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 DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -A running back took direct snaps to help the Miami Dolphins grab headlines and their first win in the Bill Parcells era.
Somewhat lost in the frenzy surrounding Miami's unorthodox formation, called ``Wildcat,'' was an impressive performance by their quarterback, Chad Pennington, who posted the most accurate numbers of his nine-year NFL career.
Pennington went 17-for-20 for 226 yards in Miami's 38-13 win over New England last Sunday. His 85 percent completion mark was a new personal single-game high, and was the second-best completion percentage in the team's history.
``It is a great feeling,'' Pennington said of Miami's offensive performance. ``It's the best feeling you can have as an offensive football player. It really is because you just feel like whatever's called, good things are going to happen. To have that feeling, it doesn't get any better than that.''
nst New England, but much of the offense came when he didn't touch the ball. The Dolphins tried the direct snap to Ronnie Brown six times, getting five runs for 100 yards and three touchdowns and a halfback option pass to Anthony Fasano for a 19-yard touchdown.
``I just thought this would be a good opportunity right now to throw something out there that I knew the players would put their arms around,'' Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said. ``I knew they'd be fired up to get into this thing a little bit. It would create some angles for us, without a doubt within our interior. It would create space based on what I've seen in what we had studied on film and from that standpoint there that was really what we tried to do.''
Pennington was touted as an upgrade at quarterback when he signed as a free agent Aug. 8 after being released by the New York Jets. But two games into this season, he and the Dolphins were still waiting for a win.
In the Dolphins 31-10 loss at Arizona on Sept. 14, Pennington was the Dolphins' second-best quarterback. Rookie Chad Henne came off the bench in the fourth quarter to direct their lone touchdown drive. In their season opener, Pennington had 251 yards passing and two touchdowns against his former team, but he threw an interception in the end zone with 5 seconds left to seal the Jets' 20-14 win.
Pennington said. ``Especially when you have a young team, instilling that confidence and being able to see the benefit of your hard work, to see the results, that's huge. I think what our guys have done a great job of is not losing confidence after our first two games.''
If the Dolphins did have a confidence problem during their first two games this season, it was for good reason. Miami is coming off a depressing 1-15 season and had lost 20 of its previous 21 contests going into the game against New England. The Dolphins are off this week, which means the team's next chance to showcase their new formation and new quarterback is against San Diego on Oct. 5.
``The feeling that we had after Sunday as opposed to the feeling that we had after two weeks ago Sunday, it's polar opposites,'' cornerback Andre Goodman said. ``Joyful and misery - it's a big difference.''

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