EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Minnesota Vikings simply could not move the ball, so they got creative – becoming the first team in NFL history to get touchdown returns on a punt, a kickoff and an interception.

Then quarterback Brad Johnson finally put together a drive, setting up Paul Edinger’s 48-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining in Minnesota’s improbable 24-21 win over the New York Giants.

Safety Darren Sharper had three interceptions for the Vikings, including one he returned for a 92-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. His third came in the end zone with 3:48 left in the game and the Giants trailing 21-13.

But the Giants got the ball back one more time and drove 67 yards, tying the game with 1:21 left on a 3-yard touchdown run and 2-point conversion run by Tiki Barber.

Johnson then drove the Vikings 42 yards in eight plays, completing four passes in the drive to set up Edinger, who had missed from 40 and 32 yards earlier in the game.

The Vikings had their worst offensive performance of the season with 137 total yards, and were held to six yards in the first half.

Special teams were another story, as Koren Robinson returned the second-half kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown and teammate Mewelde Moore ran a punt back 71 yards later in the quarter.

Johnson won his second straight game since replacing injured Daunte Culpepper, and finished 17-for-30 for 144 yards.

Eli Manning finished 23-of-48 for 291 yards and threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Amani Toomer in the third quarter to give him 10 straight games with a touchdown pass, the longest active streak in the NFL. But he threw four interceptions and had two others that were dropped by Minnesota defenders.

That the Giants were even within reach of the Vikings by midway through the third quarter was a testament to their defense and to the shaky foot of Edinger.

Willie Ponder got the Giants off to a terrible start when he fumbled the opening kickoff at his own 29. But the Giants held Minnesota without a first down and Edinger missed from 40 yards.

On the Giants’ second possession of the game, Manning threw over the middle for Toomer but Sharper grabbed the ball away at the 18. Michael Bennett ran to the 9, but lost six yards on the next play, and after an incompletion Edinger missed again from 32 yards on a ball that was tipped by defensive tackle Damane Duckett and hit the crossbar.

The Giants finally got into a rhythm offensively late in the first quarter, but after driving the ball to the Minnesota 15, Manning threw for Plaxico Burress near the goal line and Sharper stepped in front at the 8, then ran down the right sideline with the quarterback in pursuit. At the Giants 30, he cut back and outran Manning to the end zone.

Jay Feely, who entered the game having made 17 of 18 attempts this season, got the Giants within a point with field goals of 35 and 48 yards, but missed a chance to give New York the lead with 1:13 left in the half when he pushed a 28-yard attempt wide to the right.

AP-ES-11-13-05 1650EST


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.