Christian Ponder threw for 270 yards in the win over Jacksonville. (Getty Images)

On Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that is very similar in make up -- a rebuilding group with an elite running back and young quarterback. Since they were at home, the Vikings should have won this game. Mission accomplished. But the squad needs to get better as it won’t always be so evenly matched.

Offense -- C: The offense struggled in the first half until the coaches remembered they had WR Percy Harvin available for work and things began to turn around. QB Christian Ponder looked bad for the first 25 minutes and then hit Harvin on three consecutive screens that led to the team’s first score. Ponder really seems to thrive when he rolls out of the pocket, and the coaches have put several rollout plays in the game plan to help. RB Adrian Peterson was good and should get better, and the receiving corps made enough grabs to help win the game. Few teams will grant the Vikings 25 minutes to get going, so they will have to start faster.

Defense – C-minus: Poor tackling, blown coverages and missed assignments led to several long scoring drives. To the unit’s credit, they forced field goals instead of touchdowns three times -- including stopping one drive that started at their own 16 after a Ponder fumble. Ultimately, the defense made enough plays to help win the game. The young secondary made mistakes (CB Chris Cook turning the wrong way on the go-ahead touchdown pass), but then countered with some defensive plays (S Harrison Smith’s diving break-up a pass in overtime) that probved crucial. Brian Robison was active in disrupting Jaguars QB Blaine Gabbert, but the whole line has to do more to take young quarterbacks out of their rhythm -- starting next week against Andrew Luck and the Colts.

Special teams -- A-minus: The special teams unit loomed large in this win. Rookie K Blair Walsh was 4 of 4 in field goals, including a 55-yarder to send the game into OT and the 38-yarder to win it. He had 4 of 7 kickoffs result in touchbacks. LT Matt Kalil, playing in the middle of the line on kick coverage, blocked an extra point that came back to haunt the Jaguars later in the game. Even a bad punt by Chris Kluwe took a fortuitous bounce and pinned the Jaguars back late in the game. Everything came up roses for the special teams.

Coaching -- B-minus: Barring one timeout called after an injury timeout, the coaching staff made no glaring time errors. They could have gotten the ball to Harvin a bit sooner, given his production, and even put Ponder on the move earlier. But they made the right call on Peterson and used him judiciously. Their play selection at the end of regulation helped put the team in position to kick the tying field goal -- which led to the win. For a team that had seven close losses last season, that is enough to say, good job.

For more Vikings news and notes, follow Joe Oberle on Twitter @CBSVikings.