Unlike the Eagles, the Dolphins have followed through on the cliches used by all losing teams. It started by bluntly acknowledging that they weren't very good, something many Eagles still seem reluctant to do.
After falling to 0-6, Miami running back Reggie Bush declared: "It's disgusting. Right now, this team stinks."
When a teammate took exception, and said Bush should describe himself that way, he agreed.
"I do stink," Bush said. "We all stink."
The next week the Dolphins flew to New Jersey and nearly upset the Giants. They followed that hard-fought but losing effort with three straight wins and a narrow defeat to Dallas before beating the Raiders Sunday.
Faced with adversity, the Eagles spun out of control. Facing even more dire circumstances, the Dolphins pulled together.
In their last five games, the Dolphins have outscored opponents by 139-53. And they have done it with their own backup quarterback, Matt Moore, who in that span has thrown eight touchdowns against one interception.
(Vince Young, by contrast, has managed four touchdowns against eight interceptions in three weeks as a starter.)
While Miami's season was over nearly as soon as it started, the Eagles actually had a shot five games ago. In the same span as Sparano's rally, Reid's team has been outscored by 130-92, including 69-34 the last two weeks, when "having their backs to the wall" was supposed to bring out their true fight. (Thursday's loss, it's worth noting, was against another team out of the playoff hunt which still found some fire to bring to the field.)
When the Eagles won two straight in October, it prompted some optimistic schedule-gazing. This game in Miami looked like a winnable contest that might fuel a late-season playoff run.
Instead, the Eagles and Dolphins share the misery of being at the bottom of their divisions, and Reid's group looks like the more wretched bunch.
Many aspects of Reid's past success have come apart this season, and this week provides another test of just how far his grip has slipped.
Reid will have 10 days to get ready for the Dolphins. He has long been praised as a master of preparation. (His 13-0 post-bye record is about the only part of his resumé that has made it through this year unstained.)
But one of the other major tenets of his tenure has been that his teams play hard and fight for their coach. That belief has been strained over the last two weeks.
If the Eagles drop a game in which they have extra prep time, another pillar of Reid's support will begin showing cracks.
The feeling in Miami is that it's too late for Sparano, despite his team's late surge. He doesn't have the past success Reid has enjoyed in Philadelphia.
Here, the book may not be closed on Reid. If his team rallies, perhaps he can save his job. If they continue their zombielike play without a pulse, it becomes hard to see how management would justify bringing Reid back.
His players, like those in Miami, have vowed to have their coach's back.
Reid has been waiting to see those words translate to action. Any week now.
Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214, email@example.com,
or @JonathanTamari on Twitter.