Game observations

The Dolphins have reason to be happy heading into the bye after their thrilling victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. But Coach Nick Saban is well aware that this remains a work in progress, and anyone who saw Sunday's game can attest to that.

Here are some observations from Sunday's big win.

-- Think the criticism of Ronnie Brown will die down after what he did against Carolina. Look, the guy might not be totally there just yet in terms of how good he'll become, but he showed some nifty moves against the Panthers, and we're not just talking about his 58-yard run in the fourth quarter. There were a couple of times when he beat Panthers defenders one-on-one.

-- We're not big fans of rotating offensive tackles in the least, but it worked against Carolina. The offensive line opened some holes in the running game and also kept Gus Frerotte from being sacked. More importantly, they made Julius Peppers very quiet, which is not easy to do.

-- The defense continues to be very impressive up front. The Dolphins have very deep and very good on the defensive line, with Jason Taylor, Vonnie Holliday and Jeff Zgonina all having big games against Carolina. Zach Thomas was tremendous once again.

-- The flip side to that is a secondary that had another really, really bad game. Sam Madison, in particular, was atrocious. He gave up too much cushion in coverage and also committed two stupid roughness penalties.

-- In fact, the only guy who really played well in the secondary was safety Lance Schulters, who not only had the big interception at the end but also forced a fumble with a sack.

-- Still too many penalties. Rex Hadnot and Jason Taylor both were flagged for the third consecutive game. A couple of the pass interference penalties against the Dolphins looked iffy, but 13 for 138 is a recipe for diaster.

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