ROAD BLOCK?

The irresistible force meets the immovable object Sunday when Ricky Williams takes on an Oakland run defense that is on a roll.

The Raiders shut down Curtis Martin and LaDainian Tomlinson the last two weeks and are now ranked third in the league at stopping the run.

As all Dolphins fans know, Williams has been on fire lately, going over the 200-yard mark against Buffalo and Chicago the last two weeks.

So something has to give, right?

"They seem to be getting stronger the last few games," said Coach Dave Wannstedt. "Toward the end of last year, it seemed like as the year went on their defense struggled some, whereas this year it seems they're playing better defense than what they did early in the year. They're going to be in a frenzy to get after Ricky, that's not a secret to anybody, and we've got to be prepared for that."

It's no great surprise that the Dolphins will want to establish the run again in the game against Oakland, and they figure to keep at it even if the yards are hard to come by at the beginning of the game.

Remember that Williams has always done a lot of damage in the second half.

"The running game this year with Ricky and the offensive line is playing tremendous right now opening up some holes for him and he's making some big game-breaking runs right now," said quarterback Jay Fiedler. "It makes any quarterback's job easier when you've got aback gaining 200 yards a game.

"Just looking at Oakland on film they're a tremendous team against the run. It's going to be a tremendous challenge to keep our running game going against them."

For his part, Williams isn't overly concerned about the Raiders defense or anything else for that matter.

He's just happy with the way things are going and hoping to continue the roll he's been on.

"I don't really think I'm doing anything special," Williams said. "I think we're just doing a good job up front. If you look at the film, it's not like I'm breaking tackles and making guys miss. We're just doing a good job blocking. The guys up front are getting on their guys and I have plenty of room to run."

The big question is whether he will have plenty of room against the Raiders.


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