Don't believe what the scoreboard said after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 23-20 overtime victory in Minneapolis yesterday over the Minnesota Vikings.
The score was really either Steve Christie 11, Donald Igwebuike 8 or Ray Perkins 1, Igwebuike 0.
Christie kicked a 36-yard field goal with 5:49 left in overtime -- just 3:53 after Igwebuike, his Tampa Bay predecessor, missed a 48-yard field goal that could have won it for the Vikings.
Christie was perfect on three field goals and two extra points. Igwebuike had two of each and had made all eight field goal attempts for the Vikings until his overtime kick -- which was low and tipped by Tampa Bay's Paul Gruber.
"It's going to take a while for me to come down from this," said Christie, a free agent who won the Tampa Bay job in training camp even though Igwebuike had established himself as one of the NFL's most accurate kickers since 1985.
"I had an idea that, with Iggy and myself in this game, it might come down to field goals. I feel for him. He could have made it as easily as he missed it. I thought he'd make it because I know how good he is."
But Perkins, Tampa Bay's coach, thought otherwise.
"I didn't think he'd make it," said Perkins, who was criticized by almost everyone for keeping the untested Christie over the proven and popular Igwebuike. "I told our guys that he wouldn't make it. It was too far out for him. He missed one last year against the Vikings from that same distance." Actually, it was a 46-yarder.
Tampa Bay (3-1) is off to its best start since going 4-0 in 1979, when it won the NFC Central title. Minnesota is 1-3 for the first time since 1972 and had a 13-game home winning streak snapped. The Vikings hadn't lost at home since Oct. 16, 1988, to Green Bay.
Christie's winning kick was set up by Wayne Haddix, who intercepted Rich Gannon's pass at Minnesota's 26 after Anthony Carter had the pass go through his hands.
The Buccaneers trailed, 20-13, before Vinny Testaverde passed for all 74 yards on the tying drive, capped by his 11-yard scoring pass to Bruce Hill with 24 seconds left. Testaverde had only 88 yards passing before the drive.
Gannon threw two touchdown passes in a 3:06 span late in the fourth quarter, rallying the Vikings to their 20-13 lead.
Jets 37, Patriots 13:
Brad Baxter ran for two touchdowns and Ken O'Brien threw for 282 yards in the rout in Foxboro, Mass.
New York's Rob Moore caught nine passes for 175 yards, including a 69-yard scoring play. O'Brien completed 19 of 29 passes. Pat Leahy added field goals of 18, 24 and 46 yards and rookie Blair Thomas had his first 100-yard game rushing with exactly 100.
New England dropped to 1-3; the Jets are 2-2.
Chiefs 34, Browns 0:
Kevin Ross and Chris Martin each scored a touchdown off a blocked punt and Steve DeBerg threw two scoring passes in Kansas City, Mo., giving Coach Marty Schottenheimer a full measure of satisfaction.
The Browns (1-3), who forced Schottenheimer out as coach two years ago, are off to their worst start since 1984, the year Schottenheimer was hired at midseason. At 3-1, the Chiefs are off to their best start since their last playoff year in 1986.
In Schottenheimer's first meeting with his old team last year, the Chiefs and Browns tied, 10-10.
Cornerback Albert Lewis, who sat out the entire training camp in a personal dispute with management, blocked his third punt in as many weeks.
Cleveland's Bernie Kosar, sacked 13 times coming into the game, was sacked once but was harried and hurried all day while DeBerg enjoyed nearly flawless pass protection. Backup Mike Pagel replaced the battered Kosar with 31 seconds left in the third quarter.
Oilers 17, Chargers 7:
Warren Moon, the top passer in the AFC, threw for 355 yards and two touchdowns and Houston (2-2) held host San Diego (1-3) to its lowest point total of the season.
Moon connected with Drew Hill for a nine-yard score on the Oilers' opening drive. His second touchdown pass, a 22-yarder to Ernest Givins with 29 seconds remaining in the second quarter, gave Houston a 14-7 halftime lead.
The Chargers pulled into a 7-7 tie on Billy Joe Tolliver's 27-yard scoring pass to Anthony Miller.