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Johnson Proves Better Late Than Never

September 08, 1997|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — With so little time to react and so little time to play, Minnesota quarterback Brad Johnson relied on his instincts and talented receivers Sunday.

Johnson drove Minnesota 61 yards in the closing minutes, including a fourth-down completion to Cris Carter when the Vikings were out of timeouts and a nine-yarder to Chris Walsh for a the game-winning touchdown with 37 seconds remaining in a 27-24 victory over the Chicago Bears.

"You don't always get a chance to win a game on the road in the final two minutes," said Johnson, who took over as the Vikings' starting quarterback last season. "It's something I'll always remember and I think our whole team will think back to this if we're ever down late in a game."

Minnesota (2-0) had failed to score on a previous fourth-quarter drive after reaching the Bear six, with Greg Davis missing a field-goal try. But with a second chance, Johnson completed seven of nine passes--three to Carter--as the Vikings went the 61 yards in 2 minutes 58 seconds.

"Brad is just getting started in his career. Whether the public thinks about it, we have a lot of confidence in Brad," said Walsh, a fifth-year wide receiver from Stanford. "We've always thought he could lead us."

Johnson completed 33 of 44 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bears (0-2) had taken a 24-20 lead with 11:52 to play on Raymont Harris' 59-yard touchdown run.

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