Senior writer John Oehser examines five key plays that shaped the Jaguars' 27-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday
1.Shenault's early touchdown. The Jaguars got a break to take an early lead, but the game-opening drive for a 6-0 lead was no fluke. The Jaguars took the lead with 12:33 remaining in the first quarter when rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. caught an errant pass in the end zone from quarterback Mike Glennon, a pass that deflected off Vikings cornerback Kris Boyd. "That was lucky," Glennon said. "Got some luck, [it] went our way. But yeah, that wasn't a very good ball, and it was just all luck." While that was good fortune for the Jaguars, the drive that led to it was among the Jaguars' most impressive of the season. With Vikings All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks unexpectedly ruled out shortly before kickoff, the Jaguars drove 75 yards on five plays with Glennon completing three of three passes for 60 yards and rookie James Robinson rushing twice for 15 yards. That drive set the early tone and gave the Jaguars early scoreboard advantage and momentum.
2.Glennon's first interception. The Jaguars had momentum and a 9-0 lead midway through the second quarter – and Glennon drove them to the Vikings 26 with a balanced drive that started at the Jaguars 25. But on first and 15 from there, Glennon threw short to tight end Eric Saubert. Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler wrestled the ball from Saubert at the Minnesota 22. The play marked the first interception off Glennon in his two starts as the Jaguars' quarterback and shifted momentum back to Minnesota. The Vikings cut the lead to 9-6 with a 78-yard drive on the ensuing possession, a series capped by quarterback Kirk Cousins' three-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Adam Thielen with 2:50 remaining in the first half.
3.Schobert Pick Six. If it felt as if the Vikings had regained momentum in the second quarter, that feeling went away early in the first half. With the Jaguars leading 9-6 at halftime, Cousins threw a touch pass to Cook slightly toward the left sideline. Jaguars middle linebacker Joe Schobert cut in front of Cook – who appeared not to see the pass – and returned it untouched for an easy 43-yard touchdown and a 16-6 Jaguars lead. The Vikings scored on the next two possessions to retake the lead, 19-16 and eventually pushed the lead to 24-16 late in the fourth quarter. "It's a young team and there is not a lot of experience in games like that or moments like that for a lot of guys on the team yet," Schobert said. "Football is a momentum game and when you have momentum everything seems to be going your way, but once it shifts it's hard to get it back. It's something we have to work on and improve on and be able to experience it and get better at it."
4.James Robinson's one-yard run. Glennon and the Jaguars' offense struggled through much of the second half, but the unit played big late in the fourth quarter – putting together an impressive, clutch drive that forced overtime. Taking possession after a 48-yard field goal by Vikings kicker Dan Bailey made it 24-16, Glennon drove the Jaguars 75 yards on a drive that ended with Robinson's one-yard touchdown run with 1:08 remaining. Glennon, who threw incomplete on a potential game-tying two-point conversion play late in a loss to Cleveland last week, on Sunday found rookie wide receiver Collin Johnson wide open for the two points that sent the Jaguars to their first overtime game since 2017.
5.Glennon's overtime interception. Glennon committed three of the Jaguars' four turnovers Sunday, but the fourth proved the costliest – and was the one that most helped decide the game. The Jaguars, after holding the field-position advantage early in overtime, lost it when punter Vikings Britton Colquitt's 52-yard punt from the Minnesota 20 – and an accompanying holding penalty on the Jaguars – gave Jacksonville a first down at its 18. On 3rd-and-8 from the Jaguars 20, Glennon threw to wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. Safety Harrison Smith intercepted the errant pass at the Jaguars 46. Minnesota used 11 plays to drive 41 yards for kicker Bailey's 23-yard game-winning field goal. "That's the play that I'll be replaying in my head all night; would love to have it back," Glennon said. "Should've just checked the ball down there in that situation. [I] was trying to make something happen and [it was] not the right time and place to do that. So yeah … that one's on me and like I said, [it's] one I would like to have back. Glennon added, "It's not worth it. It's a play that we're trying to take a shot on and the way the safety played, I should've just checked it down and went with the punt."