Vikings Not Left Kicking Themselves

From Associated Press

Gary Anderson made up for a shanked kick in the final play of regulation by making a 38-yard attempt with 9:02 left in overtime Sunday that gave the Minnesota Vikings a 27-24 victory over the Chicago Bears.

The Bears blew their own chance to win when Chris Boniol’s 41-yard attempt sailed just wide with 13:14 left in overtime, brushing the right upright. It was Chicago’s 12th missed field-goal attempt this season.

“I just wasn’t good enough,” said Boniol, who is five for nine this season.


It was a wild finish to what had been a wide-open game in which Jim Miller--the Bears’ No. 3 quarterback two weeks ago--passed for 422 yards and Jeff George--a backup for the Vikings five weeks ago--threw for 374. Both had three touchdown passes.

After the teams traded touchdowns in the final 6:06 to tie the score, 24-24, Randy Moss--who had 12 catches for 204 yards--brought the Vikings (6-4) to the Bear two with receptions of 44 and 42 yards.

That gave Anderson what should have been a 20-yard chip shot for the game winner, even if he was kicking into the wind.

But Anderson missed as time expired, sending the ball way wide to the left.

“It’s awful difficult to make a kick when the ball is half laying on its side,” said Anderson, who was unhappy with the hold by punter Mitch Berger. “If I make a bad kick, I can deal with that. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.”

The Vikings (6-4) got the ball first in overtime, but Walt Harris--burned on Moss’ 42-yard catch a few minutes earlier--stepped in front of Moss and made the interception at the Viking 29.

The Bears (4-6) couldn’t take advantage, though, gaining only six yards in three running plays before Boniol’s miss.

As if the missed field goal wasn’t enough, the the Vikings got another break on the next series. On third and 10 from the Chicago 47, George was looking for Cris Carter, who had three touchdown receptions in regulation. Carter didn’t make the catch, but cornerback Terry Cousin was called for pass interference for the second time. Instead of fourth down, the Vikings got a first and 10 from the Bear 25.

Three plays later, Anderson redeemed himself.