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Smith Runs Past Bears to Top of Viking List

October 16, 2000|From Associated Press

CHICAGO — Robert Smith got the Minnesota Vikings rolling with a 72-yard touchdown run that featured power, speed and good blocks from Randy Moss and Cris Carter.

Minutes later, Smith put his name into the record book as Minnesota's career rushing leader.

"Any time you get a long touchdown like that, it hurts a team," Smith said after rushing for 170 yards in 23 carries as the Vikings beat the Chicago Bears, 28-16, Sunday night to stay unbeaten.

"It's kind of a shocking play. It's a dagger to the defense. Every time I break one of those, the wideouts are right there with me, springing me for a touchdown."

Smith became the Vikings' all-time rushing leader with 5,954 yards, breaking the record of 5,879 set by Chuck Foreman.

"When people think of a Minnesota Vikings running back, they are going to think of Chuck Foreman," Smith said. "That's not going to change any time soon."

The Vikings (6-0) scored two touchdowns in a three-minute span late in the second quarter, overcoming a 9-0 deficit on Smith's run and Daunte Culpepper's 24-yard scoring pass to Carter. It was Carter's first touchdown this season.

Six weeks ago in a 30-27 victory over the Bears (1-6) in the season opener, the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Culpepper ran for three touchdowns.

On Sunday night, he used his arm more than his legs, completing 15 of 26 passes for 198 yards. He also threw a 24-yard scoring pass to Matthew Hatchette in the third quarter and a seven-yard touchdown pass to Moss with just less that 10 minutes to play.

Carter caught seven passes for 111 yards against the team he's picked on throughout his career. Entering the game, Carter had 132 receptions against the Bears, his most against any NFL team.

"We wanted to get Cris in the end zone because I think he was a little hungry for that," Culpepper said.

The Bears got a late break when Minnesota's Troy Walters fumbled a punt and Chicago's Ray McElroy recovered at the 32 with 7:41 left.

But an offensive pass interference call stalled the Bears' drive before Cade McNown's passes fell complete on third and fourth downs.

"It's a tough one to swallow," said McNown, who completed 19 of 33 passes for 210 yards.

"I felt we had the team that would beat the Vikings and we didn't. And it's frustrating. Everybody is moving forward, we're not putting our heads in the sand."


He's No. 1

With 170 rushing yards against the Bears on Sunday night, Robert Smith took over as the Vikings' all-time leading rusher.


Player Yards

Robert Smith, 1993-present 5,954

Chuck Foreman, 1973-79 5,879

Bill Brown, 1962-74 5,297


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