MIAMI GARDENS (CBSMiami/AP) – A strong start quickly went downhill for the Miami Dolphins on Sunday as they fell to the Philadelphia Eagles at Sun Life Stadium.
Michael Vick made a triumphant return from an injury by throwing for 208 yards and a touchdown, and the Eagles totaled nine sacks and beat the Miami Dolphins 26-10 Sunday.
Philadelphia took advantage of three takeaways to score 24 points during a nine-minute span in the second quarter, and later sent Miami quarterback Matt Moore to the sideline with a head injury.
The Eagles (5-8) won for only the second time in the past six games and still need a sweep of the final three games to have any chance of repeating as NFC East champions. The Dolphins (4-9) had a three-game home winning streak snapped and sank deeper into last place in the AFC East.
Jason Babin led the Eagles’ pass rush with three sacks to increase his season total to 15, and he forced a fumble. Moore’s replacement, J.P. Losman, was sacked by Phillip Hunt for a safety.
Vick, back after missing three games with broken ribs, won for only the fourth time in his past 12 starts. He went 15 for 30, including a 34-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson.
Vick, who had said he would run less in the wake of the injury, carried only twice but did scramble several times to extend plays. LeSean McCoy rushed for only 38 yards, but scored two touchdowns to hike his season total to 17.
Dolphins Pro Bowl tackle Jake Long left the game in the first quarter with a back injury, and after that they had trouble blocking the Eagles. Philadelphia’s short-yardage defense stuffed Miami on four possessions, twice on fourth down and twice to force kicks.
The Dolphins went 3 for 18 on third- and fourth-down conversions.
Miami’s lone touchdown was set up by an early blocked punt. Moore threw only his second interception in the past six games, lost a fumble and was sacked four times. He left the game midway through the second half after being hit from behind as he threw an incomplete pass.
The Dolphins’ offensive ineptitude negated a lot of good work by their defense. McCoy, who came into the game second in the NFL in rushing, averaged only 1.4 yards on 27 carries. Jason Taylor sacked Vick twice in first eight minutes to increase his career total to 138½, which ranks sixth all time.
Miami’s Jimmy Wilson blocked a punt to set up the game’s first score, which came when Moore hit Brandon Marshall on third down for a 16-yard score.
A gamble by the Dolphins then backfired when they tried a 55-yard field goal that fell short. Vick took advantage of the field position to drive his team 54 yards for a tying touchdown, which McCoy scored on a 2-yard run.
Turnovers by Miami on consecutive possessions led to 10 points for the Eagles.
Kurt Coleman intercepted Moore’s pass when he threw deep into triple coverage, and his return to the 1 set up a touchdown run by McCoy.
On the next series, Asante Samuel forced a fumble by Davone Bess and recovered, and the Eagles kicked a field goal to lead 17-7.
The flurry of turnovers continued. Eagles punt returner Jackson tried to get tricky, throwing a lateral across the field to Curtis Marsh, who lost a fumble at his 24. That gave the Dolphins a chance to get back into the game, but on the next play Moore lost a fumble when sacked by Babin, ending the threat.
The Eagles then moved 73 yards in just four plays, and Vick’s strike to a wide-open Jackson made it 24-7.
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