Cris Carter, the NFC's leading receiver, joined the 900-catch club and had two touchdown receptions as the Minnesota Vikings held off the visiting San Diego Chargers, 35-27, to remain in a tie atop the NFC Central.

Carter's big day was tarnished by a first-quarter sideline tantrum in which he spiked a football that struck an official on the nose. Carter was called for unsportsmanlike conduct but not ejected.

"That was an accident--he didn't try to hurt anybody," said Jeff George, who tied a career high with four touchdown passes in becoming the first Vikings quarterback to win his first five starts.

Carter had his fourth straight 100-yard receiving game for the first time in his career. He had 11 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns, and joined Jerry Rice, Andre Reed and Art Monk as the only NFL players with 900 career catches.

Carter entered the game with 898 career receptions. His 900th was a four-yarder that gave the Vikings a 21-7 lead.

"With the talent we have, somebody's going to be open," he said.

The Vikings (7-4) watched their three-touchdown halftime cushion shrink as San Diego (4-7), losers of six straight, rallied in the second half. The Chargers were driving for the tying score when Robert Griffith picked off Jim Harbaugh's pass at the Vikings 1 with 4 minutes 29 seconds left. The Vikings then ran out the clock.

* COLTS 13, JETS 6: No rest on the sideline this time for Peyton Manning.

Back on the field the entire game after being relieved for the first time in his two-year career, Manning passed for 198 yards and a touchdown, and streaking Indianapolis beat New York.

"We made it closer than it should have been," said Manning, who was intercepted twice. "It's nice to win and still have a lot of room for improvement. We just need to make the corrections and stop the costly mistakes."

The victory was the seventh straight for the Colts (9-2), the longest winning streak for the franchise since the Baltimore Colts won nine in a row in 1975. It put them a game ahead of the Dolphins entering an AFC East showdown next week at Miami.

Manning, who as a rookie in 1998 was the only NFL quarterback on the field for all of his team's offensive plays, ended his streak of 1,590 consecutive snaps last week, when Steve Walsh relieved him with a 44-3 third-quarter lead in Philadelphia.

But the Jets (4-7), who lost to Indianapolis 16-13 last month, didn't give the Colts the luxury of a big lead. Manning had a two-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Pollard in the first quarter, and two field goals by Mike Vanderjagt were the only other points the Colts could manage.

* RAMS 43, SAINTS 12: Kurt Warner spent a half playing like the Arena League refugee he is. Then he reverted to his form of the first 10 games and led St. Louis to another big home win.

After an awful first half, the NFL's leading passer completed 10 of his first 12 second-half passes to lead the victory over New Orleans.

"I kind of told myself at halftime I didn't want to go through a whole game playing that way," said Warner, who was 5 for 15 for 60 yards in the first half. "It's not the way I play football, so I took what the defense gave me and tried to go out and play the way I know how."

Torry Holt added two touchdown catches for the Rams (9-2), whose average winning margin was 35-10 at home this season entering the game.

* PANTHERS 34, FALCONS 28: Donald Hayes, pressed into duty because one of Carolina's wide receivers was hurt and another is in jail, had five catches for 133 yards and a touchdown in the victory over visiting Atlanta. The Panthers (5-6) won back-to-back games for the first time since December 1998.

Chris Chandler matched his career-high by throwing four scoring passes for Atlanta, but the Falcons (2-9) were penalized 14 times, including four pass-interference calls that contributed to two Carolina touchdowns.

* TITANS 33, BROWNS 21: With Tennessee trailing at halftime, its special teams set up a go-ahead score with a fumble recovery. Derrick Mason ran a punt back 65 yards for another touchdown, helping the Titans win in Cleveland.

Eddie George rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns, and Steve McNair ran for another as the Titans improved to 9-2 for the first time since 1991, when they were in Houston. Cleveland is 2-10.

CAPTION: Torry Holt of the Rams manages to elude defender Willie Clay of the Saints and to stay in bounds en route to scoring one of his two touchdowns.