Who knew the match between prime time Kirk Cousins and Bill Belichick would be such an offensive impulse?
But on a classic Thanksgiving night, Cousins and Minnesota Vikings came late to a 33–26 victory over the New England Patriots.
Mac Jones there were only about four and a half minutes to get into the end zone to save the game, and the Pats were seven behind. A long throw by Ramondre Stevenson quickly moved the Pats to the other side of the field, but a big sack from the third down forced a 4th and 16th. Jones searched deep for Agolor, but it was out of his reach. , and the Vikings took over on the downs.
The Pats were able to force a three and get the ball, but they had to go 89 yards in 53 seconds. However, Jones was fired on the first down due to an eight-point loss. It’s safe to say that it was too much for New Englandand the hours on them expired, despite two more improvements.
It only took the Vikings five draws to get to the end zone and start the game – and who could not Justin Jefferson — but the Pats promptly responded with a 34-yard touchdown to Nelson Agolor. It was 7-7 with less than seven minutes left in the game.
The score settled for a while as both teams agreed to multiple field goals, but two minutes into the second quarter, T.J. Hawkenson caught a touchdown to give Minnesota a 16–13 lead (Greg Joseph missed the ensuing PAT). But Jones was able to get the Pats quickly to the other side of the field so that Nick Faulk was able to equalize at 16 before half time.
The Pats got the ball at half time and Jones continued his electricity – a quick drive ended with a 37-yard touchdown to Hunter Henry and New England were 23-16. However, the Vikings immediately returned a 97-yard kickoff to a Kene Nwkngwu touchdown to tie the game.
And what did Jones do to respond? Marched back across the field. Henry nearly caught his second touchdown of the night, but the replay showed he didn’t go all the way, so the Pats settled for three. The Vikings then entered the Pats’ 10-yard line after a long drive, but had to settle for three early in the fourth to tie the score to 26.
After the Patriots’ kick, the Vikings were ready to hit the ball, but a kicker’s penalty shot bolstered their drive. Naturally, Cousins found Jefferson by 36 yards. In the next game, he hit Old Reliable. Adam Thiel in the back of the end zone, making the Minnesota 33–26 with 9:34 left, which turned out to be the winning score.
Cousins, whose primetime struggles are well known, was terrific at this – he threw for 299 yards on 30 of 37 passes for three touchdowns. Jefferson’s 139 receiving yards was a game-high (he also had nine receptions), and Thielen added nine receptions for 61 yards.
Jefferson also set the NFL record for receiving yards in a player’s first three seasons, surpassing Randy Moss’s 4,163 receiving yards. Jefferson now has 4,248 career matches spanning just 44 games. Moss posted that number in 48 games.
Jones certainly wasn’t lazy in the losing effort—he threw the ball 382 yards through the air, completing 28 of his 39 passes without flipping the ball. Stevenson caught the team’s nine passes for 78 yards, and DeVante Parker had an 80-yard receiving lead over the Pats’ receivers.
The 9-2 Vikings will visit the New York Jets (6-4) in week 13, and the Pats, now 6-5, will host 8-3 Buffalo Bills a week starting Thursday.