The Minnesota Vikings had never hosted a Thanksgiving Day game before tonight’s game against the New England Patriots. They gave us a contest that we will probably remember for a while.
The Vikings overcame a slow start and got three touchdown passes from Kirk Cousins and a big kickoff return for a touchdown from Kene Nwangwu to defeat the Patriots, 33-26, at US Bank Stadium on Thursday night.
Minnesota fired first blood, taking the opening kickoff and walking 80 yards for a touchdown, with the score coming on a 6-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson to give the Vikings a 7-yard lead. -0 less than five minutes after the start of the match.
The Vikings’ lead was short-lived as just over two minutes later the Patriots were in the end zone, courtesy of a 34-yard touchdown pass from Mac Jones to Nelson Agholor. It tied things up at 7-7 and we weren’t even halfway through the first quarter.
After the two teams traded punts, Kirk Cousins knocked down KJ Osborn and was intercepted by Jonathan Jones, who took the ball to Minnesota’s 17-yard line. The Vikings defense limited the damage, however, limiting the Patriots to a 34-yard field goal from Nick Folk to make it 10-7 with about a minute and a half left in the first quarter.
Minnesota tied things up midway through the second quarter on a 30-yard field goal from Greg Joseph to make it 10-10. In the ensuing practice, Folk scored his second field goal of the night, a 46-yarder to put the visitors ahead at 13-10.
The Vikings then descended onto the field and reclaimed the lead, finishing the drive with a one-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to TJ Hockenson, his first in purple. That put the Vikings ahead by three and not four because Greg Joseph missed another extra point to hold the score at 16-13 with a minute and a half left in the first half.
The Patriots got a basket just before halftime to even things up at 16-16, then took the second half kickoff and walked down the field, entering the end zone on a Jones’ 37-yard pass to Hunter Henry to regain the lead at 23-16 just four minutes into the third quarter.
New England’s lead was short-lived as Kene Nwangwu took the ensuing kickoff and blasted 97 yards for a touchdown, the third kickoff for a score in his career. Vikings. Greg Joseph connected on the extra point and, just like that, things were tied at 23-23.
The Patriots regained the lead midway through the third quarter, as they got a 25-yard field goal from Folk to make it 26-23. It looked like they got another touchdown pass from Jones to Henry, but after initially ruling the play a touchdown, officials reviewed it and ruled it incomplete, forcing the field goal attempt on field.
The Vikings looked like they could regain the lead, but after entering New England’s 10, a sack by Cousins fended off the Vikings’ attack and forced them to settle for a field goal of 36. yards from Joseph to even things up at 26-26 on the minute in the fourth quarter.
After the Vikings defense has stopped. . .yes they are allowed to do so. . .the Vikings fell and regained the lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen. The practice was extended after the Patriots were called for meeting Ryan Wright on a punt, and the touchdown itself was set up by another big Cousins play at Jefferson. Greg Joseph’s extra point made it 33-26 with just under ten minutes remaining.
That turned out to be the margin of victory, as the Vikings thwarted the Patriots’ last-minute practice and took the win on Thursday Night Football!
That brings Minnesota’s record to 9-2, and they’ll have a quick goodbye before hosting the New York Jets at US Bank Stadium a week from Sunday. New England drops to 6-5 and will have a normal week as they face the Buffalo Bills on Thursday Night Football next week.
The Minnesota Vikings return to winning ways, beating the New England Patriots on Thursday Night Football by a final score of 33-26. Thanks to everyone who got their coverage of tonight’s game right here at the Daily Norseman!
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