Minnesota's Benny Ricardo kicked his second field goal of the game midway through the final period and the Vikings' defense held on to defeat the Detroit Lions, 20-17, today.
Minnesota's defense, which sacked Lions quarterback Eric Hipple eight times, also set up Ricardo's winning field goal. Defensive end Randy Holloway, who had three sacks, batted down a pass of Hipple's in the final period and nose guard Charlie Johnson grabbed the ball, giving Minnesota possession on the Lions' 40-yard line. The Vikings' drive stalled and with 7:22 remaining, Ricardo kicked the 24-yard field goal that won it.
"I was just running at Hipple and trying to get my hands on him or the ball," said Holloway, who played more than usual after Mark Mullaney was lost with a broken collarbone. "We came out today knowing we had to get them."
Vikings quarterback Steve Dils, starting in place of injured Tommy Kramer, completed 18 of 31 passes for 147 yards, including a three-yard touchdown pass to tight end Bob Bruer.
Detroit (1-3) threatened late in the game, but on a fourth and 10 Holloway hit Hipple as he threw and defensive back Joey Browner made the fourth Viking interception of the day with 1:38 to play. The Vikings did not hold possession, but Greg Coleman's punt was dead on the Lions' seven.
After that, Hipple was sacked for the final time and then threw his fifth interception, which Carl Lee returned 31 yards with 36 seconds left. The Vikings (3-1) ran out the clock to secure the victory.
Vikings Coach Bud Grant said, "Something was the matter and it infected everyone . . . Maybe the air conditioning was off."
Said Hipple: "Humor is always good in situations like this. Unfortunately, I can't find anything funny about it."