Jets 28, Vikings 21

Between Chad Pennington and Daunte Culpepper there were just three incompletions but the game was decided long after both quarterbacks had retired for the evening. The Jets built a 14-point lead only to see the Vikings tie the game. Midway through the fourth, the game was finally decided.

With seven minutes to go in the fourth quarter, DeCori Birmingham returned a punt 37 yards to the Minnesota 30. After an 11-yard completion from Brooks Bollinger, Cedric Houston rushed the ball twice for 19 yards, including a ten-yard scamper for a touchdown and the Jets final margin, 28-21.

Minnesota quarterback Daunte Culpepper had been pinned deep in his own zone after a sack by Darrien Johnson forced the Vikings into third-and-21. But the strong-armed quarterback proved he didn't need Randy Moss when he hit Marcus Robinson 42-yards down the field on the next play to setup the first scoring drive of the game. Culpepper completed two more passes for 25 yards to give the Vikings first and goal from the two before Moe Williams completed the 10-play drive with a touchdown run from a yard out.

Chad Pennington finally got rolling in the second quarter. With two three-and-outs under his belt, Pennington came out firing on his third series of the game. He hit 6-of-7 for 76 yards, including passes of 19 yards, 20 yards and culmination of the drive, a 20-yard strike to Laveranues Coles to tie the game at seven.

"It was nice to spread the ball around, and get a drive going," said Pennington. "We stopped ourselves on the first few drives."

On the ensuing possession, Sione Pouha laid some heavy wood on Michael Bennett to force a fumble that was recovered by Joey Evans at the Minnesota 35. Jay Fielder, in relief of Pennington, hit Jerricho Cotchery for 17 yards before teaming up with Wayne Chrebet from 18 yards out for the touchdown and 14-7 Jets lead.

The Jets benefited from a muffed catch by Daryl Jones on a 42-yard punt from Ben Graham just over a minute into the third quarter. Cotchery pounced on the ball at the Minnesota three and Fiedler ended up running it in from a yard out to put the Jets up 14.

The Vikings got back within seven largely due to the work of rookie first round pick Troy Williamson. The former South Carolina receiver setup the score with a 54-yard reception and finished the drive with a 13-yard touchdown snare.

A roughing the kicker penalty on Atari Bigby on the second play of the fourth quarter gave the Vikings new life deep inside Jets' territory. Three plays later, Adimchinobe Echemandu punched the ball in from a yard out to tie the game at 21-21.

Notes:

The first pass from quarterback Chad Pennington traversed two yards, a completion to B.J. Askew out of the backfield. His next pass was also complete for a yard to receiver Laveranues Coles.

Pennington ended his day 9-for-10 for 86 yards with a touchdown. Coles led all Jet receivers with six receptions for 57 yards.

"Any time you have Chad in the game, it's very exciting," Coles said.

Culpepper, meanwhile, completed 11-of-13 for 146 yards.


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