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What We Learned: Vikings 27, Jaguars 24


JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines what we learned from the Jaguars' 27-24 overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., Sunday

1.The streak remains real … The Jaguars on Sunday lost their 11th consecutive game after a Week 1 victory over Indianapolis. That extends the longest single-season losing streak in franchise history and moves them to within two games of the longest losing streak in franchise history – a 13-game streak that began in 2012 and extended into 2013.

2. … and so does the fight … Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone told reporters early last week the team's focus would remain on doing everything possible to win despite being officially eliminated from the postseason. That desire was evident Sunday, with the Jaguars forcing overtime on the road against a Vikings team still very much in the postseason.

3. … and that fight shouldn't be overlooked. The Jaguars, since a Week 8 bye week, have lost five consecutive games – by two, four, two, 24 and three points. The lone blowout loss came to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-3. The Jaguars during that span have had possession against three playoff-contending teams – Green Bay, Cleveland and Minnesota – in the final three minutes with a chance to take the lead. This team hasn't quit.

4.The Jaguars' quarterback long-term quarterback situation isn't fixed. OK, we realistically knew this already. But Jaguars quarterback Mike Glennon in his second consecutive start struggled as often as not Sunday, throwing two interceptions and losing a fumble. His first-half interception led to a Vikings touchdown and his overtime interception led to the game-winning field goal.

5.Glennon will start Sunday. Marrone addressed this quickly after the game Sunday, saying that Glennon will start against the Tennessee Titans Sunday. "I think he still gives us the best chance to win as of right now so I'm going to stick with him right now for this week," Marrone said.

6.The defense continues to be improved. The Jaguars allowed 30 points in six consecutive games before the bye. They haven't allowed more than 27 points since. That's marginal improvement, particularly considering the improvement hasn't produced a victory. Still, the defense played an impressive game against a Vikings team that entered the game as one of the hottest offenses in the NFL.

7.The defense is resilient. Injuries can't be overlooked when discussing the recent defensive improvement. The Jaguars in recent weeks have lost multiple defensive starters: end Josh Allen, cornerbacks CJ Henderson and Sidney Jones IV, tackle Davon Hamilton, linebacker Kamelei Correa, safety Daniel Thomas. Still, the unit has kept the team in games in recent weeks and held the Vikings to six first-half points Sunday. That hasn't been enough to win, but it has been notable considering the circumstances.

8.The pass rush had a big game. The Jaguars' four sacks Sunday marked a season high. What was more important is it felt as if Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was under pressure throughout the game, and the Jaguars indeed registered 14 hits. Jaguars defensive end Dawuane Smoot registered two sacks and leads the team with 4.5 for the season.

9.Collin Johnson is improving. The rookie wide receiver led the team with four receptions for a season-high 94 yards and a touchdown a week ago. He had four more receptions for a team-high 66 yards and a two-point conversion reception Sunday. That's a good sign for the athletic rookie.

10.Myles Jack is a Pro Bowl linebacker … Jaguars veteran weak-side backer Myles Jack had 11 tackles and a fumble recovery Sunday. He's having his best NFL season in five seasons and that continued Sunday.

11. … and Joe Schobert made plays, too. The veteran middle linebacker had perhaps his best game since signing with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent this past offseason, registering a first-half sack and returning an interception 43 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the second half. He also led the Jaguars with 12 tackles, had two quarterback pressures and two passes defensed.

12. … and James Robinson is a Pro Bowl running back. This wasn't the rookie's best day of the season, but he rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. Even the rookie's "quiet" games are productive.

13.The offensive line still must improve at big moments. The Jaguars' offensive line has improved dramatically this season and is a big reason Robinson is having a huge year. But it has allowed too much pressure in big moments, and that happened again Sunday when the pass rush was on Glennon too quickly on a play that resulted in a critical fourth-quarter sack by defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo.

14.The Jaguars still have the NFL's second-worst record. The Jaguars are 1-11 and would hold the No. 2 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft if the season ended today. That almost changed. And then the Las Vegas Raiders beat the New York Jets on an improbable 46-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Derek Carr to rookie wide receiver Henry Ruggs III with :05 remaining. So, the Jets remained winless at 0-12. Oh well…

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