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Jaguars good effort still not good enough against Vikings

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The Jacksonville Jaguars gave a good effort, but it wasn’t good enough. Despite carrying a lead into the fourth quarter, the Jaguars gave up two touchdowns in the final period to fall to the Minnesota Vikings 25-19.

It was Jacksonville’s eighth consecutive loss. It also marked the first road win for the Vikings since they won at Carolina on September 25.

Perhaps the Jaguars felt destiny was on their side in the fateful fourth quarter. With Minnesota leading 18-16, Matt Asiata fumbled on the one-yard line and it was recovered by Malik Jackson.

The Jaguars went three-and-out and the Vikings drove to the game-clinching touchdown with 2:13 left on a three-yard pass from Sam Bradford to tight end Kyle Rudolph.

For his part, quarterback Blake Bortles had a good day against a good Vikings’ defense. He completed 23 of 37 passes for 257 yards and a touchdown.

Marquise Lee again showed he is becoming an excellent NFL receiver. He caught five passes for 113 yards, including a 39-yard catch-and-run play up the sideline.

While the Jaguars did not commit a turnover, they were flagged 14 times for 114 yards in penalties. On the positive side, they allowed the Vikings to score only twice on five trips to the red zone.

With the loss, the Jaguars fell to 2-11 on the season. To their credit, the players did not act like they were anxious to end the season.

But the reality is, the end of season is three games away. In all likelihood, that also measures the length of time remaining in the Gus Bradley era as head coach.

Next Sunday the Jaguars travel to Houston to take on the Texans.


Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at

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