Updated: Sunday, October 17, 2004 9:00 AM EDT
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Minnesota (3-1) at New Orleans (2-3) Sunday, 8:30 pm EDT
Vikings
Saints

NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- Two teams heading in opposite directions meet Sunday night at the Superdome when the high-powered Minnesota Vikings visit the sliding New Orleans Saints .

Since a Week Two loss to the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles , the Vikings have won two straight while totaling nearly 1,000 yards and 61 points.

In an overtime win over Houston last week, Daunte Culpepper threw for five touchdowns for the second time this year, helping Randy Moss extend his streak of a touchdown reception to nine straight games.

While Moss had 90 yards receiving and a pair of scores, the double team the Texans threw on him left Marcus Robinson open for nine catches and fourth-string running back Mewelde Moore hauled in 12 more while gaining nearly 200 total yards.

With Michael Bennett and Moe Williams still hurt and Onterrio Smith serving a suspension, Moore will get the starting nod again Sunday. Moore grew up in Hammond, Louisiana, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans, and attended Tulane University.

The offensive superlatives abound on the Minnesota side and they should be on a high note emotionally after the big win in Houston, their first road triumph since October 5, 2003 - a span of six games.

On the other side of the ball, the Saints are reeling and are beginning to point fingers. Coach Jim Haslett is feeling the pressure after back-to-back losses to previously winless teams.

A 20-17 loss to AFC South rival Tampa Bay last week dropped New Orleans below .500. Since a 10-6 season in Haslett's first year with the club in 2000, the Saints are 26-27 amid high expectations.

Their defense is ranked 29th overall and quarterback Aaron Brooks questioned his role with the team after the club's 34-10 loss to Arizona two weeks ago. Brooks fumbled twice in the embarrassing loss to the Cardinals and followed that up with just 106 yards passing vs. the Bucanneers.

In the teams' last meeting, Culpepper hit Moss with a scoring pass with five seconds left to bring the Vikings to within a point, and then ran in the two-point conversion for a dramatic 32-31 win at New Orleans.

Matchup to watch: Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie matches up against right end Darren Howard .

Series: Minnesota, 15-7, including three of the last four in the Superdome.

Next week: Minnesota hosts Tennessee on October 24. New Orleans visits Oakland on October 24.


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