Vikings offense pulls disappearing act
Posted: Sunday January 17, 1999 06:11 PM
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- For half a game, they were the same old Minnesota Vikings, the high-flying offense that broke the NFL scoring record. Then it all vanished, along with their Super Bowl aspirations.
Unstoppable all season, the Vikings fizzled offensively after building a 20-7 lead late in the second quarter of Sunday's NFC championship game. That shocking failure, and Gary Anderson's first missed field goal in more than a year, led to their shocking 30-27 overtime loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
"Our offense was supposed to have been so explosive, but we just couldn't make it happen in the clutch," said receiver Randy Moss, the exciting rookie who had fueled Minnesota's scoring binge this season.
The disappearance of Moss in the second half was perhaps the biggest key for the Vikings, who were playing in the NFC title game for the first time in 11 years and trying to get back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1976 season.
Moss, who led the NFL with a rookie-record 17 TD catches this season, had five catches for 71 yards as the Vikings built their 20-7 lead on Anderson's field goal with 2:45 left in the second quarter. He had just one catch for 4 yards the rest of the way.
"They were taking me out of the game," Moss said. "When you take a guy out of the game, other people have to step up."
For the first time this season, no one did.
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