MIAMI (AP) -For much of the day on defense, the Miami Dolphins played as if they could anticipate what was coming.
On fourth-and-goal, they did.
Miami guessed correctly to stuff LaDainian Tomlinson, and the goal-line stand capped a dominating performance by a defense that bore no resemblance to the unit humiliated only three weeks ago.
The Dolphins allowed just 202 yards and 10 first downs to beat the San Diego Chargers 17-10 Sunday.
``Our defense was outstanding,'' coach Tony Sparano said.
Facing a team that led the NFL in scoring average, the Dolphins pressured Philip Rivers, blanketed his receivers and limited Tomlinson to 35 yards rushing. Yet it might have all been for naught had Miami (2-2) not risen to the occasion with a seven-point lead on the line early in the fourth quarter.
fumble on the kickoff. Five plays later it was fourth down at the 1, but Tomlinson's plunge over left guard was stopped for no gain, with Vonnie Holliday and Channing Crowder leading the defensive charge.
``They lined up as we expected, and they ran where we expected. We were ready for it,'' Holliday said. ``You talk about a momentum change. It was a huge play.''
But hardly the only shining moment for a defense that allowed pass completions of 79 and 75 yards in a loss at Arizona last month.
Given early leads in the two games since then, Miami's defense has held firm. The Chargers found themselves down 17-3 at halftime.
``They had to play catch-up,'' defensive tackle Jason Ferguson said. ``We got them out of their game plan, and that's always what you want to do.''
The key was to stop Tomlinson, whose longest gain in 17 touches was 11 yards.
``We knew we had to take care of No. 21,'' Ferguson said.
While the Chargers were limited to 60 yards rushing and converted only three third downs, the Dolphins gained 167 yards rushing and converted seven third downs. As a result, Miami's defense was on the field only 23 minutes.
``They keep us rested,'' safety Yeremiah Bell said. ``That's an advantage for us.''
ack and three tackles for a loss, and linebacker Joey Porter had a sack to increase his season total to six.
``To shut down an offense with so many weapons that can hurt you in so many places on the field, it felt good,'' Bell said.
It felt especially good when the Dolphins dug in at the goal line while clinging to a one-touchdown lead. Tomlinson said the Chargers' fourth-down play was one of their favorites, so it's not surprising Miami anticipated it. And perhaps it made no difference.
``We were determined not to let those guys in,'' Bell said. ``I don't think it mattered what they ran.''
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