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Jaguars Outlast Vikings in Defensive Skirmish

MINNEAPOLIS — A 56-yard punt return by Jacksonville's Rashad Greene set up the winning touchdown inside the final two minutes of the game in a 14-10 win over Minnesota on Saturday.

The Vikings fell to 1-1 during the exhibition slate on a day when the first-team offense struggled on its four possessions that netted just 13 yards on 16 plays.

Latavius Murray, who fumbled one time in all of 2017, fumbled twice on five carries and netted 8 yards. The Vikings recovered one, thanks to hustle from Riley Reiff and Tom Compton, who corralled the bouncing ball.

Kirk Cousins was 3-of-8 passing for 12 yards and a passer rating of 45.8 a week after dazzling in Denver last week on his first drive in a Vikings uniform. Laquon Treadwell caught two passes, and C.J. Ham caught the other.

The Jaguars opted to play their starting offense and defense the entire first half.

The Vikings first-team defense impressed again, forcing a three-and-punt on the Jaguars first possession.

Harrison Smith ended Jacksonville's second possession by intercepting Blake Bortles' fourth pass of the day. Smith, who dropped a pair of passes during a joint practice with Jacksonville on Wednesday, returned the interception nine yards to the Jaguars 23-yard line.

Murray, however, fumbled on the next play, and the ball was recovered by Jaguars DE Calais Campbell.

Jacksonville then mounted its lone scoring drive on the day.

Minnesota's second-team defense also impressed against Jacksonville's starters and second stringers.

Ifeadi Odenigbo, who had been working at defensive tackle all camp, moved to defensive end on Saturday because Everson Griffen and Tashawn Bower were not playing and Ade Aruna suffered a knee injury.

Odenigbo made the most of his time on the edge. He recorded 2.0 sacks and three quarterback hits.

The third-string offense tried to rally late, but Kyle Sloter was sacked when the Jaguars blitzed on a fourth-down play from the Jacksonville 16-yard line. Sloter finished 10-of-15 passing for 82 yards on the day.

Minnesota was 0-for-12 on third downs. Jacksonville was 4-of-14.

Scoring Drives

Vikings 3, Jaguars 0

The Vikings got on the board with a 44-yard field goal by Kai Forbath. His first field goal of the 2018 preseason went through the uprights to cap a nine-play, 30-yard drive that started with a sack of Cousins and included a fumble by Murray that was recovered by Compton.

Jacksonville's Yannick Ngakoue was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after sacking Cousins. One play after Danny Isidora was flagged for a chop block, Jaguars corner A.J. Bouye was flagged for lowering his helmet to initiate contact during a tackle of Vikings fullback C.J. Ham, giving Minnesota the ball at the Jacksonville 26-yard line.

Jaguars 7, Vikings 3

The Jaguars took a 7-3 lead on the first play of the second quarter when Leonard Fournette plowed into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from the 1.

Fournette's run ended a 12-play, 70-yard drive that lasted 6:25.

Vikings 10, Jaguars 7

Call it the Boone Boost.

Vikings running back Mike Boone put a charge in the offense in the third quarter with consecutive runs of 9 and 26 yards before muscling into the end zone on 1-yard touchdown.

The score gave the Vikings a three-point lead over the Jaguars with 4:23 remaining in the third quarter Saturday in the second preseason game for both teams.

Boone scored on a 1-yard touchdown to cap a six-play, 74-yard drive that lasted 3:33 and gave Minnesota a 10-7 lead with 4:23 left in the third quarter.

He rushed three times for 36 yards. Roc Thomas caught a 16-yard pass and had a 15-yard run two plays later. Boone finished with 91 yards on 13 carries.

Jaguars 14, Vikings 10

Brandon Wilds scored on a 1-yard touchdown with 1:55 remaining to finish a two-play drive set up by a 56-yard punt return by Greene.

The long return occurred after Trevon Mathis was penalized for running out of bounds while covering a punt. The penalty forced a re-kick.

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