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Vikings Go Outdoors to Answer Critics : NFC: Cris Carter catches two touchdown passes as Minnesota wins at Atlanta on grass, 20-19.

From Associated Press

Coach Jerry Burns was getting tired of all the talk about what his Minnesota Vikings couldn’t do.

Cris Carter’s one-handed catch for his second touchdown enabled the Vikings to end several strings of failure with a 20-19 victory over the Atlanta Falcons Sunday.

“Maybe it will put to rest all this media (talk) that we can’t win on the road and can’t win on grass,” Burns said.

The Vikings had lost 11 in a row out of doors and seven in succession on grass.

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Carter beat Bobby Butler on both touchdown passes from Wade Wilson, the first covering 25 yards in the first quarter, and the acrobatic catch covering 39 yards to build a 20-10 lead with 11:23 remaining.

Carter made his diving one-handed catch just inside the Atlanta five, then rolled and crawled his way to the end zone as Butler’s momentum carried him away.

“Good catch, great throw,” Carter said of the second touchdown that staked the Vikings to a 20-10 lead that Atlanta wasn’t able to overcome with a safety and touchdown in the closing minutes.

“It was not my greatest catch, but it ranks right up there,” Carter said. “There is no defense for a great throw like that. There was a lot of luck involved. Once I got a hand on it, I had it.”

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“It was a spectacular catch,” said Wilson, who completed 13 of 18 passes for 157 yards. “Cris didn’t give up.”

The victory left Minnesota with a 1-1 record and the Falcons fell to 0-2 in their 26th and final home opener in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The Falcons move indoors to the Georgia Dome next season.

“It was a discouraging home opener,” Atlanta Coach Jerry Glanville said. “We’re going hunting and shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Herschel Walker had a banner day on his return to Georgia. Walker, a Heisman Trophy winner and All-American at Georgia, rushed for 125 yards in 25 carries.

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Minnesota’s other touchdown came on a 14-yard reverse by Anthony Carter to cap an 80-yard drive starting the second half, putting the Vikings ahead, 14-10.

The Falcons took a 3-0 lead on Brad Daluiso’s 23-yard field goal after Leo Lewis fumbled a punt at the Minnesota 15 less than six minutes into the game.

Atlanta took a 10-7 lead midway through the second quarter when Chris Miller threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Gary Wilkins.

The Vikings gave Atlanta a safety with 1:56 remaining in the game when Wilson ran out of the back of the end zone to avoid having to punt from the five-yard line. That made the score 20-12.

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The Falcons cut the lead to a point on a touchdown with 53 seconds remaining on Miller’s 20-yard pass to George Thomas. Minnesota claimed the on-side kick and ran out the clock.


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