Vikings' win brings sigh of relief and plenty to fix.


The Minnesota Vikings' path to the post season virtually demanded they win out, after losing six of their past seven games before Sunday.

And no matter the resume of their opponent, the Vikings need not apologize for coming out of EverBank Field with a 25-16 win over the 2-11 Jacksonville Jaguars.

The victory keeps the Vikings' hopes alive. It sends them home with a winning record and legitimizes the chance that Adrian Peterson could return for a pivotal game on Dec.

24 at Lambeau Field if the Vikings can beat the Indianapolis Colts next Sunday. And at the end of the day, when they had to claw out of a hole they helped dig, the Vikings made some of the plays they'd not been able to string together for the better part of two months, driving 39 yards for a touchdown that helped put the game away.

The win-out strategy, though, requires a measure of consistency, especially now that the only way the Vikings can win the NFC North is if they claim their next three games while the Detroit Lions lose their final three. And it's a safe bet the Vikings will spend part of the week trying to hammer out the mistakes they might not be able to afford against better competition.

After the Vikings' loss to the Dallas Cowboys 10 days ago, Zimmer cited the team's lack of discipline as the reason the Vikings were losing games. That was a striking charge for a team that had the fewest penalties in the league a year ago; a 10-day break between games didn't fix the problem.

The Vikings lost the turnover battle against a team that entered the game with a minus-18 margin.

They lost a challenge at the goal line on third down after Matt Asiata was stopped in the second quarter and they couldn't clear room for the running back on the next play. Xavier Rhodes was flagged for a 31-yard pass interference penalty on the ensuing series, before Danielle Hunter's and Anthony Harris' missed tackles facilitated Marqise Lee's 39-yard gain on a pass from Blake Bortles.

The second half brought a holding and unsportsmanlike conduct penalty from Rhodes and a 22-yard pass interference penalty from Mackensie Alexander after Rhodes came out of the game.

Kai Forbath pushed an extra point well to the left of the uprights, and with a chance to put the Vikings up by two scores, Asiata fumbled on the 1-yard line.

Minnesota's defense summoned up two stops after the Vikings took the lead, and the Vikings' stellar pass-rush trio of Brian Robison, Everson Griffen and Hunter combined for four sacks of Bortles.

That, combined with the late touchdown drive that followed Asiata's fumble, delivered a noticeable lift to the Vikings' locker room after the game.

"To win games like this, when it seems like, 'Up and down, roller coaster, roller coaster,' and to finally finish the game out, it's great," cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said. "Hopefully we can build from this and get more confidence."

As the Vikings fly home from Jacksonville, though, their reason for a sigh of relief was rooted in the final result, not because of what happened in the game itself.

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