In Week 13, the Minnesota Vikings had a game that they entered as a double-digit favorite against a Jacksonville Jaguars team that had lost 10 straight games. On paper, it looked like an easy victory.
But that’s not the Vikings way.
Despite generating five turnovers on defense, the Vikings needed overtime to put away one of the NFL’s worst teams, eventually prevailing by a final score of 27-24 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The visiting team got on the board first in this one, as they went down the field after the opening kickoff and got a 28-yard touchdown pass from Mike Glennon to rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. that was deflected by Kris Boyd into the receiver’s hands. A missed extra point from former Viking Chase McLaughlin left the lead at 6-0.
After the Vikings did nothing on their first possession, McLaughlin added to the Jacksonville lead with a 22-yard field goal to make the score 9-0. It looked like they might be on the way to adding more points midway through the second quarter, but rookie Cameron Dantzler got his first NFL interception by taking the ball away from a Jaguars’ wide receiver to stop the drive.
Minnesota took advantage of the turnover, getting into the end zone on a 3-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen. Dan Bailey, returning the earlier Jaguars’ favor, missed the extra point, but the lead was still cut to 9-6.
Minnesota got the ball to start the second half, but it didn’t matter much, as Cousins’ first pass attempt of the half was intercepted by Jacksonville linebacker Joe Schobert and returned 43 yards for a defensive touchdown. The extra point from McLaughlin gave the visitors a 10-point lead at 16-6.
Cousins shook off the pick-six on the next possession, as the Vikings got into the end zone behind. . .C.J. Ham? Yes, the fullback caught a short pass from Cousins and rambled into the end zone for the score. Dan Bailey connected on the extra point, and the deficit was back to three at 16-13.
After forcing a Jaguars punt, the Vikings went on an 8-play, 90-yard drive to take their first lead of the day. The drive ended with a 20-yard pass from Cousins to Justin Jefferson for the score, a catch that gave the rookie over 1,000 yards receiving on the season. Unfortunately, Dan Bailey missed another extra point, but the Vikings still had the lead at 19-16.
The Vikings’ defense then generated another turnover, as Jordan Brailford force Glennon to fumble the ball away and fell on the ball in Jacksonville territory. It looked like the Vikings were poised to add more, as the first play of the fourth quarter was a first-and-goal from inside the Jaguars’ 1-yard line, but Dalvin Cook fumbled on the exchange with Kirk Cousins and the Jaguars recovered, leaving the lead at three.
The Vikings then got some points from their defense, as Brailford combined with Ifeadi Odenigbo to sack Glennon in the end zone for a safety and two more points for Minnesota, extending the lead to 21-16 early in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings then got another takeaway courtesy of Cameron Dantzler, as he stripped away a reception by Chris Conley and got the recovery to stop another Jacksonville drive. That drive resulted in a field goal for Dan Bailey, a 48-yarder that pushed the lead to eight at 24-16 with just under four minutes remaining in regulation.
With just over a minute remaining, the Jaguars got into the end zone again behind rookie running back James Robinson, who went over from a yard out to make the score 24-24. The Jaguars were then forced to go for the two-point conversion, and Glennon found Collin Johnson to tie the game at 24-24 with 1:08 remaining.
The Vikings got into position for Bailey to attempt a 51-yard field goal to win it in regulation, but he pushed the attempt wide to the left and the game went to overtime.
After the Vikings punted it away to start overtime, they got their fifth turnover of the day as Harrison Smith got another interception of Mike Glennon to give the Vikings the ball in Jacksonville territory.
After a healthy dose of Dalvin Cook, the Vikings got Bailey into position for a 23-yard field goal attempt, and he put it through the uprights to give the home team a 27-24 victory that was much more difficult than it needed to be.
Dalvin Cook didn’t have his best game of the year, though he did eventually end up going over the 100-yard mark. He got 120 yards on the ground, but it took him 32 carries to get there as the Jaguars were keying on him all afternoon.
The passing game was able to get some things done, however, as Kirk Cousins completed 28-of-43 passes for 305 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He did have the ugly pick-six, but for the most part had a decent game. He was also sacked four times by a Jaguars’ defense that had an NFL-low 11 sacks coming into this week’s action.
Justin Jefferson had his fifth 100-yard game of the season, catching nine passes for 121 yards and a score on the afternoon. That 100-yard game ties him with Anthony Carter for the most 100-yard games for a Minnesota Vikings’ rookie with five. Adam Thielen caught eight passes for 75 yards and a touchdown in his return.
The victory gets the Vikings back to .500 at 6-6, and they have three of their final four on the road, starting with a trip to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers next week. The Jaguars fall to 1-11, having loss 11 straight after their opening week victory, and they will host the Tennessee Titans next Sunday.
It wasn’t necessarily pretty, but the Minnesota Vikings got themselves back to even on the 2020 season with a 27-24 overtime victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Thank you to everybody that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!