MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – It was over, then it was over again, and just as suddenly, it wasn’t.
And when the Jaguars’ 2012 regular-season opener – a wild game of twists, hope and heartache – finally ended, it did so with an incomplete pass by quarterback
The Jaguars came close. Very close.
And while Head Coach Mike Mularkey spoke afterward of disappointment, he also spoke of being proud of what the team overcame.
“We’re obviously disappointed,” Mularkey said, adding just as quickly that he was “proud of the players, to stay in the game, to have a chance to win out there at the end. I was very proud of them. I was just proud of the way our guys responded.
“They gave us a chance to win at the end of the game, and that’s all you can ask for.”
The Jaguars fought injuries throughout Sunday, with offensive guard
Those injuries came during a first half the Jaguars dominated statistically, leading 9-0 late in the second quarter after a 1-yard touchdown pass from Gabbert to tight end
A 2-yard run by Vikings running back Adrian Peterson cut the lead to 9-7 with 41 seconds remaining in the half, and another 2-yarder by Peterson 5:18 into the second half gave the Vikings a 14-9 lead.
The teams each converted two field goals later in the third quarter and early in the fourth, but as time ticked past two minutes, the Jaguars drove inside Vikings territory. A 39-yard pass from Gabbert to second-year wide receiver Cecil Shorts made it 21-20, Jaguars, and a two-point conversion from Gabbert to rookie wide receiver
Walsh’s 38-yard field goal made it 26-23 with 11:06 remaining in overtime, and on 4th-and-3 from the 31 on the ensuing series, Gabbert’s long pass to wide receiver
“The thing you learn very quickly in the NFL is the game is never over until it’s over,” said Gabbert, who completed 23 of 39 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. “You’ve got to fight through the emotional highs and emotional lows week in and week out. We saw that today.
“You have to stay even keel because you never know what’s going to happen. We have to fight through that, and bounce back next week. We just have to rebound.”
Jaguars running back