From Bad to Worse

The Dolphins' dismal season reached a new low on Sunday when they watched Daunte Culpepper torch their struggling and injury-deleted defense for five touchdowns as he led Oakland to a 35-17 victory.

Culpepper passed for two touchdowns, both to Jerry Porter, and ran for three others to lead the Oakland attack.

After outrunning linebacker Donnie Spragan to the corner of the end zone for his second touchdown, Culpepper pointed several times to his surgically repaired right knee, looked up at the crowd and gave the OK sign.

For good measure, he scored again with 23 seconds left in the fourth quarter on a naked bootleg from 3 yards out when Oakland went for it on fourth-and-goal.

Minus the Culpepper drama, the rest of the game was pretty much the way the Dolphins' season has gone so far.

Trent Green had an up-and-down day, the receivers dropped too many passes and the defense was brutal again.

The Dolphins were very much in this game early in the fourth quarter when they trailed only 21-17, when Oakland put together a 79-yard scoring drive where 10 of the 11 plays were runs.

The one pass was Culpepper's 27-yard touchdown to Porter on third-and-7 when Porter got behind DBs Michael Lehan and Travis Daniels.

The Dolphins got the ball back with under eight minutes left, but inexplicable ran the ball twice and then punted after an incomplete pass left them with a fourth-and-4 from their 32.

The Raiders then put together an 82-yard drive that ended with Culpepper scoring with under a minute left.

The Dolphins had closed the gap to 21-17 late in the third quarter on Green's 3-yard touchdown pass to Justin Peelle, who was one of the bright spots for the Dolphins.

Another was running back Ronnie Brown, who had another strong game running the ball and catching it out of the backfield.

Brown scored the Dolphins' other touchdown on a 9-yard run up the middle in the second quarter. That score cut into Oakland's 14-0 lead.

The Raiders took the lead after the first of two Green interceptions gave them the ball at the Dolphins 11-yard line. After a touchdown pass to Mike Williams was nullified by an offensive pass interference penalty, the Raiders took the lead when Culpepper hit Porter on a 7-yard touchdown pass when Porter beat Andre' Goodman on a slant.

The lead moved to 14 when Culpepper sneaked in from 2 yards out on fourth-and-1.

The Dolphins had a great opportunity to tie the game in the second quarter after Brown's touchdown, but two mental mistakes wound up costing the Dolphins.

First, Chris Chambers was called for delay of game when he flipped the ball forward after catching a pass to the Oakland 16-yard line on third-and-7 from the Raiders 31-yard line.

The Raiders also were penalized on the play, so the down was re-played. The Dolphins eventually got a first down, but after getting a first-and-10 at the Raiders 15, Samson Satele was called for holding and then on first-and-20 Green decided to throw up a prayer deep to Chambers while he was being tackled inside of taking a sack, and the result was an interception that killed the drive.

It was the type of mistake the Dolphins have made all season, and did again on Sunday.


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