Sunday’s 25-16 Vikings win over Jacksonville had all the makings of a season-crushing defeat. Instead, the Vikings did enough big things to win in spite of themselves. Let’s get right to the game story, in 5 GIFs (and a bunch of words).
1. Goal line adventures: The Vikings kicked a field goal on their first trip inside the Jacksonville 10. They turned it over on downs at the goal line. They fumbled at the goal line. This is not the recipe for a slump-busting victory, but on two other TD drives they did just enough to prevail. Still, their short-yardage problems are not getting better. That doesn’t bode well for the final three games.
2. Extra points, man: Raise your hand if you thought the false start penalty that wiped out a made extra point and led to one of the ugliest misses on the retry was going to end up costing the Vikings. (Every hand raised in Minnesota at once). Instead of being up 19-16, it remained 18-16. It sure felt like that missing point was going to haunt. But … it didn’t. Thanks, Jacksonville, for being one of the only teams the Vikings could have beaten Sunday with that level of sloppiness.
3. Big-play offense: Sam Bradford was his usual efficient self, but the Vikings also made a bunch of big plays in the passing game after dinking-and-dunking for much of the season. Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph all had gains of 40 yards or more.
4. That score isn’t familiar, but it is: Only four games in NFL history have ever ended with a 25-16 score, and the Vikings have played in (and won) two of them THIS SEASON. The first was in the opener against Tennessee. Apparently playing AFC South teams on the road brings out the weird in the Vikings.
5. A win is a win: An ugly loss is one thing. An ugly win? Hey, you have to take it. And it wasn’t even like this one was aesthetically unappealing. There were just a lot of shoot-yourself-in-the-foot moments that the Vikings, unlike in recent weeks, were able to overcome. They’ll take three more ugly wins any day this season.