MINNEAPOLIS, DEC. 2 -- Anthony Carter's circus 56-yard catch tonight helped the Minnesota Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers, 23-7, and give the NFC Central title to the Chicago Bears.

"I don't know if another receiver can make that catch," quarterback Rich Gannon said. "In fact, I didn't think anybody could make that catch and I have a hard time thinking that A.C. could make that catch again."

Said Carter: "I just told him to give me a chance."

The Packers took a 7-6 lead 3:21 into the third quarter when Tiger Greene blocked a punt and went 36 yards for a touchdown. The Vikings responded with a field goal.

On the play after the Packers punted, Gannon handed off to Herschel Walker, who pitched to Gannon on the fleaflicker. Gannon passed downfield even though Mark Lee was covering Carter tightly.

Carter leaped, tipped the ball from Lee and, as he was falling into the end zone, caught it for a 16-7 lead with 54 seconds left in the period.

On the Packers' next possession, Al Noga sacked Anthony Dilweg, knocking the ball lose. Noga recovered in the end zone.

Dilweg was intercepted three times, fumbled twice and was sacked five times. After starting the game with seven completions in 10 passes, he completed two of his next 10.

"They just came in and did a number on us," he said. "But I feel I let my teammates down." Green Bay 0 0 7 0 7 Minnesota 3 3 17 0 23 FIRST QUARTER

Minnesota: FG Reveiz 29, 11:00.


Minnesota: FG Reveiz 32, 14:09.


Green Bay: Green 36 blocked punt return (Jacke kick), 3:41.

Minnesota: FG Reveiz 41, 12:03.

Minnesota: A.Carter 56 pass from Gannon (Reveiz kick), 14:06.

Minnesota: Noga recovered fumble in end zone (Reveiz kick), 14:57.

Attendance: 62,058. Packers Vikings First downs 11 16 Rushes-yards 16-59 39-137 Passing yards 131 149 Return yards 29 30 Passing 16-29-3 11-21-0 Sacked-yards lost 5-41 1-1 Punts 3-39 5-32 Fumbles-lost 3-2 2-0 Penalties-yards 10-67 8-82 Time of possession 24:09 35:51

Green Bay: Thompson 3-17, Fontenot 3-15, Dilweg 3-11, Haddix 6-10, Woodside 1-6.

Minnesota: Anderson 13-60, Walker 12-35, Rice 5-15, Gannon 6-14, A.Carter 1-10, Smith 1-2, Dozier 1-1. PASS

Green Bay: Dilweg 16-29-3, 172 yards.

Minnesota: Gannon 11-21-0, 150. RECEIVING

Green Bay: Sharpe 4-93, Weathers 3-24, Fontenot 3-7, Kemp 2-28, West 2-10, Woodside 1-7, Query 1-3.

Minnesota: A.Carter 4-96, Walker 3-26, Anderson 3-18, Jordan 1-10. MISSED FIELD GOALS