Originally written on Eagles Eye  |  Last updated 11/12/14

Man, it felt good to get an ugly win in Miami...(if you can actually call any defensive effort ugly when it yields nine sacks, a key strip-fumble and a game-changing INT---)...  


Old-fashioned running and time of possession sealed the deal for the Eagles in their 26-10 beating of the Dolphins... that's RG Danny Watkins celebrating on a short TD run with Shady McCoy in the 1st half...photo by Lyne Sladky (AP)

Reid's defense was plenty aggressive... Philadelphia took advantage of three takeaways to score 24 points during a 9-minute span in the second quarter, and later sent Miami quarterback Matt Moore to the sideline with a head injury.

The stats say the Eagles pass rush ended up with nine sacks... but sadly today we learned of a tenth...

Dolphins fire Tony Sparano as coach
  • Tony Sparano has been fired as coach of the Miami Dolphins, the third dismissal of an NFL coach in the past two weeks.

The move came Monday, one day after the Dolphins lost to the Philadelphia Eagles to fall to 4-9. The defeat ended a recent surge by the Dolphins after they lost their first seven games. With two other teams already in the market for a new coach, owner Stephen Ross didn't want to wait any longer to start shopping. Sparano's dismissal came hours after the Kansas City Chiefs fired coach Todd Haley. Jacksonville fired coach Jack Del Rio on Nov. 29...

Sparano gets sacked WHY? Was it a difference of philosphy with GM Bill Parcells? Was it because over half of the 35,000 fans in the stands were wearing Eagles green? Is it because owner Stephen Ross overestimates the talent on his roster and thinks Sparano could have won big with what he had?

I feel bad for Sparano that an Eagles win was the trigger for his sacking. But truthfully, Sparano must have known it was coming barring a win-out scenario in Miami the rest of the way. At least he has a one-year buyout left on his contract. We'll see Sparano again, possibly as a head coach again in 2013, certainly as a coordinator, and most likely as a TV analyst for 2012 unless something really special comes his way to persuade him to void his buyout from the Dolphins.

If you want to pinpoint an area of Sparano's failed 2011 campaign based on what happened in the Eagles game, you'd probably say his offense came up snake-eyes against a pressure defense... which has happened too often for Miami fans in the last two seasons.

The Eagles "D" unit put together a nice combo of pressure schemes combined with individual efforts by some guys who had seemed to be just a bit off the beat for most of this prior season

For example, Asante Samuel brought down Davone Bess after a short pass reception in the second quarter and not only forced a fumble in the process, but he was able to pop up quickly enough to recover it. The play set up a field goal that put the Eagles up by 10 on their way to a 26-10 victory. It was an opportunistic individual effort set up by positioning and pressure from the scheme.

That play was not going to happen a month or three ago...

"Yeah, I was surprised [the football remained on the ground long enough to recover it]," said Samuel. "It was an opportunity to make a big play for my team and seize the moment."

Samuel wasn't the only game-changer in the secondary on this day. Earlier, safety Kurt Coleman returned an interception 35 yards to the Dolphins' 1-yard line to set up a go-ahead touchdown.

You certainly could not blame Sparano's run defense. McCoy had two scores from goal-to-go formations. McCoy finished with only 38 yards on 27 carries but became the first player to score a rushing touchdown on Miami in nearly two months. The Dolphins also hadn't allowed a rushing touchdown at home since their season opener.

The Eagles had a punt blocked for the first time since 2008 as Jimmy Wilson snuffed Chas Henry's first-quarter attempt. They have not blocked a regular-season punt since 2004... Sparano's job security was looking a little better at the time that punt was blocked.

But with nine sacks, Sparano's job was undone...He just could not explain away nine sacks. Meanwhile, the Eagles tied the record for their third most sacks in team history. The last time they had nine was against Detroit in 2007, when they finished a 56-21 victory with 10. 

Sparano got the unofficial 10th sack today. 

Tomorrow: "Banned of Brothers"... we examine the rash of posters who have been "banned" over the past year at PE.com, and we try to figure out why it's happening... including the curious case of ICON (aka "Italicon", "Icontutu"), the most recent victim of a banning he probably didn't deserve. ICON will give us a brief summary of his issues and a featured look at his attempts to reason with the powers of Lurie & Co. at PE.com...

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