Miami Dolphins 48, Philadelphia Eagles 10

MIAMI GARDENS — Tua Tagovailoa connected with Tyreek Hill on a 51-yard bomb to open the Dolphins’ preseason finale at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday night.

Tua took a three-play lead and Miami scored two touchdowns and a field goal to spark a 48-10 lead.

Yes, the Eagles rested almost all of their starters.

But, mission accomplished. Tua and Tyreek can feel pretty good about themselves for the next 15 days, a pretty long stretch until the Dolphins host the Patriots.

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Tua and Tyreek master a new attack. And coach Mike McDaniel is calling on him to play full-time from the side for the first time.

The Dolphins had a good summer. Will they live up to expectations of at least 9 or 10 wins? We will all find out together.

Here are five things we noticed Saturday night:

Improved rush attack

Raheem Mostert had a long run that showed his speed.

Miles Gaskin showed his agility and determination.

Sony Michel scored a touchdown on a short run.

The Dolphins rushed for more than 200 yards Saturday night.

The Dolphins have some decisions to make. Who are they keeping besides Chase Edmonds and Mostert? Is Michel a lock?

Would the Dolphins keep four backs including Michel and Gaskin or Salvon Ahmed, who seems like a perfect fit in the outside zone?

After two games in which Miami didn’t fare well on the ground, that was remarkable progress that will please run guru McDaniel.

August 27, 2022;  Miami Gardens, Florida, USA  Miami Dolphins running back Sony Michel (28) celebrates after a touchdown during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Hard Rock Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

August 27, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA Miami Dolphins running back Sony Michel (28) celebrates after a touchdown during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Play-action effects, roll-outs

McDaniel is committed to doing everything in his power to highlight Tua’s strengths and play down any weaknesses.

One thing Tua always did was pass effectively on the roll out, especially to his left. That will be a big part of this Dolphins offense.

When Miami’s offensive line heads right and Tua turns his back and heads left, he’s at a clear advantage. So does Tua when he’s working outside of play-action.

If the Dolphins have any semblance of a true running threat, it will be on Tua’s strengths. On Saturday night, Tua faked a run-pass option to a running back and then quickly fired up the middle to Mike Gesicki.

Young defensive backs

It certainly looks like Elijah Campbell, with his second interception of the preseason, returned for a touchdown, has earned a spot on Miami’s roster.

The play of corners Nik Needham, Kader Kohou and Noah Igbinoghene was quite encouraging on Saturday.

Gardner Minshew and Reid Sinnett were terrible through the air for Philly.

Did Kohou, a rookie free agent out of Texas A&M Commerce, do enough to be a huge sleeper?

Does the staff have enough faith in Igbinoghene’s future to keep him around after Tuesday’s cutoff day?

Look for the Dolphins to keep a close eye on the availability of a veteran cornerback.

Skylar and Hunter, arrows up

Skylar Thompson threw a touchdown to sophomore Hunter Long, who made a very nice play on the ball in the end zone.

Thompson did everything he could to make the 53-man roster. It probably makes sense to keep him on the roster, at least for now.

Not only could Thompson provide some insurance (including COVID) for this season, but perhaps he could be a lower-cost backup option in 2023.

He was so impressive.

Later in the third quarter, Thompson threw another touchdown, this one to Cethan Carter. And in the fourth it was a third touchdown, to Lynn Bowden.

Thompson has five touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason.

As for Long, he failed to complete the game on a potential touchdown just before halftime, but then bounced back later in the fourth with the impressive grab.

Long had a good week of practice, according to McDaniel. He was working on learning a new attack and some new techniques. And he’s working on gaining some confidence.

Long may be stuck behind Gesicki and Durham Smythe this season. But assuming Gesicki leaves after 2022, it would be nice for Long to emerge as a TE1 or TE2 in ’23.

RIP Jason Jenkins

You may not know the name Jason Jenkins, as he was the Dolphins Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs.

Jason died on Saturday, before the race.

No one has worked harder to facilitate Miami’s off-the-court missions to the community. Jason was present at event after sojourn.

Jason showed everyone respect and made everyone feel important, including me. On several occasions over the past few years, Jason has shown me genuine empathy and compassion, for example when I had a problem with my right eye this offseason.

I will miss meeting Jason, talking to Jason, and being around Jason. I will miss Jason’s smile. Condolences to his family and close friends and colleagues.

Calm down, Jason.

Joe Schad is a reporter at The Palm Beach Post of the USA To Florida network. He can be reached at jschad@pbpost.com. Help support our journalism. Sign up today.

This article originally appeared in the Palm Beach Post: Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill featured for Dolphins vs. Eagles

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