American Football: Vikings' late kick denies Dolphins play-off place

By Marvin Gruber
Monday 23 December 2002 01:00
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Randy Moss threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to give Minnesota the lead early in the fourth quarter and Gary Anderson kicked a 53-yard field goal with 17 seconds left as the Minnesota Vikings handed the AFC East-leading Miami Dolphins a 20-17 defeat on Saturday. The defeat prevented the Dolphins (9-6) from taking a play-off spot, but they lead New England by a half-game in the AFC East and can wrap up the division by beating the Patriots next week.

In Irving, Texas, the Philadelphia Eagles scored the most points in franchise history and matched their most wins ever. All that is left is wrapping up home-field advantage in the play-offs. Shawn Barber returned an interception 80 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter to fend off the Dallas Cowboys 27-3.

Philadelphia (12-3) had their sixth straight win and reached 12 wins for the first time since the 1980 squad that made it to the Super Bowl. The Eagles can clinch home-field if Green Bay lost last night's scheduled game and Tampa Bay fail tonight. If either lose, Philadelphia locks up a first-round bye. The Eagles can secure home-field on their own with a victory in the finale next Saturday against the New York Giants.

In Tempe, Arizona, Jeff Garcia put in a full day for the San Francisco 49ers against a team headed nowhere. Garcia completed 23 of 39 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown as the 49ers held on for a 17-14 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

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