SIZZLING SECONDARY

It's sure looking like the struggles in the pass defense were a temporary things, wouldn't you say? The Dolphins secondary, which was expected to be one of the best in the league coming into the season, has become just that.

The Dolphins gave up 276 yards passing to Kerry Collins in the 23-10 victory over the Giants on Sunday, but the numbers are somewhat misleading when you consider the longest gain was only 22 yards and the Dolphins also came up with three interception.

In fact, it's no stretch to say the secondary was the biggest reason the Dolphins won this game.

In particular, Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain were very impressive.

Surtain came up with two interceptions, giving him four in four games this season. And this is from a guy who says he's still not quite 100 percent after knee surgery in training camp.

As Coach Dave Wannstedt joked on Monday, "I can't wait for him to be at 100 percent."

As for Madison, he didn't have a pick on Sunday, but it was his tight coverage that popped the ball loose and led directly to Brock Marion's interception in the first quarter.

Madison also had seven tackles, including a big hit on a Giants receiver after a short gain. That's good stuff from a guy who's never been known as a great tackle.

At their best, Surtain and Madison are arguably the best cornerback tandem in the NFL, and they're playing that way right now.

Safety Brock Marion is coming up with a few big plays here and there, while newcomer Sammy Knight has been solid, although he has only one interception so far.

Nickel back Terrell Buckley also chipped in with a big play on Sunday, forcing and recovering a fumble.

It wasn't that long ago that the Dolphins pass defense was ranked dead last in the league. Amazing how quickly a weakness can turn into a strength.


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