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Snap Judgments

Revenge week, Bears' collapse, coaches on hot seat

Posted: Sunday September 30, 2007 7:32PM; Updated: Sunday September 30, 2007 8:03PM
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Daunte Culpepper ran for three touchdowns and threw two more to lead the Raiders to a 35-17 win over the Dolphins.
Daunte Culpepper ran for three touchdowns and threw two more to lead the Raiders to a 35-17 win over the Dolphins.
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we bid farewell to the season's opening month with an appreciative nod toward a certain record-setting Green Bay quarterback ...

• Revenge Week in the NFL was a bit of a mixed bag, eh? Daunte Culpepper wound up laughing long and loud in Oakland's win at Miami, Jamal Lewis and the Browns shut up the Ravens defense, and Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm got even with Pittsburgh in the desert. But Matt Schaub didn't get it done for Houston in Atlanta, and San Francisco receiver Darrell Jackson wasn't on the winning side in his first game against his former team, Seattle.

The Dolphins quarterback situation is now officially a full-scale disaster. While the quarterback Miami just had to have -- Trent Green -- is off to an 0-4 start in his career in South Florida, the Dolphins on Sunday saw both of their 2006 quarterbacks, Culpepper and Joey Harrington, post big wins.

Culpepper, getting his first start as a Raider, was just 5 of 12 for 75 yards passing against the Dolphins. But that doesn't remotely tell the whole story. He threw for two touchdowns and rushed for three more, having a hand in all five of Oakland's touchdowns in its 35-17 win. Green, meanwhile, threw for just 158 yards, with one touchdown and a pair of interceptions.

Like Culpepper, Harrington wasn't asked back to Miami this year, even though he went 5-6 as the starter last season. Harrington led the Falcons to their first win of the season, a 26-16 home defeat of improved Houston. Harrington played a sharp and intelligent game against the Texans, finishing 23 of 29, for 223 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Adding to Miami's quarterbacking pain, Dan Marino's league record of 420 career touchdown passes fell to Brett Favre in Minnesota. Ouch.

• If you thought things were ugly in San Diego before today, you ain't seen nothing yet. The Chargers' second-half meltdown at home against the Chiefs -- who scored 24 unanswered points after the break -- is the most shocking outcome of the NFL season.

This is a Chargers team on the verge of catastrophe, and head coach Norv Turner apparently has no idea how to staunch the bleeding. While I still maintain that San Diego's defense is the real culprit (and 30 points allowed to the moribund Chiefs offense is Example A), nothing is working as expected on either side of the ball in Charger-land.

I don't anticipate San Diego general manager A.J. Smith hitting the ultimate panic button and firing the coach, because he has his stamp of approval all over Turner, whom he hired to replace Marty Schottenheimer. But there's no way to disguise the debacle that has unfolded thus far in San Diego, and some sort of changes will be forthcoming. Count on it.

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