Final

Jaguars 16

(6-5, 3-3 away)

Vikings 27

(7-4, 5-1 home)

1:00 PM ET, November 28, 2004

 

1 2 3 4 T
JAX 0 13 0 316
MIN 3 10 7 727

Jacksonville posts third loss in four games

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Randy Moss and the Minnesota Vikings were energized by their reunion, giving them good hope for a late-season surge.

Moss caught a go-ahead touchdown pass in the third quarter, Kevin Williams returned Byron Leftwich's fumble 77 yards for the clinching score and the Vikings beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-16 on Sunday.

Allen's Analysis

Eric Allen

Jaguars at Vikings: Should defenses double-team Randy Moss even when he's not 100 percent?

It's a necessity for opposing teams to double-team Moss in the red zone and in obvious passing situations even when he's not 100 percent. In the red zone where his speed is negated, he's still just as dangerous because of his leaping ability and capacity for finding open spots in a defense. His return clearly re-energized this team and has it believing again. The Vikings' players believe they can win the division with him in the lineup making plays. They have the ultimate confidence in him as evidenced by his touchdown reception where they essentially ran the same play to get him an opportunity to score.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders. He's a regular contributor to Insider.

"His presence is like so humongous for us," teammate Onterrio Smith said. "We were talking about what he was going to wear to the stadium. That's how fired up Randy was."

His hamstring finally healed, Moss had four receptions -- his first in six weeks -- for 40 yards after playing the majority of Minnesota's snaps. He politely declined to comment after the game with a shake of his head, but everybody else gladly spoke for him.

"To have Randy back, it lifts our spirits a little bit," said quarterback Daunte Culpepper, who completed 19-of-27 passes for 235 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He scored on a 1-yard run in the first half but committed what could've been a costly fumble in the fourth quarter.

Leading 20-16, the Vikings were on their way to another clock-eating touchdown drive when Culpepper was sacked by Bobby McCray at the Jacksonville 22. The fumble was recovered by Marcus Stroud with 7:46 remaining, and the Jaguars marched to the other end before Leftwich fumbled away their chance.

Leftwich, kept out of the last two games with a sprained left knee, was sacked from behind by rookie Kenechi Udeze just before the two-minute warning on third-and-6 from the 19. The ball popped out and Williams picked it up on his way to an exhausting touchdown for the Vikings (7-4).

"If I would've seen him, I would've ducked," said Leftwich, who went 19-for-34 for 235 yards and one touchdown.

The Jaguars (6-5) lost for the third time in four games and are suddenly in trouble in the crowded AFC playoff race. They host 10-1 Pittsburgh next Sunday.

"The window is closing," coach Jack Del Rio said. "The only thing we can control is next week."

Smith carried 20 times for 72 yards for the Vikings. Jermaine Wiggins caught four passes for 55 yards, and Marcus Robinson had four for 48 yards.

Jacksonville's Fred Taylor rushed 22 times for 147 yards, yet another back giving Minnesota major problems this month. But the defense made stops when it needed to, and Udeze and Williams -- the Vikings' last two first-round draft picks -- teamed up on the big play.

The Vikings offensive line was missing three injured starters after Dave Dixon sprained his left knee in the first quarter, making the 16-play, 80-yard drive that chewed up nearly 9½ minutes of the second half even more impressive. Three Jaguars penalties, totaling 25 yards, helped Minnesota move the ball.

On third-and-goal at the 2, Moss jumped over the shoulder of Donovin Darius, snared the ball and dropped both feet down in the back of the end zone to put Minnesota up 20-13. The crowd went crazy, Moss acknowledged his fans and exchanged chest bumps with several teammates on the sideline -- as well as coach Mike Tice.

"That was a heck of a catch," Tice said.

Many quarterbacks would not have dared to throw that pass.

Culpepper did.

"I always feel like if he can get a hand on it, he's going to catch it," he said. "I have tremendous confidence in our receivers and total confidence in 84."

For the first time since he got tangled up with a defender in the second quarter of the Oct. 17 game at New Orleans and partially tore his right hamstring, Moss was running around on the field without a limp.

He made token appearances in each of the next two weeks before realizing the injury was more serious than he thought and sat out the subsequent three games.

The Jaguars, whose six victories have come by a total of 22 points, went inside the Vikings' 20 four times and failed to score a touchdown on each.

"We're frustrated because we feel like we're a better team than our record," Taylor said, "but if we're going to be that team, we've got to get it done at the end."

Game notes


Jacksonville defensive end Rob Meier might have broken his lower leg on a low block by center Cory Withrow. "He's a terrific role player," Del Rio said. "That's a loss." Tight end Kyle Brady had blurred vision after a third-quarter concussion, but he said it wasn't serious. ... Slumping defensive tackle Chris Hovan was on Minnesota's inactive list, the first game he's missed in his five-year career. ... Jaguars rookie Josh Scobee went 3-for-3 on field goals and sent all five of his kickoffs into the end zone, four for touchbacks.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

FOURTH QUARTERJAXMIN
minTD2:18Touchdown
Drive info: 1 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
1626
min1:59
Drive info: 1 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
1627
SECOND QUARTERJAXMIN
jaxFG11:55Josh Scobee 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 4 plays, 5 yds, 1:40
103
jaxTD14:06Touchdown
Drive info: 5 plays, 60 yds, 2:21
63
jax13:39
Drive info: 5 plays, 60 yds, 2:21
73
minTD6:25Daunte Culpepper, 1 yd run
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yds, 4:58
109
minFG0:03Morten Andersen 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 65 yds, 1:06
1313
FIRST QUARTERJAXMIN
minFG6:49Morten Andersen 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 71 yds, 3:39
03
SECOND QUARTERJAXMIN
min6:15
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yds, 4:58
1010
FOURTH QUARTERJAXMIN
jaxFG13:50Josh Scobee 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 48 yds, 3:34
1620
SECOND QUARTERJAXMIN
jaxFG1:13Josh Scobee 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 46 yds, 5:02
1310
THIRD QUARTERJAXMIN
minTD5:38Touchdown
Drive info: 16 plays, 80 yds, 9:22
1319
min5:34
Drive info: 16 plays, 80 yds, 9:22
1320