Vikings out-gun Cowboys

Posted: Monday, September 13, 2004


  ANN HEISENFELT AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams, right, sacks Dallas Cowboys quarterback Vinny Testaverde (16) for a 3-yard loss during the fourth quarter in Minneapolis Sunday. Testaverde threw for 355 yards, but the Vikings still beat the Cowboys, 35-17, behind a career-high five touchdown passes from quarterback Daunte Culpepper.  


AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams, right, sacks Dallas Cowboys quarterback Vinny Testaverde (16) for a 3-yard loss during the fourth quarter in Minneapolis Sunday. Testaverde threw for 355 yards, but the Vikings still beat the Cowboys, 35-17, behind a career-high five touchdown passes from quarterback Daunte Culpepper.


MINNEAPOLIS Daunte Culpepper threw a career-high five touchdown passes, two to Randy Moss, to lead Minnesota.

Against a depleted Dallas defense, Culpepper was both sensational and efficient, going 17-for-23 for 242 yards with no turnovers.

Forty-year-old Vinny Testaverde was 29-for-50 for 355 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions for the Cowboys. His favorite target, Keyshawn Johnson, caught nine balls for 111 yards in his first game with Dallas.

Moss had only 27 yards on four catches, but he made a big impact as usual. He threw a reverse pass for 37 yards to Robinson, made some key blocks downfield and drew two pass interference penalties.

Veteran Eddie George, signed just before training camp by Dallas, finished with 25 yards on eight rushes.

Redskins 16, Buccaneers 10

LANDOVER, Md. Clinton Portis ran for 149 yards and a touchdown, and Washington welcomed coach Joe Gibbs back to the NFL with a victory.

Gibbs led the Redskins to three Super Bowl titles in his first stint with the team from 1981-92, and it appeared the old magic was still there when his team dominated the first half.

Portis went 64 yards for a touchdown on Washington's first series. But Washington's offense began to sputter, and it took John Hall's 30-yard field goal with 8:55 left to break a 10-10 tie. Hall added a 34-yard field goal with 16 seconds to play.

Gibbs earned his 125th career regular-season win and the 500th regular-season victory in Redskins franchise history.

The Bucs tied the game at 10 on Ronde Barber's 9-yard fumble return in the third quarter.

Eagles 31, Giants 17

PHILADELPHIA Terrell Owens had three touchdown catches, Donovan McNabb threw for 330 yards and tied a career high with four TD passes and Brian Westbrook ran for 119 yards for Philadelphia.

The Eagles, runners-up in the NFC championship the last three years, won their season opener for just the second time in coach Andy Reid's six seasons.

Two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner had a lackluster debut for the Giants, who lost their ninth straight game and first under new coach Tom Coughlin. Heralded rookie Eli Manning made his NFL debut in the final minutes, handing off to Tiki Barber for a 72-yard TD run on his first play.

Owens, playing his first game with the Eagles after eight seasons in San Francisco, made an immediate impact, scoring on his first two receptions in the first quarter. He finished with eight catches for 68 yards.

McNabb completed 26 of 36 passes and had no interceptions.

Falcons 21, 49ers 19

SAN FRANCISCO Aaron Beasley returned a goal-line interception 85 yards in the fourth quarter, and Rod Coleman batted down Tim Rattay's pass on a 2-point conversion attempt with 40 seconds left to secure a win for Atlanta.

Warrick Dunn rushed for two touchdowns and Michael Vick was 13-of-22 for 163 yards in an uninspiring debut under coach Jim Mora, the longtime San Francisco defensive coordinator who took over the Falcons last January.

Niners quarterback Tim Rattay left his fourth career start in the second quarter with a shoulder injury, but returned to lead two fourth-quarter touchdown drives. He finished 18-of-31 for 175 yards.

Steelers 24, Raiders 21

PITTSBURGH Jerome Bettis ran for three touchdowns, Duce Staley had 91 yards and Jeff Reed's 42-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining won it for Pittsburgh.

The Raiders showed off plenty of new, including coach Norv Turner, big defensive linemen Warren Sapp and Ted Washington and an offensive scheme redesigned to cover up their lack of playmakers. But the Steelers won the traditional AFC rivalry.

Browns 20, Ravens 3

CLEVELAND For the first time since their NFL rebirth in 1999, the Cleveland Browns opened the season as winners.

Jeff Garcia threw a 46-yard touchdown pass and ran for another TD in his Cleveland debut.

Cleveland stole the spotlight from Deion Sanders, who came out of retirement for a chance to win another Super Bowl ring, and NFL rushing leader Jamal Lewis.

Lewis, who ran for 500 yards, including an NFL single-game record 295 last season against Cleveland, got just 57 yards on 20 carries as the Browns' defense dominated.

Jets 31, Bengals 24

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Curtis Martin ran for 196 yards and a touchdown, and added another score on a 3-yard TD reception to help New York ruin the regular-season debut of Carson Palmer.

Palmer, the No. 1 overall pick in 2003, commanded the offense well and made very few mistakes, going 18-of-27 for 248 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

Seahawks 21, Saints 7

NEW ORLEANS Shaun Alexander scored three touchdowns to get the Seahawks off to a good start on the road.

Seattle was 2-6 on the road last season, but used its first trip this year to start working on expectations the Seahawks will be strong contenders for the NFC title.

Playing behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, Alexander rushed for 135 yards on 28 carries. He ran for two touchdowns and caught another.

Matt Hasselbeck enjoyed playing behind that line as well, completing 19 of 29 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown. Darrell Jackson had seven receptions for 98 yards.

Rams 17, Cardinals 10

ST. LOUIS Marshall Faulk ran for 128 yards on 22 carries while sharing time with first-round pick Steven Jackson in the Rams' victory.

Faulk, who has missed 11 games due to injuries the last two seasons, helped the Rams overcome three costly turnovers that kept the margin from being very comfortable. Jackson also played well, running for 50 yards on seven carries.

Emmitt Smith, the NFL's career leading rusher, had a resurgent game with 87 yards on 16 carries, including an 11-yard touchdown run that put the Cardinals ahead 10-9 in the final minute of the third quarter.

Chargers 27, Texans 20

HOUSTON LaDainian Tomlinson ran for 121 yards and a touchdown and the Chargers used a mistake-free passing game and an opportunistic defense to beat Houston.

Drew Brees, who might not have started if prized rookie Philip Rivers hadn't held out for most of training camp, was 17-of-24 for 209 yards and two touchdowns. He hit Eric Parker with a 19-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter that provided the winning points.

Jaguars 13, Bills 10

BUFFALO, N.Y. Byron Leftwich threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Ernest Wilford as time expred to lift Jacksonville.

Leftwich finished 18-of-36 for 147 yards passing. He also threw two interceptions, both of which led to Buffalo scores. Jimmy Smith had four catches for 83 yards, and Fred Taylor had 61 yards rushing for Jacksonville.

Broncos 34, Chiefs 24

DENVER Quentin Griffin might make the Denver Broncos forget Clinton Portis after all.

Griffin ran for 156 yards and scored three touchdowns in his first game as Portis' replacement, lifting the Broncos to a 34-24 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.

Denver traded Portis to Washington to get cornerback Champ Bailey, a potentially risky move because Portis rushed for over 1,500 yards in each of his first two seasons.

Portis was superb in his debut with the Redskins, rushing for 148 yards and touchdown in a 16-10 victory over Tampa Bay. But Griffin was just as good, dashing and diving his way to touchdown runs of 25 and 47 yards and a 1-yard touchdown reception from Jake Plummer in the first quarter.

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