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Scouting report: Miami Dolphins


Ricky Williams and the Dolphins will be a stiff challenge for the Texans on Sunday in Miami.

The Texans (7-7) head east for their final road game of the season on Sunday at Miami, where they'll take on the Dolphins (7-7) at Land Shark Stadium. Sunday's game will kick off at noon CT.

Head coach Tony Sparano and the Dolphins lost an overtime thriller on the road against the Titans in Week 15, but had won four of their previous five before heading to Tennessee. Sparano took the head coaching job in Miami prior to the 2008 season, and is 18-12 overall.

Quarterback: In just his second season as a professional, Chad Henne is 7-4 as a starter. He took over for the injured Chad Pennington in a Week 3 loss at San Diego, and started his first game of the season the following week against Buffalo, leading Miami to a 28-10 triumph.

Sunday at Tennessee, Henne was picked off three times and threw just one touchdown in the loss to the Titans. In all, he was 29-for-46 and finished with 349 passing yards, which is a career-best.

In 2009, he's thrown 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, and has a QB rating of 73.9.

Rookie Pat White has been used primarily in the Wildcat formation and is oh-for-three passing, but has gained 54 yards on 16 carries.

Running back: With 80 rushing yards against the Titans, 1998 Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams cracked the 1,000 yard mark in a season for the fifth time in his career. It's the first time he's reached that milestone since 2003.

The primary back now because Ronnie Brown was lost injury, Williams has rushed for 11 touchdowns this season, to go along with his 1,055 yards on 219 attempts. His yards per carry is at the same 4.8 pace as it was in 2002, when he gained a career-high 1,853 yards and scored 16 touchdowns. Williams has rushed for 100 yards or more in four of the last six ballgames.

Williams has also been a threat catching the ball, as he's scored a pair of touchdowns receiving and has caught 27 passes for 234 yards.

Wide receiver/tight end: Second-year pass catcher Davone Bess is atop the team in both receptions and yardage, hauling in 66 passes for 628 yards and a touchdown, which he scored in Week 13 at home against New England.

Sunday against the Titans, Bess caught four passes for 58 yards. His best game of the season came against the Patriots when, in addition to the touchdown reception, he caught nine other passes and finished with a career-high 117 yards.

Greg Camarillo's 44 catches for 498 yards are both good enough for second on the Dolphins, and he's coming off a five-catch, 46-yard performance at Tennessee. In a Week 14 victory at Jacksonville, he turned in his finest game of the season, as he wound up with seven grabs for 110 yards. Camarillo, however, hasn't caught a touchdown pass in 2009.

12 times this season, receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. has been held to less than 40 yards receiving in a game, and five times this year he's been limited to less than 10 yards in a game. In all, he's caught 30 passes for 352 yards and a score. But if you subtract his 11-catch, 108 yard outburst against the Colts in Week 2, Ginn's averaging 1.5 catches and 19 yards per game this year.

Another former Ohio State Buckeye is Brian Hartline, and he's pulled in 26 passes for 441 yards and a trio of scores. He caught two passes for a whopping 96 yards versus the Titans, and also carried the football one time for 10 yards.

Anthony Fasano starts at tight end, and this season he's caught 28 passes for 290 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He scored against the Titans on Sunday, and it was one of his four passes caught on the day, as he finished with 36 yards.

Offensive line: The Dolphins front line has paved the way for a rushing attack averaging 4.4 yards per carry. They've also allowed 28 sacks. Left tackle Jake Long is in his second season as a pro, and he's following up a rookie campaign in which he was selected to the Pro Bowl. To his right is left guard Justin Smiley, a six-year veteran, while Jake Grove is the center. On the right side, it's guard Donald Thomas and tackle Vernon Carey.

DEFENSE Defensive line: Miami runs a 3-4 defense, and up front features ends Kendall Langford and Randy Starks, along with nose tackle Paul Soliai. With 21 total tackles, two of which have been for a loss, Soliai is getting his first bit of extensive playing time in his three years as a professional.

Langford has 32 total tackles and 2.5 sacks this season, and on Sunday against the Titans he finished with three total tackles and a sack.

Starks, meanwhile, has been even more of a force, as he's recorded 49 total tackles (five for a loss) and six sacks.

Linebackers: This is a very strong unit, as outside linebacker Joey Porter leads the team in sacks with eight. Close behind Porter is the other starter at outside linebacker in JasonTaylor, who has recorded seven sacks of his own since returning to Miami this season. Inside linebackers Channing Crowder and Akin Ayodele have combined for 109 tackles.

Secondary: Strong safety Yeremiah Bell leads the team with 103 tackles (82 solo) and also has one interception. He set a team and career-high of 120 tackles in 2008, and finished with six total stops against the Titans.

The starting free safety is Gibril Wilson, who's recorded 89 total stops.

Rookie corner Vontae Davis is leading the team in interceptions with four, one of which he has returned for a touchdown, and the other starting corner is Sean Smith, who's deflected 11 passes in 2009.

Special teams: Dan Carpenter is in his second season and leads the team with 98 points. He has connected on 91.7% (22-of-24) of his field goal attempts including a long of 52 yards.

Brandon Fields is averaging 46.2 yards on his 66 punts this season which ranks him sixth in the NFL.

Bess and Ginn have been handling most of the punt and kickoff return duties this season, averaging 7.6 and 26.5 yards respectively on their returns. Ginn has also returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

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