MINNEAPOLIS, AUG. 26 -- Jim Gallery atoned for missing a 24-yard field goal with 5:14 left by hitting a 24-yarder with one second to go as the Minnesota Vikings posted a 22-21 preseason victory today over the winless Houston Oilers.
The Vikings (2-1) won despite generally poor quarterbacking by Rich Gannon, making his first career start, and Wade Wilson. Third-stringer Sean Salisbury rallied Minnesota from a 21-12 fourth-quarter deficit against mostly Houston reserves.
Warren Moon, whose practice time was reduced this week because of a "tired arm," woke up Houston's offense by accounting for 14 second-quarter points as the Oilers (0-3) overcame an early 12-0 deficit.
Gallery, who beat out Jim Breech to gain the kicking job in Cincinnati last year only to be cut a month into the season after a two-for-six start, is doing most of Minnesota's kicking because of Rich Karlis's holdout.
He made a 49-yard first-quarter field goal but his 24-yard miss seemingly ruined any chance of a Minnesota comeback. With 4:09 left, however, Pat Eilers intercepted a Don McPherson pass and Salisbury capped a four-play, 36-yard drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Cedric Smith that made it 21-19 with 2:31 to go.
After McPherson, Houston's third-string quarterback, failed to move the team again, Minnesota took over at its 44 with 1:51 left. Salisbury went three for four for 21 yards and Smith had a 14-yard run to position Gallery for his game-winner.