Min­nesota still har­bors playo≠ hopes


The Denver Post - - AROUND THE NFL - By Mark Long

jack­sonville, fla.» Just about ev­ery­thing that could have gone wrong for Min­nesota did.

The Vik­ings lost the turnover bat­tle, failed to score twice in­side the 1-yard line and al­lowed a fourth-down con­ver­sion on a fake punt. Those kinds of mis­takes nor­mally would doom a team. Not against the hap­less Jack­sonville Jaguars.

Matt Asi­ata scored on a short touch­down run, Kai For­bath kicked four field goals and the Vik­ings beat the Jaguars 25-16 on Sun­day, win­ning for just the sec­ond time in nine weeks.

“This was huge to win to­day,” tight end Kyle Rudolph said. “The sit­u­a­tion we put our­selves in, we feel we have to win out. You can’t win out un­til you win the first one.”

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 turned out to be mere speed bumps against Jack­sonville (2-11), which dropped its record-ty­ing 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 and needed to win to keep pace in the NFC play­off pic­ture.

“We know what lies ahead for us and we felt we needed to win this one to get us go­ing,” run­ning back Jer­ick McKin­non said.

Sam Brad­ford com­pleted 24-of-34 passes for 292 yards and a touch­down. He wasn’t sacked and scram­bled four times for 17 yards. His 3-yard TD toss to Rudolph with 2:13 re­main­ing sealed the vic­tory.

“It was big for us just to get back on a win­ning track in gen­eral,” Rudolph said. “We know we’re go­ing to have to win our last four games, so we needed this one to get us started.”

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