Game Preview: Dolphins-Colts

The Dolphins wrap up a disappoining 2006 season Sunday when they take on the Indianapolis Colts at the RCA Dome. Here is a complete look at the matchup.

Miami Dolphins (6-9) at Indianapolis Colts (11-4)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:15 p.m. ET

SURFACE: FieldTurf

TV: CBS, Jim Nantz, Phil Simms

SERIES: The Dolphins lead 46-22, although Indianapolis took the last meeting in 2003.

2006 RANKINGS: Dolphins: offense 23rd (26th rush, 14th pass); defense 3rd (7th rush, 4th pass). Colts: offense 3rd (18th rush, 2nd pass); defense 20th (32nd rush, 2nd pass)

KEYS TO THE GAME: While the Colts are desperately trying to regain their lost form in time for the postseason, the Dolphins are turning to former third-string QB Cleo Lemon to close out their season. Lemon provided a spark in relief of Joey Harrington on Monday, but the real key is RB Ronnie Brown. He ran well against the Jets — and pretty much everyone has run well against the Colts. Indianapolis' shoddy run defense appears to be an Achilles' heel, but if they can stop Brown they should be able to force a few turnovers by pressuring the inexperienced Lemon on long passing downs. The one constant remains the Colts' offense. QB Peyton Manning has been playing at a very high level the past few weeks and should have success against Miami's beat-up secondary. Unless DE Jason Taylor is able to lead a ferocious pass rush — unlikely considering how well the Colts protect Manning — Lemon doesn't figure to be a threat in a scoring duel.

FAST FACTS: Dolphins: Taylor has tied former Dolphin Trace Armstrong for 17th place all time with 106.0 career sacks. ... Are 7-3 with 18 interceptions in 10 regular season games against Manning. Colts: Earn a first-round bye with a victory and loss by Baltimore. ... Manning is the first player in NFL history with seven consecutive 4,000-yard seasons.



--WR Marty Booker, who missed Monday's game with a sprained ankle, returned to practice Thursday, and although he's listed as questionable, bet on him returning for the season finale Sunday. Booker needs two catches to reach 53, which would be his highest total since the 2003 season.

-- DT Jeff Zgonina will replace Keith Traylor in the starting lineup Sunday. Traylor is nursing chronic knee pain and a toe injury. Zgonina also started against the Vikings.

-- FS Renaldo Hill, nursing a hand injury, returned to practice on a limited basis. If he can't go, then look for rookie Jason Allen to receive his first NFL start.

-- RB Ronnie Brown has shown no ill effects from his broken left hand after returning Monday night and after gaining 110 yards on 18 carries. Brown needs 107 yards for his first 1,000-yard season. He's going against the 32nd-ranked run defense.

-- DE Jason Taylor could use one more big game to lock up the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. Taylor ripped his main competitor for the honor, Chargers LB Shawne Merriman, on Wednesday, saying that Merriman didn't deserve to be in the running because of his four-game suspension for violating the league steroid policy.


-- TE Dallas Clark (knee) practiced Thursday for a second consecutive day and appears ready to see a little playing time this week against Miami. Clark has been sidelined for the past four weeks since he incurred a sprained anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against Philadelphia.

-- DE Dwight Freeney (shoulder) returned to practice Thursday and is expected to start against Miami this week. Freeney was given Wednesday's practice off in order to rest his shoulder.

--G Ryan Lilja is not expected to play against the Dolphins on Sunday. Lilja did not practice Wednesday or Thursday. He was injured in the first quarter of last week's game at Houston, suffering a sprained right knee.

--G Dylan Gandy, who has started nine games this year, probably will step into the starting lineup against Miami this week. Gandy and Ryan Lilja have split time at the guard position this season.

-- WR Aaron Moorehead sat out Thursday's practice but is expected to play against the Dolphins on Sunday.

-- WR Ricky Proehl (hamstring) has not practiced this week and probably will be a game-time decision this week. Proehl has been bothered by tightness in his leg for the past couple of weeks.

-R B Dominic Rhodes (ankle) returned for Thursday's practice. He is expected to start this week against the Dolphins.

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