The Miami Dolphins won one game in 2007. In 2008, they've now won two in a row as they notched an impressive 17-10 victory over the San Diego Chargers, evening up their record to 2-2.
What is amazing is that they have beaten the two teams who played for the AFC Championship last year in consecutive games. In both games, they used the "Wildcat formation" where quarterback Chad Pennington lines up at receiver and running back Ronnie Brown takes the direct snap.
The Dolphins ran the play 11 times, gaining 49 yards and scoring a touchdown.
That will get the press, but it was the Phins defense that deserves a ton of credit. They shut down a potent San Diego offense to just ten points and 202 total yards. LaDainian Tomlinson was held to just 35 yards rushing and 22 yards receiving. They hounded Philip Rivers into 13-for-28 passing day for just 159 yards.
This was an offense that led the NFL in scoring average (34.5) heading into the game.
Back to Miami's offense. They held onto the ball for 13 1/2 more minutes than San Diego and converted on 7-of-14 third downs (and their only fourth down attempt). Brown was effective no matter where he lined up on offense. He rushed for 125 yards and a TD.
Despite the quirky formations, Miami isn't winning with smoke and mirrors. They are using smart offense and bruising defense to win consecutive games for the first time since November 2006. Miami gets the winless Texans next week.
The Chargers can talk to the Patriots about the great Dolphins when they meet up next Sunday night.