PONTIAC, Mich. -- Randy Moss told Daunte Culpepper just to throw the ball high because he was the only one who was going to come down with it.
Moss caught scoring passes of 61, 50 and 17 yards from Culpepper as the Minnesota Vikings stayed unbeaten with a 31-24 victory over Detroit on Sunday.
The Vikings (4-0) took command of the game with two touchdowns in a 2:26 span midway through the final quarter.
Moss, who went into the game with one TD catch this season, caught seven passes for 168 yards despite being double-covered. Culpepper was 17-of-29 for 269 yards.
"Daunte and I hooked up on some things we've been talking about since training camp," Moss said. "I had at least 300 friends from my home state (West Virginia) here. I just had to put a show on for them and the whole Silverdome."
The third touchdown pass to Moss, tying his career high, put the Vikings ahead for good with about nine minutes left. The 6-foot-4 receiver was double-teamed on the play but leapt over Terry Fair and Corwin Brown to come down with the 50-yard touchdown reception.
"That's why they call me 'The Freak,"' Moss said.
Robert Smith helped create a balance of the run and pass with 134 yards on 16 carries. His 65-yard touchdown run gave Minnesota a 31-17 lead with just over six minutes left.
But well after the game, he was still in awe of Moss' third touchdown.
"I've seen Randy do a lot of impressive stuff, but that was one of the most impressive things I've ever seen him do," Smith said. "It was like he was saying, 'That's my ball."'
Detroit (3-2) misfired on what turned out to be its final chance in the game with 6:35 left.
Trailing 24-17, Detroit coach Bobby Ross decided to go for it on a fourth-and-8 from the Minnesota 35.
Batch threw an incomplete pass and on the next play, Smith busted through a hole and sprinted down the sideline for his touchdown, with a little help from a Moss block near the goal line.
"That was a huge stop for us," Robert Griffith said. "We were able to gain some momentum from that play and then we put them away."
The Lions consistently created room for James Stewart to run for the first time this season. But it didn't matter in the end because their defense couldn't find a way to cover Moss and the offense converted on just 2-of-11 third downs.
Detroit entered the game ranked 29th in the NFL in rushing with 64.3 yards a game. The Lions surpassed that total in the first half alone, and Stewart finished with a season-high 123 yards on 20 carries.
Charlie Batch was 24-of-44 for 239 yards and threw a touchdown pass, ran for a score and threw an interception. He capped a seven-play, 69-yard drive with a 5-yard run to tie the game at 17 with about 12 minutes left.
"It's always tough to lose at home because winning here should be a no-brainer for us," Batch said.
Detroit is 1-2 at home, where it's been a tough team to beat, and 2-0 on the road, where it has struggled historically.
Germane Crowell led the Lions with eight receptions for 85 yards and had a 9-yard touchdown catch that gave Detroit a 7-0 lead on its first possession.
Minnesota scored on the ensuing possession when Culpepper connected with Moss for a 61-yard touchdown after he easily sprinted past free safety Kurt Schulz for the second time.
The Lions went ahead 10-7 on Jason Hanson's 21-yard field goal with about four minutes left in the first half.
The Vikings tied the game 6 seconds before halftime on Gary Anderson's 20-yard field goal. They went 62 yards on 11 plays in just 1:57 to score, but squandered an opportunity to go for a touchdown.
Minnesota took a 17-10 lead when Culpepper and Moss connected for their second score. Culpepper lobbed a 17-yard pass to a leaping Moss in the back corner of the end zone.
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