The Jacksonville Jaguars have extended the single-season franchise record losing streak to 11 games in a row, falling to the Minnesota Vikings in overtime by a final score of 27-24. This was an entertaining game, and marks the third time in the past five weeks the Jaguars have lost by three points or less.
While Jacksonville (1-11) ultimately lost to the Vikings (6-6), the Jaguars came into Minneapolis this afternoon with a clear sense of energy and focus, and were extremely competitive — something that bodes well for the future of the franchise.
The Jaguars got the scoring going early. Quarterback Mike Glennon and running back James Robinson led the offense down the field on Jacksonville’s first drive, eventually leading to a 28-yard touchdown pass from Glennon to wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. The Jags had some luck on that play, as what looked like a sure interception bounced off the hands of Vikings cornerback Kris Boyd and into Shenault’s hands in the end zone. Kicker Chase McLaughlin missed the extra point and Jacksonville led 6-0 after its first drive.
After Jacksonville’s defense forced a quick three-and-out, the Jaguars put together another strong drive offensively, marching down to Minnesota’s four-yard-line, but couldn’t quite cross the goal line. McLaughlin redeemed himself with a 22-yard field goal, which gave the Jaguars a 9-0 lead.
The Vikings would finally get on the board deep into the second quarter as quarterback Kirk Cousins hit wide receiver Adam Thielen for six points. Minnesota also missed the extra point attempt and Jacksonville’s lead was to cut to just three points. The 9-6 score held through the end of the first half.
The Vikings received the ball to begin the second half, but on the very first play of the third quarter, Cousins’ pass was picked off and taken into the end zone by Jaguars linebacker Joe Schobert. This gave Jacksonville a 16-6 lead over Minnesota.
The Vikings showed some life on the next drive, as Cousins hit his rookie wide receiver Justin Jefferson for a big 40-yard gain on one play, and then on the next play Cousins found fullback C.J. Ham for a 12-yard touchdown. The extra point was good this time around and the score was now 16-13.
The Vikings weren’t quite done yet. After getting the ball back, Minnesota drove 90 yards in eight plays — helped out by a roughing the passer call and a pass interference call against the Jaguars— and eventually found Jefferson for a 20-yard score. This gave the Vikings their first lead of the game, but Dan Bailey missed another PAT, so the score stayed at 19-16.
The Jaguars got the ball back, but Glennon fumbled and the Vikings recovered, giving Minnesota the ball at Jacksonville’s 34-yard-line. However, on the first play of the fourth quarter, Cousins and running back Dalvin Cook botched a handoff and Jacksonville recovered at its own one-yard-line.
But that didn’t end up boding too well for the away team, as Glennon was sacked in his own end zone, and the Vikings added two points with a safety, making the score 21-16.
Later in the fourth quarter, Glennon would fumble once again, setting the Vikings up at Jacksonville’s 44-yard-line. That would eventually lead to a 48-yard field goal from Bailey, which extended Minnesota’s lead to eight points at 24-16 with 3:50 to play.
The Jags responded, however, as Glennon led a 10-play, 75-yard drive to tie up the game with just over a minute left to play in regulation. It was Robinson who punched it in from one-yard out, and Glennon finding rookie wide receiver Collin Johnson for the two-point conversation. The score was knotted up at 24 each.
The Vikings had a chance to win it in regulation, but Bailey missed a 51-yard field goal attempt. The Jaguars would actually attempt a 62-yarder with McLaughlin before the fourth quarter ran out, but he also missed that extremely long try. The game would then go into the extra period.
Minnesota got the ball first and Jacksonville would force a quick punt. Once the Jaguars had the ball, however, Glennon threw an interception to Vikings safety Harrison Smith. That ultimately led to a 23-yard game-winning field goal by Bailey, and yet another loss for the Jaguars.
Glennon had his ups and downs, completing 28 of 42 pass attempts (about 67 percent) for 280 yards with one touchdown, two interceptions and the two lost fumbles. Robinson had 78 yards rushing and a score, as well as six catches for 30 yards. Johnson led the team in receiving yards with 66 on four catches (as well as the two-point conversion catch).
If you’re looking for positives from this game, the Jaguars look competitive for the future, finally found a pulse in the pass rushing game (four sacks) and remain at No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft — however, if the New York Jets didn’t blow it in the final seconds to the Las Vegas Raiders, Jacksonville could have been in play for the No. 1 overall pick.
The Jaguars return home next week to take on the AFC South rival Tennessee Titans.