Ricky Williams scores three times, leads Miami Dolphins over Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - With Ronnie Brown lost for the season, the Miami Dolphins turned to their aging running back. Ricky Williams showed he's still got it. The 32-year-old 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 to get into the AFC playoff picture. A day after learning Brown is lost for the season to a foot injury, 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. "Coach always talks about finishing," Williams said. "Sometimes in this league, in a physical game, it's difficult to finish. I think in the past we've prided ourselves on finishing games and we did a good job tonight." DeAngelo Williams rushed for 122 yards for the Panthers (4-6), but Jake Delhomme had his streak of three games without an interception snapped. His desperation pass into the end zone was knocked down as time expired. "We just didn't tackle well," Carolina defensive tackle Damione Lewis said. "Ricky is a hard running, big tailback, He broke some tackles, and that's him." Dolphins coach Tony Sparano hinted his team might abandon the wildcat without Brown, who was placed on injured reserve Wednesday. Miami didn't use the formation until the second quarter. It coincided with the Dolphins' first touchdown drive - Chad Henne's 14-yard touchdown pass to Williams, who wrestled away from linebacker Na'il Diggs. Miami took a 14-3 halftime lead when Williams took the direct snap at the 1 and got to the end zone ahead of 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 Continue Reading

Rex Ryan still fuming day after New York Jets collapse to Miami Dolphins

Rex Ryan's emotions went from defiant to humbled at times Tuesday. And he was outspoken as usual. Less than 24 hours after losing an emotional game to the rival Miami Dolphins, Ryan declared this Sunday's game against Buffalo - the sixth game of the season - a "must-win" for the ego-bruised Jets. "We've got to get it done right now," Ryan said yesterday. "We're not looking past anybody. This is a must-win for us. I think we have to respond." Ryan and the Jets were feeling the effects of their last-second, 31-27loss to the Dolphins Monday night. Ryan was still seething at his defense, which was abused by quarterback Chad Henne and the Wildcat tandem of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. "On defense, I'm mad still," Ryan said after his Jets surrendered three leads in the fourth quarter. "That's unacceptable. It's how you respond. This is a step back, but we can make a huge leap forward. We've just got to learn from this and we've got to practice better. Really, that's on me." The Jets' rookie coach blamed himself and the scout team for not helping the defense prepare adequately against a Dolphins offense that gained 121 yards on the ground and through the air out of the Wildcat formation that Ryan had said didn't have him flinching last week. After looking over the film, Ryan said he would also have managed the clock differently in the final minutes. Ryan allowed the Dolphins to run the clock down to six seconds before scoring the game-winning touchdown even though he had two timeouts. He said he thought his defense would prevent the Dolphins from scoring a touchdown or at the very least force an overtime-clinching field goal. "When you look back on it, I would have handled it differently," Ryan admitted. "I really was shocked. I just assumed we'd stop them. But, again, it's my responsibility. I've got nobody talking in my ear. That is something that I've got to control. That's a mistake that I came by honestly. If I had that opportunity again, I should have been more Continue Reading

Tom Brady throws two 4th-quarter interceptions as Miami Dolphins rally to beat New England Patriots

MIAMI - The New England Patriots' road woes sent Tom Brady to his knees Sunday. When his final desperation pass was intercepted, he stooped over and buried his face in the turf, as if trying to hide. There was no escaping the blown opportunities for Brady and the Patriots, who missed repeated chances to put the game away in the fourth quarter before the Miami Dolphins rallied for a 22-21 victory. Chad Henne threw for a career-high 335 yards and directed a 51-yard drive for the winning field goal with 1:02 left. "When you lose, it's an awful feeling," Brady said. "We're just not closing the game out when we have an opportunity." AFC East leader New England (7-5) remained winless in five games in opponents' stadiums. For the third time on the road, the Patriots lost after leading in the fourth quarter. "If things don't go your way, you've got to fight back," Brady said. "At times we do, and at other times I don't think we fight very hard." The Dolphins (6-6) overcame an early 14-point deficit to keep their playoff prospects alive. "It puts us right back in the thick of things," coach Tony Sparano said. The verdict was sealed when Channing Crowder made his first career interception, picking off Brady at the Patriots 40 with 35 seconds left. Brady went to the locker room early in the game for treatment of an arm injury, but he returned without missing a play. He finished 19 for 29 for 352 yards and two long touchdowns, but he also threw two fourth-quarter interceptions, and New England scored only once in the final 44 minutes. Brady declined to blame his health, even though he came in with right shoulder and finger injuries. "There are a lot of guys who are banged up," he said. "I don't think many guys are 100 percent. It's late in the year. It's a physical game. You've still got to go out and get the job done." Leading 21-19, the Patriots had first-and-goal at the 4 with 10 minutes left, but Brady was intercepted in the end zone by rookie Continue Reading

Peyton Manning leads Indianapolis Colts past Miami Dolphins 27-23 on Monday Night Football

