ahead 7-0, lost offensive tackle Jake Long to a back injury in the first period and quarterback Matt Moore was under constant pressure for the remainder of the contest. He was sacked four times, fumbled once and eventually left the contest late in the third period with a head injury.
Moore completed just 11-of-19 throws for 95 yards with a touchdown and an interception. J.P. Losman entered and threw for 60 yards while being sacked five times. Reggie Bush was most of Miami's inept offense, rushing for 103 yards on 14 carries while catching five passes for 27 yards.
"I felt a little rusty out there obviously, but it's definitely good to get back out there," Losman said. "We had a couple of linemen go down, so we knew it was going to be one of those days."
Miami was dominating most of the first quarter, turning a blocked punt into an early lead, but gave Philadelphia great field position late in the period when Dan Carpenter missed a 55-yard field goal attempt. The Eagles took full advantage and needed six plays to tie it. McCoy took a short pass 26 yards on the first play and finished the quick march with a two-yard touchdown run just 1:26 into the second.
The Eagles went in front just a few moments later. Kurt Coleman picked off Moore two plays after the kickoff and returned the interception to the Miami one, setting up McCoy's second short TD plunge.
Miami gave the ball away again on its next possession, as Davone Bess fumbled after a first-down reception. The Eagles recovered at the Miami 34 and picked up one first down before settling for a 40-yard field goal from Alex Henery for a 17-7 edge.
The Dolphins appeared to catch a break when the Eagles tried a lateral on a punt. DeSean Jackson threw across the field to Curtis Marsh, who coughed up the football to give Miami possession at the Philadelphia 24, but Moore gave it right back when he fumbled while being sacked on the very next play.
It took the Eagles just four plays to capitalize. Vick hit Jason Avant for 28 yards then found Jackson behind Miami safety Yeremiah Bell for a 34-yard score and 24-7 cushion with 4:43 left in the half.
Miami finally answered with 4:52 left in the third with a 22-yard Carpenter field goal. The Philadelphia defense, though, forced the kick after the Dolphins had 2nd-and-goal at the two.
The Dolphins had a chance to cut further into the deficit early in the fourth quarter, but were stopped on fourth down near midfield when a Losman carry that initially resulted in a first down was reversed.
After a series of punts left Miami with a first down at its own eight, Losman was sacked in the end zone by Phillip Hunt for a safety to make it 26-10 with just over nine minutes remaining.
Still down two scores, the Dolphins reached the Philadelphia 11 with just under five minutes left but turned the ball over on downs.
The teams combined for a total of 443 yards of offense, 57 by the Eagles in the second half, and were a combined 7-for-30 on third down. Miami also failed to convert a trio of fourth downs.
Philadelphia drove to the Miami 40 with the game's first possession, but a holding penalty and a sack forced the Eagles backward and Jimmy Wilson blocked a punt, giving Miami possession at the Philadelphia 15. Three plays later, Moore found Brandon Marshall in the back of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Dolphins lead.
Bush notched his second straight 100-yard rushing game and third of the season...Miami's Jason Taylor picked up two sacks and has 139 1/2 for his career, surpassing John Randle and Richard Dent for sixth all-time...Miami hadn't allowed a rushing touchdown in its previous seven games...McCoy has scored a touchdown in 12 of the team's 13 games this season and his 17 scores this season are one shy of Steve Van Buren's team mark of 18 set in 1945.
12/11 18:17:58 ET