The Vikings definitely aren’t graceful and fluid like Jimmy MacElroy when they win. They are more Chazz Michael Michaels: doing what they want, doing it unconventionally, and walking out winners while you have no idea how.
(Editor’s Note: “No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative! It gets the people going!“)
They unleashed their inner Chazz again last Sunday, defeating the Jacksonville Jaguars, 27-24, in overtime. The win got the Vikings to 0.500 on the season at 6-6. The loss marked 11-straight for the 1-11 Jaguars.
WHICH TEAM IS 1-10 AGAIN?
Jacksonville took the opening kickoff 75 yards in just five plays to take the early 6-0 lead.
Jags quarterback Mike Glennon was 3-for-3 on the drive with a little help from Kris Boyd. Boyd let a sure interception slip through his hands into the waiting arms of wide receiver Laviska Shenault, Jr. for the touchdown. Kicker Chase McLaughlin missed the extra point.
Later in the quarter, the Jaguars would move 66 yards in 10 plays, with McLaughlin hitting a 22-yard field goal, increasing the lead to 9-0. Jacksonville was dominating early and was on the drive again when Vikings rookie cornerback Cam Danzler stole an interception and ended a Jaguars’ drive at the Minnesota 22-yard line. The Vikings would cash in on the interception, moving 78 yards in 10 plays. The drive was capped by a three-yard pass from Cousins to his red zone go-to target, Adam Thielen. Cousins would complete five of his six passes on the drive for 43 yards. Dan Bailey also missed his extra point and the score stayed at 9-6
WATCH HIM KIRK
Previously against the Panthers, the Vikings would turn the ball over twice in four plays, leading to 14 Carolina points to start the second half.
On the first play from scrimmage after the half against the Jaguars, Kirk Cousins would throw a pick-six to linebacker Joe Schobert that gave Jacksonville a 16-6 lead.
In fairness to Kirk, had Dalvin Cook just turned his head, the pick-six probably doesn’t happen. Minnesota has been nothing if not resilient in the past several weeks. They would drive 75 yards in eight plays after the pick-six, culminating in a Cousins touchdown pass to fullback C.J. Ham. Cousins would complete all five of his passes on the drive for a 84 yards. Bailey’s extra point cut the Jags lead to 16-13.
On their next possession, the Vikings would drive 90 yards in eight plays. This time, it was Cousins to the rookie sensation Justin Jefferson for a 20-yard touchdown pass and the lead. Jacksonville would commit a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty and an 18-yard pass interference penalty to aid the drive. Bailey’s second missed extra point of the game kept the Minnesota lead at 19-16.
Minnesota has been getting help from several unlikely sources this season. This game was no exception. On the third play after the go-ahead touchdown, former Washington Football Team 7th-round draft pick Jordan Brailford would strip Mike Glennon and recover the fumble on the Jags’ 34-yard line. The Vikings would get down to the Jaguars’ two-yard line, but a mishandled handoff by Dalvin Cook on the first play of the fourth quarter would be recovered by Myles Jack to end the drive.
Minnesota’s defense would get Cook off the hook when Ifeadi Odenigbo sacked Glennon for a safety and a 21-16 lead. With 5:39 left to play, Cam Danzler would do it again. This time, he stripped Chris Conley after a reception and recovered the fumble at the Jacksonville 44-yard line. Minnesota would only get to the Jags’ 30-yard line but Bailey would make the 48-yard field goal, giving the a 24-16 lead with 3:50 left in regulation.
A good day of defense was due for a letdown, and it came on Jacksonville’s next drive. Glennon would lead them 75 yards in eight plays. James Robinson finished off the drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge, and Glennon’s two-point pass to Colin Johnson tied the game at 24 with just 1:08 to play.
There was time for another Cousins’ miracle.
He would move the team 42 yards, but a curious decision to throw deep on 3rd-and-1 fell incomplete, leaving Bailey to try a 51-yard field goal. He would pull it wide-left with 13 seconds still on the clock.
Glennon got the team close enough for McLaughlin to try a 62-yard field goal, but it was well short and the game headed into overtime.
Minnesota won the toss but went three-and-out on its first overtime possession.
On Jacksonville’s third play in extra minutes, Glennon had D.J. Chark open down the seam but overthrew him badly. Vikings safety Harrison Smith was right there to pick off the pass at the Jags’ 46-yard line.
From there, it was time for “The Chef.” Dalvin Cook would pick up 31 yards rushing on the drive. After a Dakota Dozier five-yard false start penalty, Mike Zimmer sent Dan Bailey out to try a 23-yard chip-shot field goal for the win.
He didn’t pull a Blair Walsh as the kick sailed through the uprights giving Minnesota the walk-off win.
BY THE NUMBERS
Mike Glennon would complete 28 of his 42 attempts for 280 yards and a touchdown but he also threw a pair of interceptions. James Robinson led the ground attack with 78 yards on 18 carries and the big touchdown that helped send the game into overtime. Colin Johnson was Jacksonville’s top receiver as he had 66 yards on four catches.
Kirk Cousins was solid yet again. He completed 28 of his 43 pass attempts for 305 yards and three touchdowns with that pick-six. Since the loss that dropped the Vikings to 1-5, Cousins has completed 133-of-186 passes for 1,598 yards with 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Dalvin Cook accumulated 120 rushing yards on 32 carries but was involved in a critical fumble that could have given the game away. He also had 59 receiving yards on six catches. Justin Jefferson led all receivers with 121 yards and a touchdown on nine catches. Adam Thielen returned from his COVID issues to gain 75 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions. Harrison Smith had a solid game on defense with six tackles (four solo), half a sack, and an interception. Cam Danzler had his best overall day as a pro with four tackles (three solo), a fumble recovery, and an interception.
The Vikings travel to Tampa Bay to take on the 7-5 Buccaneers. The Jaguars head home to face the 8-4 Tennessee Titans.
(Featured Image Credit: Vikings.com)