|ESPN.com: AFC East||[Print without images]|
MIAMI -- Flukes don't happen two games in a row.
The Miami Dolphins defeated the San Diego Chargers 17-10, giving them back-to-back wins over the teams that played in last year's AFC championship game.
The Dolphins can't be considered a doormat anymore. Quarterback Chad Pennington is managing a precision offense that's thriving with running back Ronnie Brown, who has taken over the feature back role with authority and having fun with their single-wing Wildcat scheme.
In the past two weeks Brown has eclipsed the 100-yard barrier. He has five rushing touchdowns and one passing.
What was most impressive about the Dolphins on Sunday, however, was the way they didn't collapse during a turbulent stretch in the second half.
Dan Carpenter missed a 42-yard field goal that would've given them a 20-3 lead. The Chargers marched down the field with the help of a couple defensive breakdowns and scored a touchdown. Then Dolphins returner Davone Bess fumbled away the kickoff, setting up the potent Chargers.
But the Dolphins regrouped in time to make a goal-line stand, stuffing all-everything running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
A year ago, the Dolphins would've crumbled and lost.