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Frerotte Enjoys Return to Georgia

October 06, 2003|From Associated Press

ATLANTA — Gus Frerotte erased a bad memory in his return to the Georgia Dome.

A year ago, Frerotte started for the hapless Cincinnati Bengals and was benched after he failed to complete his first seven passes.

On Sunday, he got some payback against Atlanta. Starting his second consecutive game for Minnesota, Frerotte threw two touchdown passes and helped keep the Vikings unbeaten with a 39-26 victory over the Falcons.

"It was a rough day back when I was with the Bengals," Frerotte remembered. "I got hit hard a lot that day. Things weren't as positive there as they are here."

Moe Williams ran for two second-half touchdowns and the Vikings (5-0) outscored Atlanta, 27-6, in the last two quarters.

The Falcons (1-4) lost their fourth in a row, suffering the further indignity of being called for two penalties that resulted in safeties.

Doug Johnson was flagged for intentionally grounding the ball to avoid being tackled in the end zone. Then, left tackle Bob Whitfield literally tackled Lance Johnstone, who was closing in on a sack of Johnson in the end zone.

"I don't think they're as good as we are," said Johnson, who threw for 352 yards. "When you're playing at home, you're supposed to beat teams you're better than. It's very frustrating."

Johnson, who is starting in place of Michael Vick, hasn't been able to match the success of Minnesota's backup. The Vikings haven't missed a beat with Frerotte filling in for the injured Daunte Culpepper, winning the last two games by a combined score of 74-33.

Frerotte completed 14 of 24 passes for 239 yards against Atlanta, including two throws that picked up more than 50 yards.

For one half it looked as if Atlanta Coach Dan Reeves would earn his 200th victory. The Falcons led, 20-12, at halftime but it didn't last.

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