MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota and Jacksonville had the top two defenses in the NFL last season Eric Rowe Jersey , a major reason why the Vikings and Jaguars reached their respective conference championship games.
Two joint practices and one exhibition game produced yet more evidence of the exceptional skill and sound scheme each team has on that side of the ball.
Yannick Ngakoue had an 11-yard sack that helped Jacksonville hold Kirk Cousins and Minnesota’s starting offense to three completions and three points, before the Jaguars reserves rallied for a 14-10 victory over the Vikings on Saturday.
“The defense got after them pretty good, and their defense got after us pretty good,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “That’s kind of how it looked all week.”
Cousins was crisp in his only series last week , but the Vikings went three-and-out on two of their four possessions with their new quarterback. Latavius Murray’s second fumble, stripped by Malik Jackson and recovered by Calais Campbell, stopped another drive. Cousins finished just 3 for 8 for 12 yards.
“Frankly, I think that’s what we need and maybe want at this time of year,” Cousins said. “Nobody feeling comfortable.”
About all the ever-demanding Zimmer was pleased with was that the Vikings didn’t actually win.
“It kind of looked like we didn’t practice this week, to be honest with you,” he said.
Minnesota’s defense was closer to midseason form, with an interception by Harrison Smith of Blake Bortles and another sure pick by Mackensie Alexander that was bobbled and dropped.
Bortles played the entire first half and went 12 for 20 for 159 yards, producing a touchdown run by Leonard Fournette on one of his seven series, the last of three possessions the Vikings starters were still in the game.
The Vikings, who led the league with the fewest yards and points allowed in 2017 while the Jaguars finished second, gave Bortles trouble during drills in practices on Wednesday and Thursday at Minnesota’s suburban facility.
“We’ve still got some things to fix,” Bortles said.
The Vikings had six sacks , two by Ifeadi Odenigbo. Mike Boone, in a stiff competition for the No. 3 running back spot, had 13 carries for 91 yards and a score .
T.J. Yeldon helped his cause to be Fournette’s backup with five catches for 73 yards and 10 carries for 39 yards. With a 57-yard punt return by Rashad Greene to set up the touchdown just after the two-minute warning, Jacksonville took a late lead on a short run by Brandon Wilds.
The Jaguars were called for 13 penalties for a whopping 140 yards, including 10 infractions in the first half. Ngakoue celebrated his sack with an incendiary hip-thrusting dance Harrison Butker Jersey , taking one of the 15-yarders.
“Penalties cost you games,” Ngakoue said. “We still were lucky enough to win today, but we’ve got to clean it up.”
Cornerback A.J. Bouye was singled out for the NFL’s new targeting rule, for lowering his helmet on a tackle attempt.
“Both of our heads were lowered,” Bouye said. “I think they should offset, but I’ve just got to learn from it.”
Vikings linebacker Antwione Williams was also flagged for unnecessary roughness, negating a sack of Cody Kessler for driving him into the turf, another point of emphasis this year for officials on the field. Zimmer initially argued, but said afterward he thought the call was correct.
ON THE LINE
Left tackle Riley Reiff was the only starter from last year suited up on Minnesota’s offensive line, with guards Nick Easton (neck) and Joe Berger (retirement) gone. The new right side, Mike Remmers and Rashod Hill, was held out with ankle injuries. Center Pat Elflein is still recovering from offseason shoulder and ankle surgeries.
The Vikings failed to move the chains on all 12 of their third-down attempts.
The wife (Jeanette), daughter (Ryan) and son (Tony Jr.) of former Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano, who died suddenly last month of heart disease, were honored before the game. The entire Vikings offensive line joined the family at midfield for the coin flip. Tony Sparano Jr. is the assistant offensive line coach for the Jaguars . Sparano’s other son, Andy, was unable to attend. Berger blew the ceremonial Gjallarhorn kickoff.
Last week , four Jaguars players remained in the locker room during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker Telvin Smith and running backs Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon. Ramsey was not at this game, left at home like Dante Fowler for disciplinary reasons related to the fight at practice last week between Fowler and Ngakoue . Fournette and Yeldon were spotted on the sideline during the anthem, though Smith was not.
Jaguars: Left guard Andrew Norwell Jarran Reed Jersey , the team’s premier free agent addition, was held out for the second straight game because of a calf injury, as was rookie defensive end Taven Bryan (abdomen). Center Brandon Linder (knee), strong safety Don Carey (hamstring) and left guard Chris Reed (knee) were injured during the game. Reed started for Norwell.
Vikings: Alexander, who’s competing with rookie Mike Hughes to play the slot position in the nickel package, hurt his ankle on his dropped interception. Five other backups were hurt during the game: defensive end Ade Aruna (right knee), guards Josh Andrews (right ankle) and Cedrick Lang (right leg), wide receiver Jeff Badet (head) and fullback Johnny Stanton (left leg). Multiple players will be out for the season, including Lang, Zimmer said.
The Jaguars host Atlanta next Saturday.
