MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- The Philadelphia Eagles' 37-31 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday was the worst of the coach Doug Pederson era -- a kind of defeat that has the ability to splinter a locker room, and one that will test this team's leadership group with four games left. Facing a stripped-down 2-9 Miami team and with a clear path to the NFC East title right in front of them, the Eagles choked.
A defense that had held its past four opponents to 17 points or fewer reverted to its old ways, as the secondary yielded one big play after another -- mostly to DeVante Parker (7 catches, 159 yards, 2 TDs), who became the eighth wideout to eclipse the 100-yard mark against this unit. Miami hadn't scored this many points since October 2015.
Familiar issues appeared on offense, such as drops (the one by tight end Zach Ertz near the goal line late in the third quarter was a killer) and bad penalties.
The good news is that the Eagles (5-7) remain just a game back of the Dallas Cowboys (6-6) and, with a home game against Dallas looming, still somehow control their own destiny. They could end up division champs, but after a loss like this, it's hard to think they deserve to be.
QB breakdown: Carson Wentz (28-of-46, 310 yards, 3 TDs) bounced back from arguably the worst performance of his career against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 12. His final TD pass came early in the third quarter, however, as the Eagles scored only three points the rest of the way. The Eagles led 28-14 in the third quarter. The last time they lost when leading by 14 points in a game was in 2018's Week 7 against the Panthers (led 17-0 but lost 21-17).
Buy a breakout performance: Rookie running back Miles Sanders had 105 total yards and a touchdown and averaged 4.9 yards per carry on the ground. With Jordan Howard slow to recover from a stinger in his shoulder, Sanders has received the lion's share of the snaps over the past three weeks and is looking more comfortable in the lead role.
Eye-popping stat: Wentz and the Eagles are now 0-7 in games in which they trailed in the fourth quarter this season.