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MOSS, McNAIR CAN'T OVERCOME INJURIES

VIKINGS 20, TITANS 3

wire services
Published October 25, 2004

MINNEAPOLIS - Even with Minnesota's Randy Moss relegated to two snaps of decoy duty, Tennessee still made sure to take away the deep ball. So Daunte Culpepper and the Vikings shifted gears and grinded one out against the struggling Titans.

Culpepper completed 24 of 30 mostly low-risk passes, and an aggressive defense took out Titans quarterback Steve McNair on the first play of the second quarter.

"We did what we had to do," Culpepper said. "We move the chains when we have to move the chains."

After throwing 10 touchdowns the past two weeks, Culpepper had 183 yards and one score to Marcus Robinson just before halftime. Rookie Mewelde Moore rushed for 138 yards on 20 carries, and the defense yielded its lowest points total in 98 games since a 24-3 victory over Cincinnati on Nov.15, 1998.

Moss extended his consecutive games streak to 102 with a token start, but his strained right hamstring kept him out of Minnesota's plans and the star wideout went without a catch for the first time in his seven-year career.

Billy Volek was an unsuccessful substitute for McNair, going 17-for-36 for 190 yards and three interceptions.

"I shot us in the foot," Volek said.

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