MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota and Jacksonville had the top two defenses in the NFL last season Ryan McLeod Oilers Jersey , a major reason why the Vikings and Jaguars reached their respective conference championship games.|
Two joint practices and one exhibition game produced yet more evidence of the exceptional skill and sound scheme each team has on that side of the ball.
Yannick Ngakoue had an 11-yard sack that helped Jacksonville hold Kirk Cousins and Minnesota’s starting offense to three completions and three points, before the Jaguars reserves rallied for a 14-10 victory over the Vikings on Saturday.
“The defense got after them pretty good, and their defense got after us pretty good,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “That’s kind of how it looked all week.”
Cousins was crisp in his only series last week , but the Vikings went three-and-out on two of their four possessions with their new quarterback. Latavius Murray’s second fumble, stripped by Malik Jackson and recovered by Calais Campbell, stopped another drive. Cousins finished just 3 for 8 for 12 yards.
“Frankly, I think that’s what we need and maybe want at this time of year,” Cousins said. “Nobody feeling comfortable.”
About all the ever-demanding Zimmer was pleased with was that the Vikings didn’t actually win.
“It kind of looked like we didn’t practice this week, to be honest with you,” he said.
Minnesota’s defense was closer to midseason form, with an interception by Harrison Smith of Blake Bortles and another sure pick by Mackensie Alexander that was bobbled and dropped.
Bortles played the entire first half and went 12 for 20 for 159 yards, producing a touchdown run by Leonard Fournette on one of his seven series, the last of three possessions the Vikings starters were still in the game.
The Vikings, who led the league with the fewest yards and points allowed in 2017 while the Jaguars finished second, gave Bortles trouble during drills in practices on Wednesday and Thursday at Minnesota’s suburban facility.
“We’ve still got some things to fix,” Bortles said.
The Vikings had six sacks , two by Ifeadi Odenigbo. Mike Boone, in a stiff competition for the No. 3 running back spot, had 13 carries for 91 yards and a score .
T.J. Yeldon helped his cause to be Fournette’s backup with five catches for 73 yards and 10 carries for 39 yards. With a 57-yard punt return by Rashad Greene to set up the touchdown just after the two-minute warning, Jacksonville took a late lead on a short run by Brandon Wilds.
The Jaguars were called for 13 penalties for a whopping 140 yards, including 10 infractions in the first half. Ngakoue celebrated his sack with an incendiary hip-thrusting dance, taking one of the 15-yarders.
“Penalties cost you games,” Ngakoue said. “We still were lucky enough to win today, but we’ve got to clean it up.”
Cornerback A.J. Bouye was singled out for the NFL’s new targeting rule, for lowering his helmet on a tackle attempt.
“Both of our heads were lowered,” Bouye said. “I think they should offset, but I’ve just got to learn from it.”
Vikings linebacker Antwione Williams was also flagged for unnecessary roughness, negating a sack of Cody Kessler for driving him into the turf, another point of emphasis this year for officials on the field. Zimmer initially argued, but said afterward he thought the call was correct.
ON THE LINE
Left tackle Riley Reiff was the only starter from last year suited up on Minnesota’s offensive line, with guards Nick Easton (neck) and Joe Berger (retirement) gone. The new right side http://www.officialhockeypanthersshop.com/authentic-adidas-james-reimer-jersey , Mike Remmers and Rashod Hill, was held out with ankle injuries. Center Pat Elflein is still recovering from offseason shoulder and ankle surgeries.
The Vikings failed to move the chains on all 12 of their third-down attempts.
The wife (Jeanette), daughter (Ryan) and son (Tony Jr.) of former Vikings offensive line coach Tony Sparano, who died suddenly last month of heart disease, were honored before the game. The entire Vikings offensive line joined the family at midfield for the coin flip. Tony Sparano Jr. is the assistant offensive line coach for the Jaguars . Sparano’s other son, Andy, was unable to attend. Berger blew the ceremonial Gjallarhorn kickoff.
Last week , four Jaguars players remained in the locker room during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” cornerback Jalen Ramsey, linebacker Telvin Smith and running backs Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon. Ramsey was not at this game, left at home like Dante Fowler for disciplinary reasons related to the fight at practice last week between Fowler and Ngakoue . Fournette and Yeldon were spotted on the sideline during the anthem, though Smith was not.
