MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- No matter who the quarterback is, Cris Carter just keeps on doing what he does best -- catching passes for the Minnesota Vikings.
Carter caught nine passes for a career high 168 yards and became the Vikings' career leader for combined yardage in Minnesota's 13-7 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Carter has played with seven starting quarterbacks since he joined the Vikings as a free agent in 1990, yet his performance has been consistently superlative and, if anything, he seems to have gotten better over the years.
"The quarterback thing can be a crutch, an excuse," said Carter, who had his 36th career 100-yard game and 34th with the Vikings. "I haven't let it affect me or bother me."
With 935 career catches, Carter ranks behind only Jerry Rice, Andre Reed and Art Monk on the NFL's career list. He likely will pass both Monk and Reed sometime during this season.
Rice played most of his entire career with Joe Montana and Steve Young, while Reed caught most of his passes from Jim Kelly.
Carter, meanwhile, has caught his passes in Minnesota from Rich Gannon, Jim McMahon, Warren Moon, Brad Johnson, Randall Cunningham, Jeff George and, this year, unproven Daunte Culpepper.
"I've tried to make the best of it," said Carter. "I've played with a lot of quarterbacks, but I've played with a lot of good ones too. I've had a lot of excellent people around me my whole career, so it's been good for me."
Carter, who now has 10,455 yards rushing, receiving and via returns (breaking Darrin Nelson's team record), benefitted from two things against Miami -- the Dolphins were dead-set against giving up the big play to Randy Moss, and they also played man-to-man defense.
"With the receivers we have, if they play us man-to-man we're going to make some yards," said Carter, who caught a lot of passes over the middle. "If they go man, we put up some big yardage."
Moss finished with six catches for 87 yards and a 15-yard touchdown reception with 1:56 to play. Culpepper finished with 355 yards passing.
"I had single coverage a lot," said Carter. "We have to take it as an insult. I don't believe anyone can cover me man-to-man, not all those snaps."
The Dolphins apparently felt they didn't have a choice.
"We wanted to keep Randy in check, we didn't want to let him get the big gain," said Dolphins cornerback Sam Madison. "You put your best corner on Randy Moss, then you have a mismatch inside. It's something you can't really cover."
Miami coach Dave Wannstedt, who watched Carter for years as coach of the Chicago Bears, indicated that the Dolphins had to take a calculated risk.
"We had (cornerback Patrick) Surtain outside for most of the game and that was by design because we didn't want to flip Sam back and forth," Wannstedt said. "We wanted to keep our two corners out there, thinking we could prevent the big play on the perimeter."
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