The Dolphins proved Sunday a good defense can stop a good offense, and the result was a huge 23-17 victory over the Oakland Raiders at Pro Player Stadium.

The victory gives the Dolphins a 9-5 record, which is tied for best in the AFC. More importantly, it gives the Dolphins control of their destiny again as far as getting a bye in the playoffs.

If they Dolphins can win at Minnesota and New England the next two weeks, they will do no worse than the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs. If the Dolphins go 2-0 and Tennessee loses one of its last three games, then the Dolphins would have the No. 1 seed.

It was Oakland that came into Sunday's game as the top dog in the AFC, but the Dolphins took care of that with their second consecutive victory over the Raiders.

Cornerback Patrick Surtain capped a tremendous day for the Dolphins defense by coming up with a spectacular interception at the Dolphins 18-yard line on the first play after the two-minute warning.

The real star on defense was Jason Taylor, who recorded three of the Dolphins' five sacks.

The Dolphins also wound up holding Rich Gannon to only 215 yards passing, well below his season average of over 300 yards.

But the Dolphins had to hang on at the end after leading all game.

Olindo Mare missed a 40-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, but the defense made sure the miss didn't prove costly.

Offensively, the Dolphins got another 100-yard performance from Ricky Williams, but his yards were tough to come by.

The Dolphins decided to attack with a deep passing game, and that resulted in Chris Chambers setting a career high with 138 yards receiving.

Veteran Cris Carter scored the Dolphins' first touchdown of the game on a spectacular one-handed grab in the back of the end zone and Travis Minor added a 4-yard TD run in the second quarter to help the Dolphins take a 17-6 lead into halftime.

Oakland made it close in the second half when its only touchdown of the game, a 20-yard pass from Gannon to Jerry Porter on the first play of the first quarter to make it 20-17.

The Raiders had the ball twice with a chance to tie or take the lead, but the Dolphins forced a punt on the next-to-last possession before Surtain clinched the victory with his big interception.

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