MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — When Joe Schobert reached the end zone after his 43-yard interception return on the first play of the second half, the Jacksonville Jaguars had their biggest lead of the season at 10 points.
Leading 16-6, the Jaguars were poised to put a big dent in Minnesota’s playoff bid. Then Kirk Cousins led the Vikings on a 75-yard touchdown drive to close the gap.
The Vikings scored 18 consecutive points, including a safety when Mike Glennon was sacked early in the fourth quarter. Although Jacksonville (1-11) came back to force overtime, it fell 27-24. Another attempt to end a losing streak now at 11 games failed. punctuated by Mike Glennon’s ill-advised deep pass in overtime that was intercepted.
“It’s a young team, and there’s not a lot of experience in games like that or moments like that for a lot of guys on the team yet,” Schobert said of the scene on the sideline after his interception. “Football is a momentum game, and when you have momentum everything seems to be going your way, and when it shifts it’s hard to get it back.”
The Jaguars had four turnovers, a missed extra point and 10 penalties for 83 yards. They've held a lead in each of their past six games. Four of the past five losses have been by four points or less.
“We’re trying to build on that momentum and go, on both sides,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “You got to make plays. We’ve been in situations where we could make plays to tip the game, tip the scales to a more favorable position, but we haven’t been able to do that.”
Jacksonville took control early. On the first drive, Glennon threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Laviska Shenault Jr. that glanced off Minnesota cornerback Kris Boyd and deflected to Shenault.
“That wasn’t a very good ball. It was just all luck,” Glennon said.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Jaguars capitalized again by going 66 yards for a field goal.
“They were ready to go,” Marrone said of his team that gave legitimate scares to contenders Tennessee, Green Bay and Cleveland after beating Indianapolis in the opener. “We had a problem earlier in the year, remember, coming out early and being able to play. We’ve really been trying to emphasize making sure that we come out and start better, and we did.”
After Minnesota’s rally, the Jaguars still had chances. They drove 75 yards for the tying touchdown with 1:08 left on rookie James Robinson's 1-yard run, then Glennon found Collin Johnson for the 2-point conversion.
In overtime, Jacksonville’s defense forced a punt on the first possession, but a holding penalty during the return pushed the Jaguars back to their 18. Three plays later, Glennon went deep for D.J. Chark Jr. and was picked off by a diving Harrison Smith.
“In that situation, it’s just not worth it,” Glennon said. “A play that we’re trying to take a shot on. The way the safety played it, I should have just checked it down and looked to punt.”
Glennon, who started his second straight game even with Gardner Minshew now fully healthy, was 28 of 42 for 280 yards passing, two interceptions and a lost fumble. Marrone said Glennon will start again next week against Tennessee for the Jaguars, who fired general manager Dave Caldwell last week.
After Smith's pick, the Vikings drove down the field and won on a 23-yard field goal by Dan Bailey.
“There’s a point where there’s no moral victories,” Schobert said. “In football, you either win or you lost. It’s not like, ‘Oh, we lost by two. We lost by three.’ I think it just speaks to how hard everybody plays on this team and how hard everybody plays for each other, just with all the stuff we’ve been going through, and getting in these close games. But to be a good football team, you have to win those close games.”
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