AP Story: Packers Defeat Vikings, 26-22


Tony Fisher's 14-yard touchdown run secured a victory over the Vikings.

For all but the final few minutes, the Minnesota Vikings looked like they were the ones accustomed to freezing conditions and not the Green Bay Packers. But Tony Fisher's 14-yard touchdown run with 1:06 left gave Green Bay its first lead of the game and a 26-22 victory over the Vikings on Sunday night.

Darren Sharper picked off Daunte Culpepper's desperation pass as time expired and returned the ball 66 yards before finally going down at the Minnesota 16.

The bad blood between the border rivals boiled over at that point as Vikings tight end Jim Kleinsasser gave a two-handed shove to Packers safety Marques Anderson near the Minnesota bench.

As players from both teams converged to break up the fracas or join in, Vikings defensive tackle Chris Hovan jawed with Packers quarterback Brett Favre near the Packers' tunnel.

Then, Hovan made several obscene gestures as he was escorted from the field to a chorus of boos.

The victory by the Packers (10-3) enabled them to keep pace with Philadelphia and Tampa Bay for homefield in the NFC playoffs.

For the second straight season, the Vikings (3-10) have double-digit losses.

By 30 days, this was the latest in the year that the league had ever scheduled a night game in Green Bay, and the temperature at kickoff was 11 degrees.

The Packers never led until Fisher's game-winning TD on first-and-10 from the 14.

Green Bay got the ball at its 15 with 4:32 left. An interception by Jack Brewer with 2:12 left was negated by Corey Chavous' pass interference on Donald Driver, giving Green Bay the ball at the Minnesota 25.

After Favre picked up a first down with an 8-yard scramble on third-and-7, Fisher scored on the next play.

Fisher, a rookie free agent from Notre Dame who was making his first career start in place of Ahman Green (knee), finished with a career-high 96 yards on 25 carries.

Robert Ferguson also set career highs with six receptions for 105 yards and the first two-touchdown game of his career.

His 40-yard score pulled Green Bay to 22-20 with 10:48 left.

Michael Bennett ran 19 times for 120 yards for the Vikings, who jumped out to a 13-0 lead after Favre fumbled the ball away on Green Bay's second possession and was picked off on its third.

The Vikings converted them into 10 points on Randy Moss's 3-yard TD catch and Gary Anderson's 22-yard field goal that made it 13-0.

The Vikings stretched their 13-6 halftime lead to 19-6 when Culpepper scored on a 3-yard keeper in the third quarter that was set up by Moe Williams' 44-yard scamper.

Cletidus Hunt blocked Gary Anderson's conversion attempt. The Packers pulled to 19-13 on Ferguson's 21-yard touchdown catch, but Bennett reeled off a 35-yard run to set up Anderson's 37-yard field goal that made it 22-13.

Ferguson's second score came when he caught the ball at the 20 on a broken play and raced to the right sideline, then dived the final five yards into the end zone.

The Vikings, who failed to score in the final 21 minutes, didn't convert a third down until 9:14 remained in the game.

Green Bay (7-0) remained the league's only unbeaten team at home, and Favre improved to 34-0 in home games when the temperature at kickoff was 34 or lower.

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