In the offseason, it seemed like the New York Jets' trade for future Hall of Famer Brett Favre could only hamper the Miami Dolphins' chances of winning games.
However, the acquisition of Favre sent veteran quarterback Chad Pennington packing, and once Pennington became a free agent, the Dolphins were chomping at the bit to acquire a solid game-managing quarterback.
At the time, anything seemed better than the Dolphins' present quarterbacks John Beck, Chad Henne, and Josh McCown. The leadership of Pennington began to pay dividends in the first game of the season, as he kept his young teammates close with the high-flying Jets.
It seemed, though, that Pennington would not be enough of a presence to keep the Dolphins out of the AFC cellar, but his short passes and skillful distribution of the football allowed mediocre receivers Ted Ginn, Jr. and Greg Camarillo to come out of their shells, becoming solid offensive threats.
Ten games into the 2008 season, the Dolphins are 6-4 and in the thick of an exciting playoff and divisional race. It is hard to imagine where Miami would be without Bill Parcells' excellent decision to bring in Pennington.
Now it is up to veterans such as Chad Pennington, Joey Porter, and Vonnie Holliday to keep this young team hungry. Tony Sparano will definitely make sure his team plays every down like it's their last.
The Dolphins have the luxury of the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL. Miami will have to take care of business against the lesser teams they will be going against, such as the San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, and Kansas City Chiefs.
Still, this team will have to step up, as they still have three huge divisional games against the New England Patriots, Buffalo Bills, and the surging New York Jets.
It looks to be an exciting finish to the season, but I think the Dolphins' playoff hopes are in their hands, and they will decide their own fate.