Culpepper's emotions settled

As aerial displays go, it hasn't exactly been Star Wars. Daunte Culpepper closed out a win over Cleveland and beat the Miami Dolphins in his first start.

Neither time did the Raiders quarterback resemble the man who put up big passing numbers while a quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings.

Instead, Culpepper has let the Raiders' robust ground game take the lead role, while efficiently managing the game on the field, running for gains himself, and throwing the occasional clutch pass.

In the six quarters Culpepper has been a starter, the Raiders have rushed 74 times for 307 yards. During that span, Culpepper has thrown just 25 times, completing 12 for 188 yards and two touchdowns.

"There will be a time where we're going to need to throw," coach Lane Kiffin said. "It may be this week. I don't know when it's going to be. Ideally, you'll be able to run that way every week but that's not going to happen in this league. There are going to be times when we struggle."

Culpepper, whose two appearances have resulted in wins, is more worried about the bottom line than big passing stats.

"That's football," Culpepper said. "I've been playing this game a long time. Anybody who knows about football will tell you it doesn't matter how many wins you get. It's all about the W's."

In the Raiders' 35-17 win over Miami, Culpepper was more animated than usual, with the game coming against the team that cut him in favor of Trent Green because of concern over his twice-surgically repaired knee.

Culpepper assumes he will be calmer against San Diego.

"It's just it was an emotional game for me, playing in front of my family members that were there," Culpepper said. "Anybody who knows me knows that I play with a lot of emotions. I still have to keep the No. 1 goal in mind and that's to win the game. I don't get too high and I don't get too low. I play with emotion when the time is right."


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