Jaguars: Left guard Andrew Norwell, the team’s premier free agent addition, was held out for the second straight game because of a calf injury, as was rookie defensive end Taven Bryan (abdomen). Center Brandon Linder (knee), strong safety Don Carey (hamstring) and left guard Chris Reed (knee) were injured during the game. Reed started for Norwell.
Vikings: Alexander, who’s competing with rookie Mike Hughes to play the slot position in the nickel package, hurt his ankle on his dropped interception. Five other backups were hurt during the game: defensive end Ade Aruna (right knee), guards Josh Andrews (right ankle) and Cedrick Lang (right leg), wide receiver Jeff Badet (head) and fullback Johnny Stanton (left leg). Multiple players will be out for the season, including Lang, Zimmer said.
The Jaguars host Atlanta next Saturday.
The Vikings host Seattle on F
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The former first-rounder survived cutdown day, making the Denver Broncos‘ roster Saturday despite slipping to third on the depth chart this summer behind primary backup quarterback Chad Kelly, last year’s “Mr. Irrelevant.”
“With Chad not having a lot of experience and not having played in a regular season game before, we thought we had to go with three quarterbacks,” Elway said.
So, Lynch, who lost out to Trevor Siemian for the starting job each of the last two summers, is officially a developmental QB.
As such, he will have to improve on his own while running the scout team and facing Denver’s defense, Elway said Dallas Goedert Color Rush Jersey , while starting quarterback Case Keenum prepares for games.
Lynch’s roster spot might not be safe for the season, however.
Elway said he had reached out to several available seasoned quarterbacks “but the veteran quarterbacks didn’t want to come in right now,” preferring to wait for better opportunities for playing time.
Kelly, who spent his rookie season last year on IR, leapfrogged Lynch last month, becoming the second seventh-rounder to beat out the former Memphis star whom Elway moved up to draft 26th overall in 2016.
Elway did take a sledgehammer to his 2017 draft class, as he discharged running back De’Angelo Henderson , receiver Carlos Henderson, cornerback Brendan Langley and punt returner Isaiah McKenzie in reaching the NFL’s 53-man limit.
The Broncos kept 10 rookies, including eight members of their much-ballyhooed 2018 draft class, plus undrafted running back Phillip Lindsay and linebacker A.J. Johnson, the former Tennessee star who missed 3 1-2 years of football while fighting a rape case. He was acquitted in June.
Elway isn’t fretting the infusion of youth.
“I get excited” about rookies, Elway said. “I don’t get nervous about it.”
Among the rookies expected to make immediate impacts are Lindsay, Bradley Chubb, Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton and Josey Jewell.
“I’m excited about the ’18 class,” Elway said. “The ’17 class, I’m not giving up on that, either. Obviously, we had to let a few of them go today.”
Some of the 2017 draftees’ departures were anticipated after Elway shifted his philosophy this year and drafted experience and leadership — all 10 of his picks spent four years in major college programs and were captains — instead of selecting athletic, raw prospects like the ones who dominated the 2017 class.
“Picking high in each rounds helps,” said Elway, who selected fifth after a dismal 5-11 season. “I really hope that we’re not picking nearly that high again next year.”
Carlos Henderson, a third-round pick out of Louisiana Tech in 2017, never played in a game for Denver. He spent last year on injured reserve and didn’t show up for training camp this year, citing personal reasons.
Like much of last year’s draft class, Langley was a project who played just one year of college ball at his position — and he went down in classification to do it — transferring from Georgia to Lamar.
McKenzie fumbled six times as a rookie but enjoyed coach Vance Joseph’s staunch support until his fumble as a receiver last month cost the Broncos a chance at a last-minute field goal to beat the Bears.
Last week, the Broncos signed veteran Adam Jones , making both McKenzie and Langley expendable.
The Broncos placed rookie tight end Troy Fumagalli (groin) on IR and receiver Jordan Taylor, still recovering from double hip surgery, was placed on the PUP list.
The only 2018 draftee who didn’t make the cut was Arkansas running back David Williams.
Other notable cuts included: