Vikings Get Going in Fourth Quarter, Beat Jaguars 25-16
At 6-6 coming into the game, the Minnesota Vikings needed this game badly to keep their playoff hopes alive. It was not a pretty win by any means against a struggling Jacksonville Jaguars team (2-11), but still a win.
“You take it. It’s tough to win the NFL. So you take them how they come,” cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said (Startribune.com)
Sam Bradford went 24/34 for 292 yards and 1 touchdown. Adam Thielen had 4 receptions for 101 yards. Kyle Rudolph had 4 receptions for 60 yards and 1 touchdown and Stefon Diggs had 3 receptions for 55 yards. The Vikings have struggled with the deep ball all season but had a season-high three plays of 40 yards or more (41, 44, 45). Everson Griffen had 2.0 of the team's 4 sacks.
Blake Bortles went 23/37 for 257 yards and 1 touchdown for the Jaguars. T.J. Yeldon rushed for 59 yards on 17 carries and Marqise Lee had 5 receptions for 113 yards.
Kai Forbath made all four of his field goal attempts and gave the Vikings a 9-3 lead early in the second quarter. Jason Myers made two field goals to tie the game at 9 at halftime. Forbath gave the Vikings a 12-9 lead on a 46-yard field goal, but the Jaguars took a 16-12 lead late in the third quarter when Bortles hit Bryan Walters for a 14-yard touchdown.
The Vikings scored their first touchdown of the game early in the fourth, but Forbath missed the extra point (38 yards due to a false start penalty). They later had the chance to score another touchdown, but Matt Asiata fumbled at the 1-yard line on 3rd-and-goal. Asiata was also stopped short on 4th-and-goal from the one late in the second quarter.
The defense came up with a big stop after the turnover and drove 54 yards to score the game-winning touchdown on a 3-yard connection from Bradford to Rudolph. They then blocked a 61-yard field goal in the closing seconds.
The offense struggled the first three quarters but came through when needed to seal the win.
“I think our mentality is good at the end of the game that we can go in and do these things. But it sure does help when you win,” said head coach Mike Zimmer. (StarTribune.com)
Zimmer returned to the sidelines after missing last week's game against the Dallas Cowboys due to having emergency eye surgery. He had a patch on his right eye throughout the game this week.
Up next: The Vikings return home to face the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday.