Best Week 1 Game No. 3
2012 Season: Vikings beat the Jaguars 26-20 in OT
Minnesota began the 2012 season hoping to greatly improve on their 3-13 record from the year before. Second-year coach Leslie Frazier and the organization addressed both sides of the ball in the draft by selecting USC tackle Matt Kalil and Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith in the first round. The Vikes then grabbed Georgia kicker Blair Walsh in the sixth round.
In Week 1, Minnesota hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were coming off a 5-11 season in 2011. To the dismay of the home fans, the Jaguars jumped out to an early lead.
Jags kicker Josh Scobee connected from 19 yards out in the first quarter before second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert found tight end Marcedes Lewis for a one-yard touchdown in the second quarter. During the point-after try, Kalil blocked Scobee’s attempt to keep the score at 9-0.
Late in the quarter, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who was making his first start after missing part of 2011 with ACL and MCL tears, scored on a three-yard run. That put the score at 9-7, Jacksonville, at halftime.
In the third quarter, Peterson scored again, this time from two yards away to give Minny its first lead of the day, 14-9. Scobee answered minutes later with a 26-yard attempt to cut into the Vikings’ lead, 14-12.
The fourth quarter was a score-fest that began with Walsh and Scobee trading field goals before Jags receiver Cecil Shorts took a 39-yard Gabbert pass to the house. Gabbert then found receiver Justin Blackmon for a two-point conversion to put Jacksonville ahead, 23-20.
Then, with time running out, Walsh hammered a 55-yard field goal attempt through the uprights to tie the game at 23 at the end of regulation.
In overtime, Walsh was true on a 38-yard try that gave Minnesota a 26-23 lead. However, for the first time in NFL history, the first points of an extra period didn’t decide the game.
Before the 2012 season, the NFL decided that a made field goal no longer ended overtime; only a touchdown could end the extra period on the first offensive possession. The league had been using this change in the postseason since 2010 and liked it so much that it extended the rule into the regular season.
That meant the Vikings had to bring out their defense and give the Jags an opportunity to match or exceed their points. Thankfully, Minny’s defense answered the call and harassed Gabbert into a series of misses, leading to a 26-23 win. Peterson ended the day with 84 yards and two touchdowns on his surgically repaired knee.
"I just went out and played. I knew the structure of the ligament was good."
- Adrian Peterson
The contest also marked Peterson’s ascension past Robert Smith and into first place on the Vikings’ all-time career rushing list with 6,836 yards.
Minnesota used their Week 1 victory as a stepping stone to a 10-6 record in 2012. The Vikings’ season ended after the Green Bay Packers defeated them in the Wild Card round, 24-10.