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Turner Helps Jets Pick Off Win : Interconference: Former Bruin has three interceptions, returns one 90 yards in a 31-21 victory over Vikings.

November 21, 1994|From Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Marcus Turner has done this before. Three interceptions, one of them a 90-yard touchdown return. He's done it many times.

In his dreams.

Turner, a career backup playing as an extra defensive back, scored on a deflected pass on the opening drive and intercepted two other Warren Moon passes as the New York Jets defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 31-21, on Sunday.

"This is one of those games you think about as a kid, when you're walking home from school tossing the ball to yourself," said Turner, who went to Long Beach Jordan High and UCLA. "You think, 'Ooh, I've got three interceptions. Four. Five.' You'd take it to 10 if you could, but you never think you'll really have a day like this."

Turner, who has only two starts in six seasons, turned his daydreams into reality in time to put the Jets (6-5) back in the race in the AFC East.

With the Miami Dolphins' overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, the Jets and Buffalo Bills are tied for second. New York already has beaten the Bills twice, and can grab a share of first when the Dolphins visit the Meadowlands next Sunday.

"We've got to feel real good after this," said Jet linebacker Mo Lewis. "We've just got to stay focused now."

Minnesota (7-4), considered a Super Bowl contender two weeks ago, was upset by an AFC East team for the second week in a row. The Vikings dropped into a first-place tie with the Chicago Bears in the NFC Central.

"We were never in sync the whole game," said Minnesota safety Vencie Glenn. "My momma said there would be days like this, but we'll bounce back."

James Hasty also had an interception for the Jets, who turned another huge day by Moon into another upset loss for the Vikings.

Moon completed 33 of 50 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns.

New York, which started the season 2-3, has pulled into playoff contention with an opportunistic defense that has forced 20 turnovers in the last six games.

All four interceptions came at critical times against the Vikings, who lost for the first time in five games at the Metrodome this season and were booed loudly.

Turner, signed by the Jets as a Plan B free agent from the Arizona Cardinals in 1992, grabbed his first at the Jets' 10 after a high pass bounced off the hands of tight end Adrian Cooper. He went untouched up the sideline for a 7-0 lead.

Turner's second came in the end zone with 26 seconds to play in the half and the Jets leading, 17-14. Minnesota had driven to the New York 25, but Moon forced a pass to Cris Carter in double coverage.

Turner started for injured cornerback Aaron Glenn in last week's loss against the Green Bay Packers. Glenn returned against the Vikings, but Turner played often against Minnesota's wide-open offense.

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