No Doubt: Dolphins Are For Real

If the Dolphins didn't catch the attention of football fans and observers after their victory at New England, it's crazy to think that won't happen after what happened on Sunday. It's not just that the Dolphins made it two in a row with a victory over San Diego, it's the way they won that should make everyone take notice.

The Dolphins didn't just beat the Chargers, they completely dominated them. Just like the Dolphins dominated New England.

If you didn't watch Sunday's game, you might get fooled by the 17-10 margin and the fact the Dolphins had to kill the last 5:55 off the clock to secure the victory.

In reality, it wasn't anywhere near that close.

Just take a quick look at these numbers:

-- Total net yards: Miami 390, San Diego 202

-- First downs: Miami 23, San Diego 10

Time of possession: Miami 36:41, San Diego 23:19

That, folks, adds up to a spanking, even if the score doesn't show that.

Yes, this was a Chargers team playing at less than 100 percent because LaDainian Tomlinson has been bothered by a toe injury, because Antonio Gates also has a toe issue and because new starting linebacker Jyles Tucker was out because of a hamstring injury.

But this is still a San Diego team that's as talented and as deep as any in the league.

Just like New England all of a sudden isn't a bad team just because Tom Brady is out. The Patriots are not the same Pats without Brady, that's obvious, but they're still a tough team and beating them the way the Dolphins beat them is still an accomplishment.

Against both New England and San Diego, the Dolphins dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides. You can talk about the "Wildcat" formation all you want, but it doesn't work -- nothing on offense works -- without solid play from the offensive line.

Then there's the run defense. The Dolphins shut down New England's running game, but that was because -- the thinking goes -- it's just not that good. But San Diego has a very good running game, even with Tomlinson at less than 100 percent, and the Dolphins completely shut it down.

The Dolphins got some great performances from several different sources on Sunday, whether it be Greg Camarillo or Matt Roth or Yeremiah Bell. But this game, just like the New England game, was won up front.

It's the philosophy Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano brought to the Dolphins, the idea that winning starts up front.

The Dolphins have done that the last two games, and convincingly. And against good teams.

If that continues, the possibilities for this team suddenly become very interesting.


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