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Vikings Avoid a Scare to Beat Jacksonville, Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

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.

Image courtesy of Vikings.com
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

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).

Image courtesy of Vikings.com
Image courtesy of Vikings.com

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.

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Adam Patrick

Adam has been rooting for the Vikings ever since he saw Randall Cunningham win NFC Special Teams Player of the week in 1997. Since his career sports highlights include 3rd place at 5th Grade Golf Camp and catching a ball during a soccer game (he was not playing goalie), Adam turned to writing. He considers himself a 'Vikings Realist' as he does not shy away from criticizing the purple and gold if necessary. He will not always write about the popular topics, but his goal is to provide readers with content they cannot find anywhere else. Follow him on Twitter @Str8_Cash_Homey

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4 Comments

  1. Let us up that there will be 3 more coming. I don’t think it is out of the question. Although GB looked very good at home today, week 16 at Lambeau will be tough. Colts and Bears at home… I would bet on MN. Detroit loses at NYG and Dallas, GB gets ’em too week 17. If all of that happens and they win at GB they still win the division. I’m dreaming, I know. But possible! I look at Tampa and Atlanta’s remaining games and I am thinking that the one that doesn’t win the South gets the 6th seed. It would be difficult to imagine the Giants not getting the 5th. SKOL Cal! To quote the great one, “It ain’t over til it’s over!”.

  2. Let’s see, they have been stopped on 3rd or 4th and 1 how many times this year? They couldn’t get a yard against the weak sisters of the poor, yet they keep running into the line. Pathetic! That was 14 points against a crappie team, imagine if it was against a good team. The “red” zone offense sucks. You can’t build an OL with picks from the 4th to 7th round and undrafted free agents. Now that the defense is fixed, fix the OL! If Sambo hadn’t scrambled for 17 yards, they wouldn’t have gotten 70 yards against a crappie defense against the run, truly pathetic. They must win out to make the playoffs period and then get lucky someone gets knocked off.

  3. Playoffs? We’re talking about the playoffs? Did you see us on 3rd/4th and one? We’re not going anywhere in the playoffs even if we luck our way in. A darn shame, because if this team was even close to full strength we would be talking about the Super Bowl.

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