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Williams leads Miami by Carolina

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — 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.