Starting the season 2-0 before even playing a home game, and beating the NFC runner-up in their own building, is going to qualify for some national attention. Nobody is going to be sleeping on the Dolphins anymore. But how much of that is legitimate, and are they really a championship contender, or just the beneficiary of two sputtering offenses?
Shutting down the Bills offense is a nice accomplishment on the road, but they're going to be at the bottom or near the bottom of most offensive statistical categories at years end. The Vikings on the other hand, appeared to beat themselves. Three interceptions and a lost fumble that resulted in a Dolphins touchdown for Brett Favre, and two failed fourth down conversions deep in Miami territory motivated Visanthe Shaincoe to hint that they gave the game away.
To an extent he has a point, but then again, what game was he watching? Ricky Williams gift wrapped the Vikings their only touchdown, and single handedly left the door open for them to get back in that game after trailing 14-0 in the third quarter.
Later on, after Jason Allen picked off Brett Favre for a second time, the Dolphins had another opportunity to close the deal. Ronnie Brown gave it right back on the next play. So while the media may portray Sunday's win as more of Brett Favre's fault than anything, don't buy it.
It was Cameron Wake that brought the pressure all game long. It was Vontae Davis making an outstanding play, intercepting that ball in the redzone, and it was Jason Allen who had perfect coverage on Favre's other two picks. It was Karlos Dansby who rose to the occasion on fourth and goal. And at the end of the day, no matter what it looked like, or how ugly it was, it was the Dolphins who knocked off the Vikings at home for the first time since 2008.
There is really only one thing left for this defense to prove. We know they are capable of stopping the run, even though Peterson really got going in the second half, and we know they are going to get after the quarterback. We've yet to see them go against an elite passing attack, though. I don't even need to address the Bills, and the Vikings have a depleted receiving core.
Sanchez played well against the Patriots, but I still don't think this improved secondary will get their first true test until Week 4 against Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and Wes Welker. If we can see the type of lockdown coverage we saw yesterday from Vontae Davis and Jason Allen, against New England, I will be ready to jump head first on the "this defense is the real deal" bandwagon. At the very least, though, they are significantly better than they were a year ago, and good enough to compete against elite offenses.