From finger-pointing to chest-thumping, Randy Moss is back, even if the Vikings' high-powered offense remains sporadic.
After blasting new offensive coordinator Ray Sherman following three mostly unproductive weeks, Moss broke free for two long touchdowns today as Minnesota beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 21-14.
The Vikings (2-2) scored on their first three possessions, taking a 21-0 first-quarter lead, then held on to end a two-game skid that had them sniping at each other and the coaching staff.
The Bucs (2-2) failed twice to tie it in the final two minutes.
Corey Miller intercepted Trent Dilfer's fourth-and-one pass to Warrick Dunn at the Minnesota 10-yard line with 1 minute 54 seconds left for the Vikings' first interception of the season.
Tampa Bay got the ball back with 1:24 remaining and drove to the Vikings 17. But Dilfer's pass to Darnell McDonald was broken up by Robert Griffith in the end zone as time expired.
The Bucs sorely missed defensive tackle Warren Sapp, who sat out with a broken left hand. Tampa Bay had limited previous opponents to 143 yards a game.
With little pressure up front, Randall Cunningham, who was 26 of 34 for 296 yards and three touchdowns, finally had time to go deep to Moss, who accumulated 109 yards receiving in the first quarter.
Moss tied his career-high with a 61-yard catch for a touchdown, then added a 27-yard score and caught a 21-yard pass in triple coverage on the Vikings' third possession, which ended in a touchdown grab by Andrew Glover.
After his 61-yard touchdown, Moss got a bear hug from run-stuffer Jerry Ball, who rejoined the Vikings last week in a trade with Cleveland. Ball's return allowed John Randle to move from tackle to end, and Randle responded with two sacks and caused and recovered a fumble.