MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings got an up close and personal glimpse of the future of the NFL.
That future is Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick.
On Sunday, Vick lived up to his billing, rushing for 173 yards and two touchdowns, including a game-winning, 46-yard touchdown run just more than two minutes into overtime to defeat the Vikings 30-24 Sunday at the Metrodome.
"Once (Vick's) outside the pocket he has the ability to make moves and cuts unlike anybody I've ever seen," Vikings safety Ronnie Bradford said. "He's like a (Marshall) Faulk, Curtis Martin or Priest Holmes once he gets outside the pocket. It's pretty magical what he does."
Vick was conjuring up spells all day against the Vikings. Vick, who threw for 173 yards and a touchdown, accounted for 346 of Atlanta's 379 total offensive yards and 21 of its 30 points.
"(Atlanta's) offense schemed pretty well and designed some plays where (Vick) was the number called," said Bradford. "You don't find it too many times in this league where the quarterback is the featured runner."
It was a beleaguered Minnesota defense that was once again the focal point after a crushing home overtime loss.
"We're going home with a sour taste in our mouths and an empty feeling in our stomachs," Minnesota strong safety Corey Chavous said. "That team right there was a good football team and we had a good chance to win. It's disappointing the way the game ended."
The Vikings' offense found success early as it took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards in 11 plays, culminating in a Daunte Culpepper 1-yard touchdown plunge on fourth and goal for a 7-0 lead.
Meanwhile, the Vikings' defense kept Vick and his happy feet under wraps in the first half, holding him to only 57 yards on the ground and forcing two fumbles.
Instead, Vick turned to his powerful left arm, throwing a pair of 39-yard passes to wide receiver Brian Finneran. One of Finneran's catches set up Bob Christian's 1-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter while the other went for a touchdown just before the end of the first half.
But the Minnesota defense finally got to Vick late in the second quarter as linebacker Henri Crockett forced a fumble and Chris Hovan recovered on the Falcons' 36.
A Culpepper 20-yard run helped set up tight end Hunter Goodwin's 2-yard touchdown reception from Culpepper four plays later.
Tied 14-14 at halftime, both teams came out flat from the break as neither offense got on track.
Vikings running back Michael Bennett finally kick-started a sluggish third quarter as he sprinted 28 yards to the Falcons' 4. Two plays later, Bennett capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run and a 21-14 lead.
After a Vick 28-yard touchdown run in the third, the Falcons took their first lead of the game at 24-21 on a Jay Feely 44-yard field goal with 3:33 left in the game.
Taking over on their own 34, Culpepper marched the Vikings deep into Atlanta territory, aided by a Randy Moss 40-yard catch.
On third and six from Atlanta's 6, Culpepper handed off to Moss on an apparent end-around. Moss pulled up and threw back across the field to Culpepper who lumbered in for the touchdown.
But the score was nullified as the Vikings were flagged for an illegal formation.
"It's a legal formation," Minnesota offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. "The tackle has to declare himself eligible, but it wasn't (Bryant) McKinnie's fault. The officials assumed the man on the line was an ineligible number so for it to be eligible, the tackle has to say 'I'm a receiver.'"
Vikings kicker Gary Anderson sent the game into overtime with his 29-yard field goal.
The Vikings received the opening kickoff in overtime but went three-and-out, giving Atlanta the ball at the Minnesota 48.
On second and eight, Vick the magician pulled a rabbit out of his helmet, weaving through a tired Vikings' defense for the game-winning score.
"Vick just used his improvisational skills and he saw something that no one else did," Chavous said. "With that type of acceleration he just hit another gear. I don't think there's a better athlete in the league."
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