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News » Miami Dolphins Inside Slant 2008-08-25

Miami Dolphins Inside Slant 2008-08-25

Miami Dolphins Inside Slant 2008-08-25
After a 1-15 season, two straight dominant wins, albeit in preseason, is doing wonders for the collective ego of the formerly hapless Miami Dolphins.

A week after bullying the Jaguars 19-14 on the road in a game that the final score doesn't accurately depict Miami's lopsided control of the line of scrimmage, the Dolphins gave their home fans a glimmer of hope by blanking the Chiefs 24-0 Saturday.

They did it with a balanced offense, led by the future Comeback Player of the Year in Ricky Williams, who touched the ball 10 times during the game-opening 10:03 scoring drive. The Dolphins rushed 164 yards, including 88 by rookie back Jalen Parmele in extended garbage time in the fourth quarter.

They did it via the air with recently acquired quarterback Chad Pennington displaying poise in the pocket and accurate tosses not seen since Dan Marino was around, as he connected on 11 of 15 passes for 94 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown pass to tight end Anthony Fasano.

They did it with defense by constantly pressuring the quarterbacks, notching five sacks for minus-32 yards. The pressure helped create four turnovers, including three interceptions, and a strip and fumble by linebacker Channing Crowder that was recovered by Matt Roth.

"We lost our respect last year. Let's be honest with ourselves -- 1-15, nobody respects you," Crowder said. "Even talking to guys like L.J. (Larry Johnson) and Tony (Gonzalez), they see that we're turning it around."

Special teams excelled as Ted Ginn Jr. flashed his Ohio State form with an electric 59-yard punt-return touchdown.

"You go 1-15; you really get away from all of the enjoyment of winning and things like that," Ginn said. "In the National Football League, a lot of things are going to come together quick. You can go from the sorriest team to the greatest team; you can go from the greatest team to the sorriest team."

Pennington, who will certainly be the starter come opening day against Brett Favre and the Jets despite the reluctance of coach Tony Sparano, had a 111.5 passer rating. But Pennington knows that only a victory over the Chiefs on Dec. 21 truly matters.

"Anytime they keep score, regardless of the situation, you want to come away with a win. To have that winning feeling and to capture what that's all about. With that being said, we have to make sure that we're not satisfied with this. We need to look at the film critically. We understand that there's a lot of things that we need to get better on to prepare for opening day and for the rest of the regular season," Pennington said.

Defensive end Vonnie Holliday was proud of a run defense, ranked last in 2007, holding perennial Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson to 36 yards on 13 carries, including a key fourth-down stop on the goal line by rookie defensive end Phillip Merling.

"Anytime you're able to shut out your opponent in the National Football League and put that big goose egg up on the board is big. To be successful in this league, you need confidence and to walk with a swagger. We haven't had much to be talking about or have a swagger about until now," Holliday said.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: August 25, 2008

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Jason Allen Name: Jason Allen
Position: S
Age: 25
Experience: 3 years
College: Tennessee
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