Lynn Dickey came off the bench, completing nine of 11 passes for 135 yards, to engineer two fourth-quarter scoring drives and safety Mark Murphy returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown with 3:56 left to rally the Green Bay Packers to a 27-17 NFL victory today over the Minnesota Vikings.
Dickey had replaced ineffective starter Jim Zorn. Green Bay (4-6), trailing by 17-6, scored three touchdowns in a span of 4:39 of the final quarter to drop the Vikings to 5-5.
Gerry Ellis scored on a one-yard run with 7:33 remaining and Dickey connected with Eddie Lee Ivery on a one-yard touchdown pass with 5:29 left before Murphy, a doubtful starter because of rib injuries, intercepted Tommy Kramer for the final score.
Curtis Rouse, the Vikings' 318-pound offensive tackle, said: "If I had weighed 100 pounds less, maybe I would have caught (Murphy)."
Dickey's passing to Phillip Epps (six catches, 118 yards) was a key to Green Bay's rally.
It has been an up-and-down season for Dickey, 36, who has contemplated retirement, nursed injuries, begged out of the lineup and been replaced as a starter. "He's a good quarterback with a good arm and has good presence of mind," said Packers Coach Forrest Gregg. "I never questioned his ability as a quarterback."
"He's good," Vikings Coach Bud Grant said of Dickey after his team lost for the fifth straight time to Green Bay. "That's why he's being paid $800,000 a year. He's not being paid that much to sit on the bench."
Darrin Nelson (21 carries, career-high 146 yards) became the first Minnesota player to gain 100 yards rushing in consecutive games since Chuck Foreman did it in 1975.