Let it be known that the Miami Dolphins were not following the recent hype surrounding the San Diego Chargers. As a matter a fact, they flat out came out Sunday and showed San Diego that they are not the same team that was 1-15 a season ago, instead, they are more like the team that stunned the Patriots two weeks ago in New England. Miami used a solid day from Chad Pennington, and another good day from Ronnie Brown to beat the Chargers 17-10 at Dolphin Stadium.
Pennington was solid, going 22-for-29 for 228 yards with a TD. Brown, coming off a five TD outing vs the Pats two weeks ago, was again good, rushing for 125 yards on 24 carries with one score. Ricky Williams helped the Dolphins running game with 39 yards on 13 carries. San Diego seemed stunned from the start, as they took a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter, but were then outscored 17-0 until they got a score in the third quarter from Chris Chambers to make it 17-10. That’s as close as they would get.
The Dolphins used a great drive at the end of the game to salt it away, and after a time out late, Brown went left end for five yards on a 3rd-and-2 to seal the win and send Miami to .500 on the year at 2-2. The shocking loss throws San Diego back to 2-3, stopping their two-game winning streak.
The Fins got a 47-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter to make it 3-3 with 2:48 left in the first quarter. Then Pennington led a 9-play, 65-yard drive that ended when he fired to Greg Camarillo for a 17-yard TD to make it 10-3. San Diego got little going on offense, and the Fins then went 11 plays and 79 yards in 3:40 as Brown capped off the drive with a 5-yard run to make it 17-3 at the half.
Philip Rivers then took the Chargers 68 yards in 7 plays and found Chambers for a 17-yard score that cut the lead to 17-10. That was it for San Diego, as they ran just 14 plays the rest of the way, giving the ball up on downs and then punting twice to end their offensive output. The Dolphins on the other hand put together a niffty 14 play drive that covered 60 yards and the final 5:55 of the clock to win the game.
Rivers was 13-for-28 for 159 yards with one score. The Chargers had just 202 yards of offense, 10 first downs, and 23:19 in the time of possession, to the Fins 36:41. LaDainian Tomlinson was held to just 35 yards on 12 carries, an average of just 2.9 yards per carry. Darren Sproles had just 24 yards on six carries.
The Dolphins take their 2-2 mark to Houston next week to take on the Texans. The Chargers are at home for a Sunday night game vs New England.