Dan Bailey missed 2 extra points and a 51-yard game winning field goal attempt in regulation, but redeemed himself by kicking a 23-yard game winner in overtime.
The Minnesota Vikings (6-6) overcame some early adversity and sloppy play to avoid and ugly upset to the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-11).
Eric Kendricks, the heart and sole of the Vikings defense, was an unexpected scratch from the game after a pre-game warmup calf injury. Unsurprisingly, the Vikings started the game flat and lifeless. It only took the Jaguars 2:27 seconds to score on the opening possession. Mike Glennon hit Laviska Shenault on a 28 touchdown pass that bounced off Kris Boyd to give the Jaguars an early 7-0 advantage.
On the next possession, the Vikings defense forced a redzone field goal to build the Jaguars to 9-0. The Vikings offense struggled to find a rhythm and were forced to punt 4 times in the first half. The Vikings managed to find pay-dirt in the second quarter when Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen for a 3-yard touchdown pitch and catch. Dan Bailey then missed his first of 2 extra point attempts as the score was tighten to 9-6.
The Vikings entered the game with the leagues #2 rusher in Dalvin Cook, while the Jaguars featured the #3 rusher in rookie James Robinson. The Vikings held Robinson to 78-yards on 18 carries (1 TD) while Glennon threw the ball 42 times completing 28 for 280 yards 1 TD 2 INT.
After a slow start on the ground, the Vikings as usual didn’t abandon the running game. Cook carried the ball 32 times for 120 yards but was largely held in check.
On the first possession of the 3rd quarter, Cousins threw a pick-6 to extend the Jags lead to 16-6. LB Joe Schobert steals the dump-off pass intended for Cook and raced 43-yards for the touchdown. Cousins rebounds on the next possession hitting C.J. Ham on a 12-yard touchdown pass to cut the score to 16-13.
Late in the 3rd quarter Cousins throws his 3rd touchdown of the game finding Justin Jefferson on a 20-yard strike to give the Vikings the lead 19-16 (after Bailey missed another extra point attempt). Cousins was forced to throw the ball 43 times against the Jaguars 29th ranked pass defense. Cousins connected on 28 attempts for 305 yards 3 TD and 1 int. The story line in the passing game was Jefferson hauling in 9 balls for 120 yards to break Randy Moss’ record for most 100 yard games by a rookie (5).
Bailey’s 48-yard field goal with 3:50 remaining in the game gave the Vikings a 24-16 margin. The Vikings young defense (3 turnovers and a safety) looked good for most of the day, but with the game on the line, gave up an 80-yard 10-play scoring drive and 2-point conversion to tie the game (24-24) with 55 seconds remaining. The Vikings quickly marched into field goal range, but Bailey missed the 51-yard attempt to send it to OT.
The Jags have only defeated the Vikings once in team history. The loss drops them 1-6 lifetime against the Vikings,