Carson Wentz and Jay Cutler are ready for the regular season. Most of their teammates still need more work.
Wentz threw touchdown passes to both of his new receivers, Mychal Kendricks returned an interception 31 yards for a score and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Miami Dolphins 38-31 on Thursday night.
Playing his second game since coming out of retirement to replace injured Dolphins starter Ryan Tannehill, Cutler was 5 of 8 for 105 yards and one TD . His surgically repaired right shoulder looked fine on a 72-yard pass to DeVante Parker.
Wentz connected with Torrey Smith on a 50-yard TD down the right side on a third-and-8 on Philadelphia’s opening series for a 7-0 lead. Smith, who was signed along with Alshon Jeffery in free agency to bolster the receiving group, didn’t have a catch in the first two games.
Wentz then hit Jeffery for a 20-yard gain and found him again for a 15-yard TD pass over the middle on his fourth and final series. Wentz finished 6 of 10 for 129 yards, two TDs and one interception. Coming in, there were concerns Jeffery wasn’t on the same page with Wentz because he has missed a lot of practice time.
“I felt really confident in our chemistry going back to the spring, but it was nice to do it in a game here in front of the fans,” Wentz said.
Jay Ajayi had a pair of 2-yard TD runs for the Dolphins and Cutler tossed a 1-yard TD pass to Julius Thomas.
“It seems like his pocket presence is coming back,” Dolphins coach Adam Gase said of Cutler. “It was a step in the right direction.”
Eagles reserves led by No. 3 quarterback Matt McGloin had a six-play, 53-yard TD drive against Miami’s starters. Corey Clement capped it with a 3-yard TD run that tied it at 21.
“They got a good feel for us and they made a couple plays,” Dolphins cornerback Byron Maxwell said.
Mychal Kendricks then intercepted Matt Moore’s tipped pass and returned it for a score to put Philadelphia ahead 28-21.
The teams were quite familiar with each other after scrimmaging twice this week.
“That helped me a lot, really sped up my clock,” Cutler said.
The Dolphins hadn’t scored this many points in a preseason game since 1999. The 69 combined points were the most in a preseason game in team history.
Dolphins: Moore was 5 of 11 for 43 yards and two interceptions. … No. 3 QB Brandon Doughty was 2 of 7 for 74 yards and one TD, a 69-yard TD pass to Jakeem Grant.
Eagles: Backup Nick Foles sat out again while resting an elbow injury. … McGloin was 22 of 26 for 155 yards, one TD, one interception.
Dolphins DT Jordan Phillips had a rumbling 18-yard return after he picked Wentz, setting up one of Ajayi’s TD runs.
Eagles reserve LB Don Cherry had a nifty 42-yard return after intercepting Doughty’s pass.
CB Ronald Darby, who was acquired from Buffalo two weeks ago, struggled after an impressive debut with the Eagles. He allowed the long pass to Parker and had a 42-yard pass interference penalty in the end zone.
Philadelphia’s Chris Long, who grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, put his arm around teammate Malcolm Jenkins as a show of unity during the national anthem for the second straight week. Jenkins stood with his right fist raised in the air as he’s done since last season. He was surrounded by Long, who is white, and Rodney McLeod and Najee Goode. Ron Brooks took a knee behind them.
Miami’s Andrew Franks made a 56-yard FG at the end of the first half.
Dolphins: TE Thomas Duarte suffered a concussion.
Eagles: Rookie LB Nate Gerry left with a hamstring injury.