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Culpepper Is Booed in Loss

September 18, 2006|From the Associated Press

The Buffalo Bills sacked Daunte Culpepper seven times -- five in the first 15 snaps -- and blocked a punt and survived a paltry passing effort in beating Miami, 16-6, on Sunday at Miami, sending the Dolphins to 0-2 for only the second time in the last 37 seasons.

Culpepper completed 23 of 32 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown, but his home opener with the Dolphins was far from memorable. He and the offense were booed as they ran off the field at halftime and throughout the second half, as a team widely mentioned as a Super Bowl contender needed a touchdown grab by Chris Chambers with 1:54 left to avoid a shutout.

"I'd like to see our crowd be supportive," Dolphins Coach Nick Saban said. "No one likes to get booed. I don't think players like to get booed. I think it helps the other team feel confidence."

Rian Lindell had three field goals and Josh Reed caught a four-yard touchdown pass from J.P. Losman, who was 11 for 18 for 83 yards. Willis McGahee had 91 yards in 25 carries for Buffalo (1-1).

"It's a game that shows that stats don't matter," Losman said. "Our defense was able to stick it to them all day."

at Chicago 34, Detroit 7: Rex Grossman had his best game as a pro, and the Bears' defense silenced Detroit's Roy Williams and the Lions. Grossman set career highs with 289 yards and four touchdown passes.

Plagued by injuries since being drafted in the first round in 2003, Grossman is sound and productive. He completed 20 of 27 passes with no interceptions and set a personal best in yards for the second straight week after throwing for 262 in a 26-0 season-opening win at Green Bay.

A defense that handed the Packers' Brett Favre the first shutout of his career held the Lions to 245 yards and recovered three fumbles. Detroit (0-2) committed 14 penalties for 104 yards, seven for 58 yards in the first quarter alone. And a hands-to-the-face call against Jamar Fletcher in the third quarter wiped out an interception that Boss Bailey returned about 25 yards to the end zone.

Williams caught six passes for 71 yards after guaranteeing a win over the Bears (2-0). He was booed loudly after catching his first pass.

New England 24, at New York Jets 17: The student gave the teacher a scare, but Bill Belichick's New England Patriots held off a late rally by Eric Mangini's Jets.

New England (2-0) took a 24-0 lead on touchdown runs by Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney, and a touchdown catch by Chad Jackson. But the Jets stormed back in the second half. Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles each made brilliant touchdowns, Mike Nugent kicked a 42-yard field goal and Jonathan Vilma blocked a late field-goal attempt to give the Jets (1-1) one last chance in their home opener.

After getting the ball at his own nine with 1:05 left and the crowd at Giants Stadium on its feet, Chad Pennington led New York to its 45. But a long pass down the right sideline to Justin McCareins was intercepted by Tedy Bruschi, ending the comeback hopes.

Mangini was New England's defensive backs coach under Belichick from 2000 to 2004, and served as defensive coordinator last season before becoming head coach of the Jets.

at Seattle 21, Arizona 10: Division-ruling Seattle started with touchdowns by Shaun Alexander and Darrell Jackson on its first two drives before a strong pass rush and repeatedly blown opportunities by the bumbling Cardinals (1-1) led to the underwhelming Seahawks' win.

It wasn't a great game by the Seahawks (2-0). Two of Matt Hasselbeck's passes were intercepted and he was only 12 for 27 for 221 yards. Alexander, last year's league MVP, ran for 89 yards in 26 carries, most of them late.

at San Francisco 20, St. Louis 13: Antonio Bryant caught a 72-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith, and the 49ers' defense stood strong in the final minutes.

Smith passed for 233 yards and Frank Gore rushed for 127 -- including a 32-yard score -- as the 49ers (1-1) followed up a narrow loss at Arizona last week with a cohesive victory over the Rams. Under new Coach Scott Linehan, the Rams (1-1) no longer have the "Greatest Show on Turf" offense that tormented the 49ers for so many years -- and they've scored just one touchdown in their first two games.

at Denver 9, Kansas City 6: Jason Elam's 39-yard field goal 5:10 into overtime gave the Broncos the win. Denver's defense hasn't given up a touchdown in the first two weeks, but the Broncos (1-1) once again struggled on offense. Damon Huard, starting for injured Trent Green, completed 17 of 23 passes for 133 yards for the Chiefs (0-2).

at Atlanta 14, Tampa Bay 3: Warrick Dunn ran for 134 yards against his former team, Michael Vick added to one of his own NFL records with 127 yards rushing, and the Falcons set a franchise record with 306 yards on the ground. It was the sixth 100-yard rushing game of Vick's career; he already held the record for quarterbacks.

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