League only one to quiet Vikings WR Carter
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Vikings' Cris Carter never got the opportunity to ask the crowd for quiet.
The NFL ended apparent confusion within the Vikings' organization on the cheering issue by not allowing the team to air a tape of Carter putting a finger to his mouth and saying: "Shhh. Quiet please. The offense is at work."
The Vikings issued a release Thursday, however, asking fans to be "the most enthusiastic home fans ever."
"We want all the fans to show up early in their purple and cheer louder than they ever have before," Vikings owner Red McCombs said, asking fans to make the Metrodome the loudest place in the history of the NFL playoffs.
By Friday, the NFL pulled the plug on the Carter tape.
Daunte Culpepper set several Vikings records in his first postseason appearance. The second-year quarterback had the highest passer rating in team playoff history, 120.7. His 30-yard run was the longest by a Vikings quarterback and he became the first Viking to throw two passes of more than 50 yards in a playoff game.
Randy Moss was on the receiving end of both, for 53 and 68 yards, becoming the first Minnesota receiver to catch a pair of 50-yard-plus balls. The 68-yarder was the longest playoff pass play of Moss' career.
The Saints played in the NFC divisional playoff game one year and one day after the firings of head coach Mike Ditka and his entire staff, plus general manager Billy Kuharich and almost his entire staff, following a 3-13 season.
New Orleans also lost to Minnesota in its first playoff game, on Jan. 3, 1988. The visiting Vikings won 44-10.
Jim Finks, the former Saints and Vikings general manager, has left his mark on both teams - and both stadiums. Finks is one of five people memorialized in the Superdome. His name is one of six displayed in the Metrodome.
Vikings free safety Orlando Thomas left the game with a hamstring that he said was "tweaked" rather than pulled. He did not return, but said he is confident he will be ready for the NFC Championship Game.
"With the tempo the way it was going, the most important thing was to step back, knowing it wasn't really a pull," Thomas said. "It was more important to play next week."
Vikings cornerback Kenny Wright returned after leaving the game with a sprained knee.
The Vikings deactivated defensive end Bryce Paup for the first time since he missed six games because of an injury. ... The Vikings played in their 38th playoff game, tying the San Francisco 49ers for second in NFL history. The Dallas Cowboys have played in 53 playoff games. ... Randy Moss has extended his streak of touchdown receptions in playoff games to five. ... Gary Anderson passed George Blanda as the career playoff leader in PATs. Anderson, at 41 the oldest player in the playoffs, kicked four extra points, giving him 52 for his playoff career. He already is the playoff leader with 133 points and 28 field goals.