Williams leads Dolphins to win against Panthers

Friday, November 20, 2009
Miami Dolphins' running back Ricky Williams breaks loose for a 46-yard touchdown run during the second half Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. (RICK HAVNER ~ Associated Press)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- He may be 32, but Ricky Williams is far from done. And even without Ronnie Brown, the once written-off Miami Dolphins are back in the playoff picture.

Williams rushed for 119 yards and scored three touchdowns, and the Dolphins beat the Carolina Panthers 24-17 on Thursday night for their fourth win in six games.

A day after learning Brown is lost for the season, the Dolphins (5-5) continued their surge after an 0-3 start behind Williams. The 2002 NFL rushing champion had a receiving and rushing touchdown in the same game for the first time in his career that included a couple of lost seasons.

It was enough to beat the Panthers (4-6) when Jake Delhomme's desperation pass into the end zone was knocked down as time expired.

Miami didn't use the Wildcat formation until the second quarter. It coincided with the Dolphins' first touchdown drive -- Chad Henne's 14-yard touchdown pass to Williams.

Miami took a 14-3 halftime lead when Williams took the direct snap at the 1 and got to the end zone ahead of speedy linebacker Jon Beason.

The Panthers got within 17-14 on Steve Smith's leaping 27-yard touchdown catch and DeAngelo Williams' 2-point conversion run with 5:18 left. But Ricky Williams bounced to the outside and shook off Sherrod Martin at the Carolina 5 on a 46-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession.

DeAngelo Williams rushed for 122 yard for Carolina.

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