Denver pillaged by Vikings, 28-20 Patriots tame the Dolphins, 19-13

The Thrill and the AgonyThis week in sports by Chas Walker

Denver pillaged by Vikings, 28-20

Not even triple-team coverage can stop the Vikings’ creative offense.

With less than two minutes to play in the first half, the Broncos pulled even with the Minnesota Vikings, 7 to 7. Seconds remained on the clock and Vikings QB Dante Culpepper (another one of Rush Limbaugh’s “overrated Black quarterbacks”?) lofted a 44-yard pass to Randy Moss. Moss, running back to catch the pass, dodged three defenders and leapt into the air to bring down the football. He turned to face the swarm of Broncos, who pulled at his legs and torso to bring him down.

Perhaps it was amazing peripheral vision. Perhaps it was blind faith. Perhaps it was planned. But without looking, Moss tossed the ball over his shoulder toward the sideline as he fell. His teammate Moe Williams zoomed past and caught the lateral pass in the air, running the remaining 15 yards to the end zone as time ran out. Minnesota fans were brought to their feet, and the Vikings stayed on top for the rest of the game.

Minnesota’s defense was extremely strong, notching five sacks and three interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown. The Vikings are undefeated as they head into their seventh game.



Patriots tame the Dolphins, 19-13

In a game full of fumbles, weak punts, as well as blocked and botched field goal attempts, it is hard to be proud of a win. The victory seems as much of a fluke as the entire game itself. But after the week’s disappointment on the baseball diamond, New England sports fans took what they could get. So it was that the Pats beat the Dolphins.

Nearly every point of the game occurred after turnovers, but there was plenty of exciting Patriots football to go around. New England’s tough defense held star Miami rusher Ricky Williams to 94 yards on 27 carries. Patriots QB Tom Brady completed 24 of 34 passes for 283 yards, including a 24-yarder to David Givens to tie the game at 13 in the third quarter.

The game was still tied as Miami mounted a late fourth-quarter drive, but Olindo Mare’s field goal was blocked, sending the game into overtime. The Dolphins’ first possession brought them to within field-goal range. With new sudden-death OT rules, a field goal would have clinched the victory – but Mare missed wide right. The Patriots got nowhere on their drive, as Brady fumbled but recovered.

After the punt, Miami fizzled as QB Jay Fielder threw up an interception, setting up the Patriots for their sprint to victory. Brady hit Troy Brown for a monster 82-yard touchdown pass to close the game, and the Patriots claimed first place in the AFC-East with a 5-2 win-loss record.

The author can be reached at pww@pww.org