By Brian Miller
Tomorrow morning when you wake up and you open the NFL.com website, then click on standings, that’s what you will see. “Z”. Next to the name Miami Dolphins. It means “Division Champion” as in AFC East Division Champions. Yes, that is this year Miami Dolphins. From last to first in one season.
The Phins pulled off the unexpected, the improbable, and they did it on the road against the team that has owned them over the last 4 to 5 years. It was not decisive. It was hard fought. The Phins never really found an offensive rhythm in the first half. Instead, they blew 2 wildcat plays that would could easily had been touchdowns. A dropped pass by Ricky Williams and an errant throw by Ronnie Brown that fell to the ground.
The defense couldn’t keep the Jets from moving the ball but followed their signature bend but don’t break mantra keeping the Jets at 6 points off a touchdown following a Chad Pennington fumble, and then a FG before giving up a 3rd quarter TD to give the Jets 17. Their final score.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins hit Ted Ginn on a flea flicker that Ginn came back for and then an Anthony Fasano TD pass on another adjustment. It was then that the defense took the game over. The Dolphins defense kept the Jets in front of them and not behind them. They kept Favre guessing and began to put more pressure on him. The Jets were playing from behind and the Phins knew that the pressure on Favre would force their offense to throw quick routes. They guessed right and the Phins intercepted Favre late for their 3rd INT of the day.
The closing seconds ran off with a series of laterals to extend the game but in the end, it simply wasn’t enough. A 7 point victory that put the Dolphins atop the AFC East. A victory that put the reigning AFC East Champion New England Patriots home for the post-season. A victory that brought respectability back to a franchise that had lost it some 7 years ago.
Tonight, the Miami Dolphins have regained some of their swagger…tonight, they are once again Champions. And that’s “Z” truth!