Final
  for this game

QB Culpepper looks to turn things around against Titans

Sep 19, 2006 - 9:10 PM Tennessee (0-2) at Miami (0-2) Sunday 1:00 pm EDT

MIAMI (Ticker) -- This is not how Daunte Culpepper envisioned his tenure starting with the Miami Dolphins.

Culpepper looks to turn around his struggles Sunday when the Dolphins host the Tennessee Titans in a matchup of winless teams.

A three-time Pro Bowl quarterback, Culpepper was acquired from Minnesota in March in order to try to get the Dolphins back to the playoffs for the first time since 2000.

Miami has not had a Pro Bowl quarterback since Dan Marino retired after the 1999 season. Since his retirement, the list of quarterbacks has included the likes of Jay Fiedler, A.J. Feeley and Brian Griese.

Culpepper, who was limited to seven games last season due to a severe knee injury, has struggled in his first two games with the Dolphins, throwing for just one touchdown and three interceptions.

"I'm just going to continue working, and do everything I can to get better," Culpepper said.

Culpepper endured a nightmarish home debut in last Sunday's 16-6 loss to Buffalo. He was sacked five times in the first 15 plays and seven times overall, fumbled twice and threw an interception, prompting fans to chant for backup Joey Harrington in the fourth quarter.

"A lot of people assume because Daunte Culpepper came here, everything was going to be easy," Dolphins coach Nick Saban said. "That is not the case. He can be a good player, but he is not playing like he's capable of playing right now."

The Dolphins are trying to avoid starting 0-3 for the third time in franchise history and first since they lost their first six contests in 2004. They also dropped their first three games in 1966 and 1968.

Things also are off to a rough start for the Titans, who are trying to avoid going 0-3 for the first time since 2001.

The Titans have struggled on both sides of the ball, ranking 31st in the league in total defense and 25th on offense.

Signed late in the preseason and elevated to the starting role before the opener, veteran quarterback Kerry Collins has been abysmal. He has completed just 40 percent (23-of-57) of his passes for 280 yards with four interceptions.

Collins and rookie Vince Young - the third overall pick in April's draft - failed to generate a passing yard in the first half of last Sunday's 40-7 loss at San Diego. Young has completed 10-of-23 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown with an interception while playing sparingly in both games.

The teams are meeting for the second straight year here. Last December 24, Ricky Williams rushed for 172 yards and a touchdown to lead the Dolphins to a 24-10 victory over the Titans.






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