It wasn't easy, but the Minnesota Vikings picked up a 27-24 win in overtime over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon.
While the Jaguars opened the game with a 1-10 record, they didn't play like one of the worst teams in the NFL. After the Vikings lost Eric Kendricks to a calf injury in pregame warmups, the Jaguars marched downfield and drew first blood on a Mike Glennon pass that was tipped into the arms of Laviska Shenault.
Although Chase McLaughlin missed the extra point, he nailed a 22-yard field goal to give Jacksonville an early 9-0 lead.
The Vikings chipped into the deficit with a three-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen, but Dan Bailey missed an extra point of his own to send the Vikings into the locker room down 9-6 at halftime.
After opening the second half with a Cousins' pick-six to Joe Schobert, the Vikings clawed their way back. On the following possession, Cousins found C.J. Ham for a 12-yard touchdown to bring Minnesota within 16-13.
The Vikings took the lead later in the third quarter after a 20-yard touchdown catch from Cousins to Justin Jefferson. With the catch, Jefferson became the second rookie in franchise history along with Randy Moss and the fifth in the Super Bowl era to record 1,000 receiving yards.
Unfortunately, Bailey's tough afternoon continued with his second missed extra point to keep the Vikings' lead to 19-16. The Vikings defense picked up the slack later in the third quarter as Ifeadi Odenigbo sacked Glennon in the end zone to extend the lead to 21-19.
Bailey added a 48-yard field goal to extend the lead but the Jaguars didn't go away. James Robinson cashed in with a one-yard touchdown plunge and the Jaguars tied the game with a two-point conversion from Glennon to Collin Johnson.
With the game on the line, the Vikings drove into field goal range for Bailey, who went full Blair Walsh (aka WIDE left) on a 51-yard field goal to give the ball back to the Jaguars. Jacksonville had another chance to win in regulation but McLaughlin's 62-yard field goal fell short and sent the game to overtime.
After the Vikings went three-and-out to open overtime, Harrison Smith picked off Glennon. The Vikings went on a clock-killing drive in sudden death to give Bailey another chance to win it and he converted on a 23-yard field goal to finish off Jacksonville.
The Vikings (6-6) win along with the Arizona Cardinals' loss to the Los Angeles Rams puts the Vikings into the seventh and final playoff spot in the NFC. The Vikings will look to stay in the picture when they travel to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) next week.