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SAN DIEGO 42, MINNESOTA 28

Chargers Stand Tall With Flutie

November 10, 2003|From Associated Press

SAN DIEGO — Got Flutie? The San Diego Chargers do, and they finally used him from the start of a game.

The payoff was phenomenal.

Two weeks after turning 41, Doug Flutie juked his way to two touchdowns and threw for two more in his first start in nearly two years, leading the San Diego Chargers to a stunning 42-28 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

The big performance from Flutie and two touchdown runs by LaDainian Tomlinson -- including a 73-yarder, his longest career score -- injected some excitement into an otherwise dismal season for the Chargers (2-7).

Tomlinson, who was 5 when Flutie won the 1984 Heisman Trophy, raved about his quarterback.

"I believe in magic, Flutie magic," Tomlinson said. "He played awesome. Doug Flutie, he's just amazing. He's unbelievable."

Flutie said that age "is just a number. I feel as good as I did when I was 30, that's for sure."

Coach Marty Schottenheimer refused to second-guess himself for taking so long to bench the ineffective Drew Brees in favor of the energetic Flutie, whose scrambling ability has kept him in pro football for 19 years despite being just 5 feet 10.

"I'm not going to get involved in musical chairs with the quarterback," he said. "It can destroy your team."

Schottenheimer would say only that Flutie "probably" will start next Sunday at Denver.

"It was one of those days where things went right," Flutie said.

Minnesota (6-3) lost its third straight game. Daunte Culpepper completed 32 of 44 passes for a career-high 370 yards and four touchdowns, which tied his career-high. Randy Moss had 11 catches for 120 yards and one touchdown, a four-yarder.

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