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Pro Football | MINNESOTA 28, N.Y. GIANTS 16

Finally, Moss Is the Man

November 20, 2001|From Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Randy Moss, quiet for most of the season, once again burst out in prime time.

Moss had 10 catches for 171 yards and three touchdowns Monday night, including a 57-yarder with 6:32 left that put away a 28-16 victory over the New York Giants.

The Vikings also gained some revenge for the 41-0 beating they took from the Giants in January's NFC championship game.

It was about time for Moss, who had only 39 catches and three touchdowns entering the game.

The game was tight and tedious until the Vikings (4-5) went ahead for good with 9:03 left when Daunte Culpepper, who passed for 277 yards and four touchdowns, threw a one-yard, fourth-down pass to Cris Carter.

On the next series, he found Moss over the middle on a third-and-16 play, with Moss splitting the secondary and taking the ball into the end zone for the clinching score.

It was a must win for the Vikings, three games behind Chicago and two behind Green Bay in the NFC Central. This was their fourth win in five home games, but they are 0-4 away from the Metrodome.

The Giants (5-5) fell a 11/2 games behind Philadelphia in the NFC East race.

It was a sloppy game with more than 200 yards in penalties--15 for 150 yards by the Giants.

That helped offset New York's 3-2 advantage in turnovers--two of them interceptions by rookie Will Allen that ended two Minnesota scoring threats. Three of the New York penalties were for pass interference, one of which led to the game's first touchdown.

The Vikings led, 14-13, at halftime, courtesy of Moss' two touchdown catches from Culpepper, one of 29 yards on the game's first possession, the other 25 when Moss was all alone after the Giants' all-out blitz failed.

The first was set up by a 39-yard pass-interference call against Allen on a pass to Moss; the second resulted in a 15-yard taunting penalty against Moss, who took the ball alone, turned around at the five and danced backward into the end zone waving the ball.

But the Giants stayed close despite eight early penalties for 49 yards.

They made it 7-3 on Morten Andersen's 43-yard field goal, then took the lead on a one-yard touchdown run by Tiki Barber after Barber had taken the ball 29 yards to the Viking one.

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