NFL: Vikings Outlast Jaguars 25-16 at EverBank Field
- Updated: December 11, 2016
JACKSONVILLE – Kai Forbath connected on all of his field-goal tries and Minnesota quarterback Sam Bradford threw to tight end Kyle Rudolph for an insurance touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Vikings defeated the Jaguars 25-16 on Sunday at EverBank Field.
The Vikings’ sent the Jaguars to their eighth straight loss, which ties a club record.
Jacksonville QB Blake Bortles was 23 of 37 for 257 yards and a touchdown to Bryan Walters.
“You know it felt good, missed a couple of throws. It felt fine throwing the ball. I thought we were in a rhythm. We had talked about working some screens. We wanted to get some in the red zone and we got a couple down there and then we got some in the regular field,” Bortles said.
Walters made his first start of the season and finished the game with four receptions for 31 yards. It was Walter’s second TD of the season. The score marked the first time he has recorded more than one receiving TD in a season in his five-year career.
T.J. Yeldon ran for 59 yards on 17 carries. He also caught seven passes for 31 yards.
“I think T.J. (Yeldon) did a good job of catching everything and making positive plays,” Bortles said.
Wide receiver Marqise Lee caught five passes for a career-high 113 yards, including receptions of 20, 9, 22, 39 and 34 yards. Lee’s 113 receiving yards marked his second time with 100 receiving yards and his first since against Oakland earlier this season.
“We got to the red zone a good amount of times, but we fell short and just couldn’t finish. We’re taking three points when we should be getting seven,” Lee said.
The Jaguars (2-11) came into the game last in the league in turnover differential. They were also penalized 14 times for 114 yards.
“I thought the team did a good job. Penalties did us in. We didn’t execute like we should have,” said Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley.
With the Vikings (7-6) leading 18-16 and a third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, running back Matt Asiata was stopped at the goal line and stripped by strong safety Jonathan Cyprien. Cyprien tied his career-high with 14 tackles, 10 solo, and added one pass defensed and forced one fumble.
The Jaguars recovered the fumble in the end zone for a touchback for the game’s second goal-line stand. Just before halftime, the Jacksonville kept Asiata out of the end zone from 1 yard out.
“Goal line is such a mentality. We always talk to our players about give us an inch and we’ll protect it,” added Bradley. “So it will be great examples to talk about that with our players that no matter how close they get, you have to have that mentality and really believe that something good is going to happen and they did.”
Bradford found Rudolph for a 3-yard touchdown with 2:13 remaining in the final quarter.
It was Asiata who gave the Vikings the lead early in the final quarter when he plunged into the end zone. Dating back to the second quarter of the Jacksonville’s game against Denver, the Jaguars defense did not allow a TD for 16 consecutive possessions until Asiata’s run. The 16 consecutive possessions without allowing a TD was the longest stretch of the season for the Jaguars defense.
Jacksonville also had a field goal blocked, was penalized for roughing the punter, called for a delay of game on a kickoff and gave up a 53-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson to set up one of Forbath’s field goals. Forbath was good from 43, 32, 40 and 46 yards.
“You have to play like you are always behind,” noted Bradley.
Jaguars kicker Jason Myers also had a big day, matching Forbath in the opening half with makes from 45, 55 and 24 as the teams were tied 9-9 at halftime. Myers missed a field goal.
Rookie defensive end Yannick Ngakoue registered his fourth forced fumble of the season when he stripped Bradford in the second quarter. Ngakoue’s four forced fumbles are the most by a Jaguars player since Chris Clemons in 2014 and the most by a Jaguars rookie since at least 1999.
Bradford was 24 of 34 for 292 yards. Adam Thielen led Viking receivers with four catches for 101 yards.
GAME NOTES: The Jaguars’ offense registered two scoring drives of at least 90 yards against the Vikings. To end the first half, the offense marched 92 yards, tying for the longest drive (yardage) of the season, in 1:47 and capped off the drive with a 24-Myers field goal. Later in the third quarter, the offense went 90 yards in 4:39.The drive was finished with Bortles to pass to Walters, which gave the Jaguars their first lead at 16-12…….Jaguars wide receiver Jimmy Smith was inducted into the club’s Pride of the Jaguars….announced attendance was 67, 201.
TELVIN TALLIES: In the first quarter linebacker Telvin Smith registered his 14th tackle for loss of the season, the most among linebackers in the NFL this season. Smith finished the game with two tackles, ending his streak of consecutive games with at least five tackles at 32, which was the second-longest active streak in the league. Smith’s 14 tackles for loss are the most by a Jaguars player since Sen’Derrick Marks’ 15 in 2014 and the most by a Jaguars linebacker since at least 1999.
AFC SOUTH NOTES: The Jaguars now go on the road to face AFC South rival Houston on Sunday. The Texans held on to beat Indianapolis 22-17. Tennessee also won, 13-10 over Denver.