MIAMI  — Peyton Manning spent most of the night on the sideline and just enough time reaching the end zone. The Indianapolis Colts had the ball for less than 15 minutes, but Manning made the most of his chances, helping his team come from behind four times to beat the Miami Dolphins 27-23 Monday night. Manning threw touchdown passes of 80 yards to Dallas Clark and 48 yards to Pierre Garcon. The first came score on the first play from scrimmage, the latter with 3:18 left for the game's final points. "It was about being efficient when it counted, in the fourth quarter," Manning said. "That's really what the game's about."Hollywood-style grand entrance, Manning slipped in a side door and stole the show. The Dolphins rolled out an orange carpet for the pregame arrival of new owner Stephen Ross' celebrity partners. The crowd included Serena and Venus Williams, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Buffett and Colts rooter Tiger Woods. But Manning was the big star. He finished 14 for 23 for 303 yards, and the Colts improved to 2-0. The Dolphins fell to 0-2 even though they had 239 yards rushing, including 107 with the wildcat. The Colts had the ball for only 14:53, the lowest time of possession for a winning team in the NFL since 1977. They ran 35 plays to 84 for the Dolphins. "It's really disheartening," Miami coach Tony Sparano said. "That's exactly the formula to beat that team." Indy trailed 10-7, 13-10 and 20-13, but each time pulled even. Down 23-20 after Miami scored with 3:50 left, the Colts rallied one more time with a big play by Garcon. "Pierre was patient," Manning said. "He was more talkative than he had been all game, saying, 'I can beat him. I can beat him.' Of course we didn't get many possessions, but he came up big when we really needed him." After completions of 15 and 17 yards, Manning hit Garcon with a short pass on the right side. Garcon cut to the middle, then broke back toward to the Continue Reading

Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins rally past New England Patriots, 22-21

MIAMI - When Tom Brady missed repeated chances to put the game away in the fourth quarter, Chad Henne and the Miami Dolphins took advantage. Henne threw for a career-high 335 yards and directed a 51-yard drive for the winning field goal with 1:02 left as Miami rallied past New England, 22-21, Sunday. The Dolphins (6-6) overcame an early 14-point deficit to keep their slim playoff prospects alive, while AFC East leader New England (7-5) remained winless in five games in opponents' stadiums this season. Miami's win helped the Jets - who won Thursday - move to within a game of the first-place Patriots in the AFC East. For the third time on the road, the Patriots lost after leading in the fourth quarter. The defeat was sealed when Channing Crowder made his first career interception, picking off Brady at the Patriots 40 with 35 seconds left. RAIDERS 27, STEELERS 24: Louis Murphy caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Bruce Gradkowski with nine seconds remaining, his second score in the final 5-1/2 minutes, and Oakland scored three late touchdowns to deal host Pittsburgh its fourth consecutive loss. The Steelers (6-6), in danger of missing the playoffs after winning the Super Bowl for a second time in four seasons, went ahead 24-20 on Ben Roethlisberger's 11-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward with 1:56 remaining, only to have the Raiders (4-8) rally and win it. Pittsburgh, seemingly in good position to secure a high seed in the AFC playoffs after starting 6-2, has lost to two of the NFL's worst teams in the last three weeks, the Chiefs (3-9) and the Raiders. BENGALS 23, LIONS 13: Running back Cedric Benson returned from a two-game layoff because of an injured hip and tied the team record with his fifth 100-yard game of the season, setting up Cincinnati's victory over visiting Detroit (2-10) that had even greater significance for the franchise. The Bengals (9-3) assured themselves of a winning record for only the second time in 19 years. The other Continue Reading

Marc Anthony, new minority owner in Miami Dolphins, buys a condo in Miami

Marc Anthony, newly minted part-owner of the NFL's Miami Dolphins, has bought a condo in Miami, People.com reported. Anthony and wife Jennifer Lopez's new place - a condominium designed by Philippe Starck - is in the Icon Brickell, the magazine stated. It is near downtown Miami and South Beach.The star said that his excitement over joining the Dolphins was behind the move. "We are not selling our homes in New York or Los Angeles, we are just adding Miami," Anthony told People. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Miami Dolphins RB Ricky Williams fights off urge to use pot

MIAMI — Ricky Williams says he was briefly tempted to smoke marijuana during the Miami Dolphins’ bye weekend, an act that could have ended his roller-coaster NFL career. Williams has been in the league’s substance-abuse program since 2002 and has tested positive for marijuana. Williams told The Miami Herald for Tuesday’s editions that when players were given Friday off, “automatically your mind, which is so constrained since training camp began ... says, ‘I’m free, what can I do?”’ “So there was definitely an urge,” he said. “But I just thought about what I have to lose, and it was easy. The urge didn’t last very long.” Since 2004, the Dolphins running back has played only 16 NFL games, including three this year. If Williams were to smoke marijuana again, he would likely be out of the NFL for good because he has already violated the league drug policy four times. “There’s no space, no wiggle room for me,” Williams said. He said that doesn’t scare him, because he feels he’s in control and on the right path. He said he successfully combated the latest urge to smoke by meditating instead, which gives him the same “feeling of being free” as marijuana. “A lot of times when people have some kind of addiction, what happens is they make a mistake and trip up and afterward say, ‘I don’t know what I was thinking,”’ he said. “If you always try to be aware of what is going on in your mind, you won’t ever get to that point where it’s too late.” The 1998 Heisman Trophy winner and 2002 NFL rushing champion said it’s normal to have an urge to smoke. Williams is tested nine times per month on a random basis. The man who administers the urinalysis for the NFL sometimes shows up at Williams’ home before dawn. Williams said he will not smoke marijuana again while he’s in Continue Reading

