Vikings Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Matt Asiata scored on a short touchdown run, Kai Forbath kicked four field goals and the Minnesota Vikings beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 25-16 on Sunday, winning for just the second time in nine weeks.
Asiata had a chance to score three times, but he was stopped on a fourth-and-goal run in the second quarter and fumbled at the goal line in the fourth.
Those mistakes hardly hurt against the hapless Jaguars (2-11), who dropped their eighth consecutive game and fell to 0-6 at EverBank Field this season.
Minnesota (7-6) hadn't won on the road since Sept. 25 at Carolina. A loss to the Jaguars would have weakened their playoff chances.
Sam Bradford completed 24 of 34 passes for 292 yards and a touchdown. His 3-yard TD toss to Kyle Rudolph with 2:13 remaining sealed the victory. Bradford did even more damage on deep throws early.
Bradford connected with Rudolph for 44 yards on the first play from scrimmage and then found Adam Thielen for a 41-yard gain on Minnesota's second possession. Both set up field goals.
Jacksonville had been really solid at preventing long passes all season.
Before Sunday, the Jaguars had allowed just two pass plays longer than 40 yards all season. They gave up three in the first half against Minnesota.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer returned after a one-game absence and was on the sideline. Zimmer missed last week's game against Dallas because of a detached retina and was unsure earlier in the week whether he would be on the field or in an upstairs box.
Zimmer, who needed a doctor's clearance to fly to Jacksonville, was wearing a patch over his right eye. He also had protective glasses on beforehand, but ditched those when the game started.
Minnesota's Xavier Rhodes and Jacksonville's Jalen Ramsey, who were nearly teammates at Florida State, both were benched following personal foul penalties.
Rhodes was benched for two plays after yelling at an official in the third quarter. It came after he was flagged for defensive holding. Ramsey was penalized for body-slamming Stefon Diggs in the second quarter.
Ramsey left the field for just one play following his unnecessary roughness penalty.
Minnesota stays in the AFC South and hosts Indianapolis.