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Throwin' it Back to '98: Vikings Score 50 on Jaguars, Set Sights on Season Record

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This season, the Vikings are commemorating the 20thanniversary of the 1998 team.

Minnesota went 15-1 during the 1998 regular season, in which it set a then-NFL scoring record with 556 points. Randy Moss came on the scene and caught 17 touchdown passes, the most-ever by a rookie. He combined with Cris Carter and Jake Reed to form "Three Deep."

For each week of the 2018 regular season, we'll throw it back to 1998 and take a look at each of the Vikings 16 games.

We'll continue this series with Minnesota's Week 16 contest against Jacksonville on "Sunday Night Football." This game marked the first meeting between the Vikings and Jaguars, who played their inaugural season in 1995. The Vikings convincingly won and secured home-field advantage throughout the NFC Playoffs with their 14thvictory of the season.

Click here for the first recap in this series (Week 1 vs. Tampa Bay).

Click here for the second recap in this series (Week 2 at St. Louis).

Click here for the third recap in this series (Week 3 vs. Detroit).

Click here for the fourth recap in this series (Week 4 at Chicago).

Click herefor the fifth recap in this series (Week 5 at Green Bay).

Click here for the sixth recap in this series (bye week).

Click here for the seventh recap in this series (Week 7 vs. Washington).

Click here for the eighth recap in this series (Week 8 at Detroit).

Click here for the ninth recap in this series (Week 9 at Tampa Bay).

Click here for the 10th recap in this series (Week 10 vs. New Orleans).

Click here for the 11th recap in this series (Week 11 vs. Cincinnati).

Click here for the 12th recap in this series (Week 12 vs. Green Bay).

Click here for the 13th recap in this series (Week 13 at Dallas).

Click here for the 14th recap in this series (Week 14 vs. Chicago).

Click here for the 15th recap in this series (Week 15 vs. Jacksonville).

Vikings 50, Jaguars 10

Weather: Dome | Temp: 67 degrees Fahrenheit

Paid Attendance: 64,363 | Time of game: 7:20 p.m. (CT)

JAX 0 3 0 7 | 10

MIN 3 9 14 24 | 50

The juggernaut Vikings offense didn't begin to fully click until late in the first half, but once it did, Minnesota had way too much for a Jacksonville team that was without quarterback Mark Brunell. The Jaguars, who won the AFC Central with an 11-5 record, were no slouch, but they were overmatched by the Vikings, who scored a season-high 50 points. It was the first time that a Jaguars opponent had ever scored 50.

Andrew Glover caught the Vikings first and third touchdowns of the evening with 14-yard receptions in the second and third quarters. Glover's first touchdown catch built on a 6-0 Vikings lead that resulted from 48- and 53-yard field goals by Gary Anderson.

After needing more than 28 minutes to reach the end zone in the first half, the Vikings made it in just the first two snaps of the second half. Randy Moss caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from Randall Cunningham on a "flea flicker" for a 19-3 lead. Moss' score helped the Vikings go 69 yards in 63 seconds of game time.

A 26-3 lead grew to 33-3 after Cris Carter caught a 1-yard touchdown from Brad Johnson early in the fourth quarter. It was the 100th touchdown catch of Carter's career, making him the third player to reach 100 receiving touchdowns.

Cunningham finished 16-of-30 passing for 210 yards with three touchdowns and a passer rating of 109.0. He suffered a fractured left hand early but stayed in the game until late in the third quarter. Johnson was 4-for-7 with 34 yards and a touchdown for a rating of 109.5.

Moss led Minnesota with 72 yards on three catches, and Glover totaled 54 yards on three receptions. Robert Smith rushed 19 times for 101 yards in working his way back from a knee injury.

A 44-yarder by Anderson made it 36-3. Then, Jimmy Hitchcock returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown to make it 43-3 before fullback Charles Evans' 1-yard touchdown made it a 50 burger and moved Minnesota to within 12 of the season-long scoring record set by the 1983 Washington Redskins.

The Vikings defense did its part, too, forcing eight punts, two interceptions and two fumbles on the Jaguars first 13 possessions. Jacksonville gained seven or fewer yards on seven of its 15 total possessions.

Playing for Brunell, Jonathan Quinn completed 12 of 27 passes for 88 yards and a late touchdown. He finished with a passer rating of 34.2.

Headline: Advantage, Vikings (Star Tribune | Dec. 21, 1998)

Quotable:

"We're setting some standards that no one at the beginning of training camp would have thought: 'OK, we're going to go out and break the all-time scoring record.' But it's nice. That record is within striking distance, and it's close enough that they can't accuse me of running up the score."

— Vikings Offensive Coordinator Brian Billick

Play of the Game:

The offensive prowess is well documented, but one could say the major turning point occurred when Orlando Thomas intercepted Quinn at the Jaguars 48-yard line with 3:41 remaining in the first half.

Smith then gashed the Jaguars for gains of 22, 9 and 3 before the 2-minute warning. Cunningham connected with Glover for the first of two touchdowns two plays later for a 12-0 lead with 1:52 left in the first half.

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