Final

Titans 10

(4-11, 1-6 away)

Dolphins 24

(8-7, 5-3 home)

1:00 PM ET, December 24, 2005

 

1 2 3 4 T
TEN 3 0 0 710
MIA 0 17 0 724

Top Performers

Passing: G. Frerotte (MIA) - 151 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: R. Williams (MIA) - 26 CAR, 172 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: D. Bennett (TEN) - 4 REC, 70 YDS, 1 TD

Dolphins ride Ricky to first five-game win streak since '99

MIAMI (AP) -- A workhorse once more, Ricky Williams wore down the Tennessee Titans until his final carry took him into the end zone, where he celebrated the touchdown that clinched the Miami Dolphins' latest win.

It was over when ...
With less than 2½ minutes left, the Dolphins turned the ball over to Ricky Williams, who had one run for 35 yards and another for 19 and a TD that clinched the team's fifth straight win -- the first time Miami has won that many in a row since 1999.
Game ball goes to ...
Williams, who, with a heavier-than-usual workload because injured starter Ronnie Brown was inactive, carried a season-high 26 times in his first 100-yard effort since 2003.

In his best performance since returning from a one-year retirement, Williams gained 172 yards in 26 rushes and helped Miami cap a perfect December by beating Tennessee 24-10 on Saturday.

Williams has shared carries most of the season with Ronnie Brown. When knee and ankle injuries left the rookie inactive, Williams assumed his heaviest workload of the season.

"As the game goes on, I usually get stronger and more comfortable and have a better feel for what to do," the 2002 NFL rushing champion said. "Life is about opportunities. Unfortunately Ronnie was down, so this week I made the most of the opportunity."

The Dolphins (8-7), eliminated from playoff contention last week, have won five in a row for the first time since 1999. They went 4-0 in December under first-year coach Nick Saban, finishing the month unbeaten for the first time in 20 years.

"To watch this team grow and be part of it has been special," Williams said. "We've made strides, and we can be confident that we can go into next season strong."

The Titans (4-11) matched last season's loss total with one game still to go. They also lost quarterback Steve McNair, who strained a pectoral muscle in pregame warmups and came out in the second quarter.

"It got sore and more sore as the game went on," McNair said. "It hurt more when I threw."

Williams was dazed by a tackle in the fourth quarter but quickly rejoined the lineup and looked even stronger and faster down the stretch. The 100-yard game was his first since 2003.

"I am so happy for Ricky," Saban said. "He has played a great role for this team all year. He has been unselfish and has been a really good team guy."

Nursing a 17-10 lead with less than 2½ minutes left, Miami put the game in Williams' hands. He broke loose for a season-best 35-yard run and scored on a 19-yard run to clinch the win.

"We have a great deal of respect for Ricky," Titans coach Jeff Fisher said. "But we never expected them to do that to our defense, especially when we were in some must-stop situations."

Miami's Chris Chambers caught touchdown passes of 11 and 7 yards and surpassed 1,000 yards receiving in a season for the first time in his five-year career. He made five receptions for 51 yards and has scored in each of the past four games.

Tennessee's only touchdown came on a 55-yard pass from Billy Volek to Drew Bennett.

Otherwise, Volek struggled against a heavy pass rush, finishing 14-of-24 for 132 yards. He was sacked four times and lost his helmet as he threw an incompletion when hit by blitzing cornerback Reggie Howard.

McNair went 5-for-13 for 34 yards, and his final two throws were intercepted. Volek lost a fumble on a sack after the Titans reached the Miami 3-yard line on the first series of the second half.

"The only positive," Fisher said, "is that it's over."

Despite the Dolphins' fast finish, their bandwagon has yet to overflow. Announced attendance was a sellout of 72,001, but the stands were half empty for the Christmas Eve game.

Tank Williams recovered Gus Frerotte's fumble to give Tennessee a first down at the Miami 10, but the Titans settled for a 24-yard field goal by Rob Bironas and their only lead at 3-0.

Miami took advantage of a turnover to pull even. When the Titans' Ben Troupe attempted a one-handed catch, the ball deflected to linebacker Donnie Spragan, setting up Olindo Mare's 25-yard field goal.

McNair's next pass was also intercepted, by Sam Madison, and Miami then mounted a 61-yard drive capped by Chambers' 11-yard touchdown reception.

Following a punt, the Dolphins moved 48 yards in the final 1:43 of the half for another score. Chambers' second TD made it 17-3 at halftime.

Frerotte, a 12-year pro, tied his career high of 17 touchdown passes. He finished 14-for-30 for 151 yards.

Game notes


McNair said he's uncertain whether he'll be able to play in the final game Jan. 1 at Jacksonville. ... Dangerous Titans rookie Pacman Jones was limited to 25 yards in eight punt returns. ... Williams' 100-yard game was the 30th of his career. ... The Dolphins rushed for 192 yards, their highest total since 2002.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
TEN
MIA
1st Downs1119
Passing 1st downs
69
Rushing 1st downs
49
1st downs from penalties
11
3rd down efficiency
4-166-17
4th down efficiency
0-10-0
Total Plays6671
Total Yards234322
Yards per play3.54.5
Total Drives1716
Passing142130
Comp-Att
19-3714-30
Yards per pass
3.53.9
Interceptions thrown
21
Sacks-Yards Lost
4-243-21
Rushing92192
Rushing Attempts
2538
Yards per rush
3.75.1
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-20-4
Penalties5-284-30
Turnovers32
Fumbles lost
11
Interceptions thrown
21
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00
Possession31:4828:12

Passing Leaders

TENC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Volek14/241325.5104-24
McNair5/13342.6020-0
MIAC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Frerotte14/301515.0213-21

Rushing Leaders

TENCARYDSAVGTDLG
Henry16654.1017
Brown7182.605
MIACARYDSAVGTDLG
Williams261726.6135
Morris5112.207

Receiving Leaders

TENRECYDSAVGTDLG
Bennett47017.5155
Roby33010.0014
MIARECYDSAVGTDLG
Chambers55110.2220
Booker35016.7023

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERTENMIA
tenFG1:53Rob Bironas 16 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 4 yds, 1:27
30
SECOND QUARTERTENMIA
miaFG7:35Olindo Mare 17 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 34 yds, 2:48
33
miaTD2:53Chris Chambers, 11 yd pass from Gus Frerotte (Olindo Mare kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 61 yds, 3:44
310
miaTD0:33Chris Chambers, 7 yd pass from Gus Frerotte (Olindo Mare kick is good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 48 yds, 1:10
317
FOURTH QUARTERTENMIA
tenTD12:30Drew Bennett, 55 yd pass from Billy Volek (Rob Bironas kick is good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 55 yds, 0:00
1017
miaTD1:56Ricky Williams, 19 yd run (Olindo Mare kick is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 63 yds, 0:25
1024