QB-WR Combo Renewing Confidence

It appears that Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss have discussed hooking up more on the field, and Culpepper's performance Sunday certainly reflected that.

The transition from starting quarterback to backup and back again couldn't have gone any smoother for the 6-0 Vikings over the last 3 1/2 games.

Daunte Culpepper returned Sunday from the back injury he suffered a month ago, and not one "We want Gus!" chant could be heard inside the Metrodome.

Why? Because Culpepper squashed any hint of a quarterback controversy by completing 19 of 26 passes for 277 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Culpepper, who threw 23 interceptions last season, hasn't thrown an interception in 95 attempts this season. Part of that is receiver Randy Moss is trying harder to bat the ball down if he can't catch it.

"I know Daunte gets really mad at myself or a wide receiver when we let a guy pick the ball off, and I think it's our job not to let one of those defensive backs to pick the ball off," Moss said. "So, if he's obligated to throw the ball down there to me, then I'm obligated to either catch it or break it up."

Culpepper said that has made him more confident throwing downfield.

"Randy said he's going to do everything in his power to make sure that an interception doesn't happen," Culpepper said. "If he doesn't get it, nobody gets it."

  • Denver receiver Rod Smith when asked if he had ever seen a play like the one Randy Moss made Sunday, flipping a no-look, over-the-shoulder lateral — as he was being tackled by two players — to a trailing Moe Williams, who then raced 15 yards for a touchdown as the first-half clock expired: "Yeah, on PlayStation."
  • S Corey Chavous sprained his right knee, but missed only three plays in the fourth quarter before returning. He'll play Sunday.
  • WR Kelly Campbell bruised his right calf, but returned to the game. Campbell wore a protective boot Monday, but coach Mike Tice said Campbell would be listed as probable on Wednesday.
  • LB Raonall Smith re-aggravated a chronic hamstring pull and probably won't play.
  • PK Aaron Elling didn't kickoff Sunday because of a sore back. But he made all four PATs and did not attempt a field goal. Jose Cortez, who was added to the roster on Friday, kicked off. He was still on the team as of Monday afternoon.

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