Miami Dolphins looking to make a splash in the playoffs

MIAMI - Dolphins coach Tony Sparano refers to overconfidence as "drinking the Kool-Aid." His players may be sipping something stronger, because they're talking playoffs.The Dolphins last made the postseason in 2001. They've lost 22 of their past 27 games. They're at the bottom of the AFC East with a 4-4 record. And yet a two-game winning streak has emboldened the Dolphins to embrace the notion of playing in January. "It has always been the goal," receiver Greg Camarillo said. "Now we need to start speaking about it more. We need to expect it. We need to reach for it." Working in Miami's favor is a soft schedule the second half of the season, starting Sunday against injury-riddled Seattle (2-6). Sparano has no problem with his players saying they have a shot at the playoffs. "I want them to have those expectations," Miami's first-year coach said. "I'm not going to hide from those things. We just kind of threw ourselves into the middle of something here, and all we did right now is create an opportunity to have a real big game at home this week." It's the start of an inviting stretch for Sparano's surprising team, led by super-steady former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington, with the final eight games against teams who are a combined 24-40. The Dolphins are only a game off the pace in the AFC East. If they beat the Seahawks and win the following week against woeful Oakland, their home game Nov. 23 against New England could qualify as a showdown - a rarity in Miami in recent years. "We feel like we're right in the conversation of winning this division," said linebacker Joey Porter, the NFL sacks leader. "If you said that at the beginning of the year, nobody would have believed it." And if the Dolphins lose Sunday, they'll be bums again - which may provide sufficient motivation to keep them from taking Seattle lightly. "We were 1-15 last year, so we know what it's like to be sorry," Miami linebacker Channing Crowder said. "Now that we have a little success, we want to Continue Reading

Tom Coughlin says winless Miami Dolphins still a threat

Read Ralph Vacchiano's The Blue Screen Click here to play GIANTS Pick'em The NFL is trying hard this week to sell American football to a European city that has repeatedly rejected the game in the past. Yet that's nothing compared to the sales job Tom Coughlin has to do. He has to sell what no one in his right mind would buy - the idea that the hapless and winless Miami Dolphins are a dangerous foe. And he has to sell them as that even though they are without their best quarterback (Trent Green, IR, concussion), running back (Ronnie Brown, IR, knee) and receiver (Chris Chambers, traded) and their starting free safety (Renaldo Hill, knee), too. "The Miami Dolphins will be a strong team on Sunday in London," Coughlin said yesterday, with a straight face. "If you look at their schedule and the games that they have played, there are any number of games that I'm sure they felt they should have won. They have been in a lot of games, so we are very much aware of the talented people that they have." The Dolphins have been in a few games, including three-point losses at Houston and the Jets, but that's about the best that can be said in their first season under new coach Cam Cameron. Cleo Lemon has thrown only two touchdown passes in three games since replacing Green. Brown had 602 of the Dolphins' 806 total rushing yards and will now give way to Jesse Chatman (117). Brown and Chambers in absentia are still the Dolphins' top two receivers. And the loss of Hill figures to make the NFL's 27th-ranked defense even worse. Still, the Giants - winners of five straight and seemingly on their way to a 6-2 mark for the second straight season - were at least willing to consider what their coach was trying to peddle. "You don't look at the records, you look at the film," said Eli Manning. "They have good players. Looking at their defense, they have Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas. They can take over a game." Maybe, but even the Dolphins don't Continue Reading

Dwayne Johnson rocks Miami Dolphins uniform in glimpse at new HBO show ‘Ballers’

The Rock looks good in aqua. Dwayne Johnson dons a Miami Dolphins uniform in a new leaked pic from behind the scenes of his forthcoming HBO show "Ballers." According to BroBible, Johnson captioned the now-deleted photo, "I meant to hurt you that day. Nothin' dirty… just to punish. "It's how I played the game — relentless and punishing. #92 Spencer Strasmore #Flashbacks #OfAFutureHallOfFamer." The new half-hour series, debuting later this year, revolves around the lives of several pro and former athletes, but other details remain hush-hush. Johnson, a former Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle, plays Spencer Strasmore, a retired NFL player living in Miami. "Hot Tub Time Machine" star Rob Corddry and newcomer John David Washington, an ex-NFL gridder who is Denzel Washington's son, also appear. Johnson is executive producing the series, along with Mark Wahlberg and "Entourage" partner Steve Levinson. Continue Reading