Reserve quarterback Rich Gannon ran and passed Minnesota to a 17-point fourth quarter as the injury-riddled Vikings rallied to defeat the Broncos, 27-17, in an NFL preseason finale last night in Denver.
The Vikings, playing without quarterback Tommy Kramer and five other starters, overcame a 17-10 third-quarter deficit behind Gannon, a rookie who replaced Wade Wilson at quarterback late in the first half.
Two first-half touchdown passes by John Elway and a third-quarter field goal by Rich Karlis, after Gannon fumbled the ball at the Broncos 5-yard line, gave Denver (3-2 for the preseason) its lead.
But it was Denver turnovers that ultimately decided the outcome.
Minnesota (2-2) put together an 80-yard, 12-play scoring drive that culminated in Gannon's eight-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Greg Richardson that tied the score at 17 with 12:43 to play.
Moments later, Elway fumbled a snap and Minnesota's Walker Lee Ashley recovered at the Broncos 16. Chuck Nelson's 35-yard field goal broke the tie with 10:33 left.
Then, with three minutes left, Elway's cross-field pass was intercepted by safety Neal Guggemos. The Vikings needed to drive just 13 yards for Gannnon's 1-yard plunge with 1:55 left.
Lions 36, Eagles 3: Starting quarterback Chuck Long completed 14 of 18 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns, Detroit's defense intercepted two passes and made seven sacks and the Lions defeated the Eagles in Philadelphia.
The Lions finished the preseason with a 2-2 record. The Eagles dropped to 1-3 and, for the second consecutive preseason game, scored only on a field goal by Paul McFadden. They lost, 35-3, to Miami Saturday night.
Except for a drive to the Detroit 5-yard line that resulted in McFadden's 30-yard field goal, the Eagles never threatened.