Dolphins Winless And Reeling
Sunday, September 30th 2007, 9:41 pm
By: News On 6
MIAMI (AP) _ Linebacker Joey Porter is batting .000 as a prognosticator, which matches the Miami Dolphins' winning percentage.
Porter guaranteed the Dolphins would beat the Oakland Raiders. Instead, Miami lost 35-17 Sunday.
``I never regret anything I say,'' Porter said. ``That was our goal.''
The Dolphins have been falling short of their objectives all season. They're 0-4, matching the worst starts in franchise history in 1966 and 2004.
Cam Cameron is still seeking his first win as an NFL head coach.
``We've got some things we haven't solved,'' he said. ``There are a lot of areas that need to get taken care of.''
Most glaring is a run defense that ranked eighth-best in the league last year. Offseason departures and injuries since the season started have made Miami almost helpless against the ground game.
The Raiders rushed for 299 yards, their highest total in 20 years. When starting running back LaMont Jordan was injured shortly before halftime, Justin Fargas came on and finished with a career-high 179 yards.
``As good as we were in the past stopping it, we're that bad now,'' said Jason Taylor, last season's NFL defensive player of the year. ``The way we play has changed. We used to dictate to people. You have to get people throwing the football.''
Oakland threw only 12 times. Two passes by Daunte Culpepper went for touchdowns, and he ran for three scores, exacting revenge from the team that released him in July after he played only four games for Miami in 2006.
While Culpepper hurt the Dolphins in his first start for Oakland, he spent most of the fourth quarter handing off. The Raiders ran the ball 10 times in a row before his touchdown pass put them up 28-17 with seven minutes left, and they ran the ball every snap on a nine-play drive for their final score.
``This is something I'm not accustomed to,'' said Porter, who is in his first season with Miami. ``This is a run-stopping defense, and we haven't done that yet. It's pretty pathetic when the backup running back gets in the game, and he has his best day against you.''
Miami played without middle linebacker Zach Thomas, sidelined for the second game in a row by a concussion, and lost linebacker Channing Crowder and defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday to ankle injuries in the first half.
``It doesn't make it easy, but that's what this league is all about,'' Taylor said. ``We have 53 guys on the roster, and guys have to step up. Daunte was a backup, wasn't he? He played well.''