Daunte Culpepper, making his first start as a Raider, threw two touchdown passes and ran for three scores to lead Oakland to a 35-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Trent Green, whose arrival in Miami during the offseason signaled the end of Culpepper's stay with the Dolphins, completed 14 of 25 pass attempts for 158 yards, and he threw two early interceptions that helped Oakland assume control.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Modesto Bee
With his team leading 7-0, Raiders coach Lane Kiffin elected to go for it on fourth and goal from the Miami 1-yard line. Culpepper took the snap and dived into the end zone for the first of his three rushing touchdowns, then tapped his surgically repaired right knee and let the unhappy home crowd know he's "OK."
BY THE NUMBERS
5: Culpepper had a hand in all five touchdowns; the Raiders scored 12 touchdowns on offense the entire 2006 season.
2: The Raiders enter their bye week having matched last season's victory total.
2-15: Oakland was penalized just twice for 15 yards.
12: Culpepper attempted 12 passes, two of which went to Jerry Porter for touchdowns.
THEY SAID IT
"There were a lot of questions about my knee. Everywhere I would go, people would ask me about my knee. I wanted to say, 'Hey, I'm OK. I'm getting better every day.' "
"He had a chip on his shoulder. He wanted revenge."
-- Oakland defensive lineman Warren Sapp on Culpepper
"Good for him. Everybody doubted him. They said he was too old and too hurt, but they say that about a lot of guys."
-- Dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor on Culpepper
It's hard to believe this is the same offensive line the entire planet made fun of a season ago.
Did anybody hear Robert Gallery's name called this week? As is the case with umpires in baseball, this is a good thing if you're a Raiders fan.
Get well soon, LaMont Jordan.
Lane Kiffin for president.