Heading into the fourth quarter in Jacksonville on Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings had 15 minutes to overcome a four point deficit and keep their playoff chances alive. After two touchdowns in the final quarter, the Vikings were able to pull ahead of the Jaguars and get a 25-16 win.
With the win the Vikings record improves to 7-6 on the season and their hope for the postseason is still alive.
A majority of the game was a battle between each team’s two kickers (which obviously made the matchup as exciting as possible). Minnesota kicker Kai Forbath and Jaguars kicker Josh Myers combined to make all six of their field goal attempts during the first half on Sunday.
The kicking game also played a factor in the game’s final quarter as Forbath tapped his inner Blair Walsh and shanked an extra point after Vikings running back Matt Asiata gave the team a lead with a one-yard touchdown run.
As usual, Minnesota’s defense kept the team in the game on Sunday. Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen ended the day with two sacks and three tackles as he and the rest of the defense held the Jacksonville offense to just 85 yards on the ground.
Minnesota needed top performances from their defense and special teams Sunday since their offense struggled to get anything going against the Jaguars. Four of the Vikings’ first six offensive drives on the day saw them gain under 50 total yards.
It is not like Minnesota did not have their chances to score either on Sunday. The Vikings failed to score on two of their three drives that resulted in them lining up on Jacksonville’s one-yard line (including a fumble by Asiata in the fourth quarter).
The lone bright spot for Minnesota’s offense on Sunday was quarterback Sam Bradford once again. Against the Jaguars, Bradford finished the day having completed 24 of his 34 passes for 292 yards and one touchdown.
Sunday was the ninth time in 2016 that the Vikings quarterback had thrown for at least one touchdown and no interceptions during a game.
Any hopes Minnesota had of winning the NFC North pretty much vanished this week also as the first-place Detroit Lions were able to defeat the Chicago Bears 20-17 on Sunday. If the Vikings end up in the postseason this year, it will likely be as a wild-card team.
Their path to the playoffs continues next week from U.S. Bank Stadium as Minnesota will attempt to get a win over Andrew Luck and the 6-7 Indianapolis Colts.