Friday, March 6, 2015

Eagles-Dolphins predictions and key matchups

Here are the Daily News selections for today's Eagles game and the key matchups:

Eagles-Dolphins predictions and key matchups

Here are the Daily News selections for today's Eagles game and the key matchups:

LES BOWEN

Last week, I thought the Eagles might rally around their coach and beat a bad-to-mediocre Seattle team, despite the travel, the short week and the foibles of Vince Young.

Silly me.

The Dolphins have done an amazing job digging out from an 0-7 hole. You don't have to be able to see a way to make the playoffs in order to play hard and do your job, apparently. Tony Sparano should be the next Eagles coach.

There was a time when you'd see the Eagles defense matched against a Tarvaris Jackson or a Matt Moore and almost feel sorry for the opposition. But Jim Johnson has been gone a while now, and so have the players who delighted in turning journeyman QBs into roadkill.

If the Birds weren't getting Michael Vick, and possibly Jeremy Maclin back this week, I'd give thme no chance against a Miami defensee that has been rock solid lately.

As it is, I expect Vick to be recharged and refocused, but I also expect the Eagles to find a way to lose, because, well, that is what they do.

Prediction: Dolphins, 21-20.

VEGAS VIC

Don't get all warm and giggly just yet, just because Michael Vick is returning. If you remember, and I'm sure you do, the Birds dropped six of their first nine with Vick under center. And since the 2011 Andy Reids have the most turnovers in the NFL at 29, the job becomes much more difficult. And to make it even more difficult, Miami is on one hellacious roll. After starting the season at 0-7, the Dolphins have won four of the last five, and are riding a 6-0 spread streak. The Fish have outscored their opponents by 139-54 starting with game No. 8. Quarterback Matt Moore has completed 64.3 percent of his passes while throwing for eight TDs against only one interception the last five games. And, there has been a Reggie Bush sighting. He rumbled for 100 yards against Oakland last week, and will be a huge problem for the Eagles, as the Fish swim into the winner's circle.

Prediction: Dolphins, 26-20

Also:

Ed Barkowitz: Eagles, 28-23

Bill Conlin: Dolphins, 31-17

Paul Domowitch: Dolphins, 27-20

Marcus Hayes: Dolphins, 31-24

John Smallwood: Eagles, 23-21

KEY MATCHUPS

1. Eagles C Jason Kelce vs. Dolphins NT Paul Soliai: Kelce will be giving up about 75 pounds to one of the league's top nose tackles. Advantage: Dolphins

2. Eagles CB Nnamdi Asomugha vs. Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall: Assuming Asomugha is healthy, he has both the size and ability to match up against the 6-4, 230-pound Marshall. Advantage: Eagles

3. Eagles LDE Jason Babin vs. Dolphins RT Marc Colombo: Presence of Cullen Jenkins and Trent Cole is going to make it difficult for Dolphins to give Colombo much double-team help on Babin. Advantage: Eagles

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To read more Eagles coverage, click here.

To check out Zach Berman's inside look at the 1991 Eagles defense from SportsWeek, click here.

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Eagletarian is your home for comprehensive coverage of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
Paul Domowitch Daily News NFL Columnist
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