The Vikings host Seattle on F
Sunday, Feb. 4
Philadelphia vs New England, 6:30 p.m. EST. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are going back to the Super Bowl in search of a sixth title. They’ll face a Philadelphia Eagles team looking for their first Lombardi Trophy. The Patriots will try to match the Pittsburgh Steelers’ six Super Bowl trophies when they face the Eagles in Minneapolis.
– Tom Brady, Patriots, was 26 for 38 for 290 yards with two touchdowns passes, both in the fourth quarter, in New England’s 24-20 win over Jacksonville in the AFC championship game.
– Nick Foles, Eagles, was 26 for 33 for 352 yards and three touchdowns in Philadelphia’s 38-7 win over Minnesota in the NFC championship game.
– Blake Bortles, Jaguars, was 23 for 36 for 293 yards and a touchdown in Jacksonville’s 24-20 loss to New England.
– Leonard Fournette, Jaguars, had 24 carries for 76 yards and a touchdown in Jacksonville 24-20 loss to New England.
– Danny Amendola Xavier Rhodes Jersey , Patriots, had seven catches for 84 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns in New England’s 24-20 win over Jacksonville.
– Alshon Jeffery, Eagles, had five catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns in Philadelphia’s 38-7 win over Minnesota.
– Brandin Cooks, Patriots, had six catches for 100 yards in New England’s 24-20 win over Jacksonville.
– Torrey Smith, Eagles, had five catches for 69 yards and a touchdown in Philadelphia’s 38-7 win over Minnesota.
– Zach Ertz, Eagles, had eight catches for 93 yards in Philadelphia’s 38-7 win over Minnesota.
– Allen Hurns, Jaguars, had six catches for 80 yards in Jacksonville 24-20 loss to New England.
– Josh Lambo, Jaguars, went 2 for 2 on field goals, including a 54-yarder, and 2 for 2 on extra points in Jacksonville 24-20 loss to New England.
– Patrick Robinson, Eagles, returned an interception 50 yards for a touchdown in Philadelphia’s 38-7 win over Minnesota.
– Dante Fowler Jr., Jaguars, had two sacks in Jacksonville 24-20 loss to New England.
SUPER BOWL SET
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are going back to the Super Bowl in search of a sixth title. They’ll face a Philadelphia Eagles team looking for their first Lombardi Trophy. Brady led the Patriots (15-3) back from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-20 in the AFC championship game. Starting his 36th playoff game, Brady shook off an injury to his right hand and the loss of top target Rob Gronkowski to rally the Patriots to their record 10th Super Bowl appearance. The Patriots will try to match the Pittsburgh Steelers’ six Super Bowl trophies when they face the Eagles (15-3) on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis. Nick Foles Mitchell Schwartz Jersey , the backup QB who was thrust into the starting role when Carson Wentz blew out his left knee last month, led the Philadelphia to a 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC championship game. Foles threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, showing poise and moxie in going 26 for 33.
STREAKS & STATS
The Patriots were called for one penalty against the Jaguars. It is the fewest penalties called on one team in a playoff game since the 2011 AFC championship when the Patriots were called for one penalty in a win over the Ravens. … In the first three quarters against Jacksonville, the Patriots’ Tom Brady had an 87.5 passer rating; in the fourth quarter, Brady had a 136.3 passer rating. … Nick Foles’ 53-yard TD pass to Alshon Jeffery by the Eagles in the NFC championship game is the longest touchdown pass by any player against the Vikings this season, including the playoffs. … Philadelphia’s 38 unanswered points are the most by any team in a playoff game since the Jets scored 41 straight points against the Colts in the 2002 wild-card round. … The Eagles are the seventh team since 1970 to win a conference championship game by 30 or more points, and the first since the 2015 Panthers, who beat the Cardinals 49-15. … The AFC has been represented by either Tom Brady, Peyton Manning or Ben Roethlisberger in 14 of the past 15 Super Bowls. The exception is the Ravens’ Joe Flacco in Super Bowl 47.
Tom Brady and Bill Belichick will be making their eighth Super Bowl appearance as a quarterback-coach duo, as many as any other team (excluding the Patriots) in NFL history. … The past four times the Patriots have trailed by double digits in a playoff game, they came back to win. On Sunday, New England trailed 20-10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars before rallying for a 24-20 win. In Super Bowl 51, New England trailed 28-3 before rallying for a 34-28 overtime win over the Atlanta Falcons. In Super Bowl 49, New England trailed 24-14 before rallying for a 28-24 win. In the AFC divisional round on Jan. 10, 2015, they trailed 28-14 before rallying for a 35-31 win over Baltimore.
”He’s a tough guy, we all know that. But we’re not talking about open heart surgery here.” – Patriots coach Bill Belichick on quarterback Tom Brady playing with a right hand injury and throwing two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter to rally the Patriots to a 24-20 win over Jacksonville.
”Words can’t describe what I feel right now. All glory goes to God. I’m grateful and humbled to be part of this team. No one in the Womens Josh Sweat Jersey