The start of the second quarter at Everbank Field saw the Jacksonville Jaguars trailing the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 6-0, but in the middle of their best drive of the day as they had a 1st-and-10 from the Minnesota 45. T.J. Yeldon broke off a quick 12-yard gain for another Jacksonville first down, but the Minnesota defense stood tall as a third down pass from Blake Bortles to Allen Robinson fell incomplete. The Jaguars called on Jason Myers for a 45-yard field goal attempt, and he hit it to cut the Minnesota lead to 6-3.
Cordarrelle Patterson got the Vikings into great field position on the ensuing kickoff, as he took one 53 yards all the way into Jacksonville territory at the 48-yard line. The Vikings then got some help from the Jaguars' defense, as a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on rookie Jalen Ramsey moved the ball down to the 24. Once again, however. . .and stop me if you've heard this one. . .the offense managed to stall out, and the Vikings called on Kai Forbath for his third field goal attempt of the afternoon. Forbath remained perfect as a Viking, draining the kick from 40 yards out to put Minnesota's lead back to six at 9-3.
Jacksonville started at their own 32 after a Marquise Lee kick return, and Lee got the Jaguars into Minnesota territory on a 22-yard pass from Bortles to the Minnesota 46. Bortles then found Yeldon for another Jaguars' first down to the 35. A tackle for loss by Eric Kendricks and a pair of false start penalties short-circuited the Jaguars' drive, however, and they called on Myers to attempt a 55-yard field goal. He split the uprights from long distance, and the Vikings' lead was back down to three at 9-6.
It was every bit as thrilling as I've been making it sound thus far.
Myers' next kickoff resulted in a touchback, giving Minnesota the ball at their own 25 yard line. A fumble by Sam Bradford was recovered by Jerick McKinnon and taken for a 15-yard gain to the 40, and then Bradford found Stefon Diggs on a long 45-yard gain to the Jacksonville 14. McKinnon then took one up the middle to the Jaguars' 8-yard line, and a carry by Matt Asiata gave the Vikings first-and-goal at the Jacksonville 3. In typical Vikings' fashion, they worked that into a 4th-and-goal at the Jacksonville 1 (after a Vikings' challenge of an Asiata goal line carry was unsuccessful), and Asiata got stuffed at the goal line to turn it over on downs.
Minnesota looked to have the Jaguars' offense stuffed at the end of the quarter, but a big pass interference penalty on Xavier Rhodes gave Jacksonville 31 yards to the good and got them out of a deep hole. Bortles then hit Marquise Lee for a bit 39-yard gain down to the Minnesota 16-yard line, and the Jaguars were in business. They managed to get themselves into position for another field goal attempt, and Myers put it home again from 24 yards out to tie the game at 9-9.
Looking at the stat column, the offensive numbers for the Vikings look okay. . .at least in the passing game. Sam Bradford has completed 10-of-14 passes for 167 yards, while Stefon Diggs has 50 yards on two catches to lead the Vikings in receiving. The rushing "attack" has combined for 19 yards on 11 carries. I don't think we can even call it an attack at this point.
For Jacksonville, Bortles has completed 11-of-16 passes for 123 yards. Yeldon has 39 yards on 11 carries thus far, and Lee is the Jaguars' leading receiver with three catches for 70 yards.
We're at halftime at Everbank Stadium, and the Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars are locked in a barn burner, tied at 9. Jacksonville will get the ball coming out of the locker room at halftime. Come join us to see how many more field goals can be made this afternoon!