Vikings offense awakens vs. Saints

Vikings 33 Saints 16

Nfl Gameday

Week Three

September 26, 2005

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice said two futile games had robbed his offense of its swagger.

It took the Vikings 13 seconds to get it back yesterday against the New Orleans Saints.

Daunte Culpepper threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns and the Vikings (1-2) got back on track with a 33-16 victory over the mistake-prone Saints.

After New Orleans' Aaron Stecker fumbled the opening kickoff, Culpepper hit Travis Taylor for a 24-yard touchdown to get the Vikings rolling.

The Vikings took advantage of two Saints turnovers deep in their end to take a 24-0 lead in the first half, but the Saints (1-2) made a game of it in the fourth quarter.

Deuce McAllister's 1-yard touchdown run with under 12 minutes to go made it 24-16 before yet another mistake by New Orleans put the game out of reach.

A taunting penatly against Saints defensive back Dwight Smith gave the Vikings a first down and led to the third of four field goals by Paul Edinger.

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf presented Saints owner Tom Benson with a $100,000 check for the hurricane relief effort before the game, but that was all the charity Minnesota was in the mood for after two extremely disappointing losses to start the season.

The Vikings' defense bounced back from a horrendous showing in a 37-8 loss to Cincinnati last week, holding Joe Horn to one catch and Aaron Brooks to a 12-for-32 effort for 199 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

"It's only one game," Tice said. "We've got a ways to go. We have a lot of stuff to fix."

So do the Saints.

They play their first "home" game of the season in San Antonio next week against Buffalo, but that seemed to offer little consolation yesterday.

"Everybody can say it feels like home if they want, but they'd be lying," Bellamy said. "We just have to fight through it. It is not home and we know it's not home."

New Orleans 0 6 3 7-16

Minnesota 17 7 0 9-33

First quarter Min-Taylor 24 pass from Culpepper (Edinger kick), 14:47. Min-FG Edinger 24, 7:18. Min-Taylor 13 pass from Culpepper (Edinger kick), :33.

Second quarter Min-Williamson 53 pass from Culpepper (Edinger kick), 5:37. NO-Conwell 13 pass from Brooks (pass failed), 1:54.

Third quarter NO-FG Carney 22, 5:38.

Fourth quarter NO-McAllister 1 run (Carney kick), 11:40. Min-FG Edinger 28, 6:17. Min-FG Edinger 48, 4:29. Min-FG Edinger 34, 1:08. A-63,952.

NO Min

First downs 15 21

Total Net Yards 296 420

Rushes-yards 20-114 38-147

Passing 182 273

Punt Returns 3-9 3-8

Kickoff Returns 8-193 4-91

Interceptions Ret. 0-0 2-2

Comp-Att-Int 12-32-2 21-29-0

Sacked-Yards Lost 3-17 7-27

Punts 6-41.7 5-48.4

Fumbles-Lost 2-2 0-0

Penalties-Yards 14-84 8-60

Time of Possession 21:47 38:13

Rushing-New Orleans, McAllister 14-63, Brooks 3-29, A. Smith 3-22. Minnesota, Moore 23-101, Culpepper 8-36, M.Williams 4-2, Bennett 2-4, K.Robinson 1-4.

Passing-New Orleans, Brooks 12-32-2-199. Minnesota, Culpepper 21-29-0-300.

Receiving-New Orleans, McAllister 4-19, Henderson 3-95, Conwell 3-65, Horn 1-11, Poole 1-9. Minnesota, Wiggins 6-60, Williamson 3-83, Taylor 3-40, M.Williams 3-4, M.Robinson 2-80, Owens 2-18, Kleinsasser 1-12, Moore 1-3. Missed field goal-Minnesota, Edinger 33 (WR).

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