Jason Staurovsky's teammates cheered him up when he flubbed an overtime field-goal attempt. He did the same for them by making his next chance.
New England's players went wild when Staurovsky, who missed an extra point in the fourth quarter and a 36-yard field-goal attempt in overtime, connected from 42 yards with no time left for a 26-23 victory Sunday over the Minnesota Vikings.
"I was very down," said Staurovsky about his miss with 10:45 left in overtime. "I couldn't believe how great my teammates were.
"They told me, 'We love you, you'll get another opportunity.' "
He did when David Pool recovered a Steve Jordan fumble at the Patriots' 20-yard line.
Hugh Millen completed five of six passes for 64 yards on the winning drive. His 27-yard completion to Greg McMurtry got the ball to the Minnesota 33 with 39 seconds left.
A five-yard completion to Marv Cook put it at the 24 with five seconds left to set up Staurovsky's kick.
That left the Vikings (3-5) with their fourth loss in five games after they had scored 10 points in the last 1:37 of the fourth quarter to force overtime.
"You just don't know about these things. The momentum turned around," Viking Coach Jerry Burns said of his team's comeback.
The Patriots (3-4), who began the game with just five offensive touchdowns this year and the NFL's least productive offense, had several sustained drives.
"The key was the offense's ability to move the ball up and down the field all day," Patriot Coach Dick MacPherson said. "Once we recovered the fumble, I knew we had a real shot at winning."
Millen, starting his fourth game for the Patriots since signing as a Plan B free agent in the offseason, completed 22 of 32 passes for 326 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Irving Fryar had nine catches for 161 yards, both career highs.
"We're definitely overdue," Fryar said. "Back in '85, we stunk up the first half of the season and just came on strong during the end of the season."
Greg Rakoczy's snap was high on Staurovsky's 36-yard miss on the first overtime possession.
Minnesota then punted, but got the ball back with an interception.
Anthony Carter's 10-yard reverse and his 12-yard reception moved the ball to the 38 before Jordan fumbled on the next play.
Viking quarterback Rich Gannon completed 35 of 63 passes for 317 yards and one touchdown. He broke the Vikings' record of 62 attempts by Steve Dils but fell three short of Tommy Kramer's mark for completions.
The Vikings' Cris Carter caught 10 passes for 114 yards.
Anthony Carter had nine receptions, extending to 87 his streak of games with at least one catch.