3 burning questions ahead of Patriots-Vikings Thanksgiving Day game

After their victory against the New York Jets on Sunday, the New England Patriots have a short week of practice ahead of their Thursday night Thanksgiving matchup with the Minnesota Vikings.

New England is 5-1 in their last six games, but they really haven’t showed much on the field that has truly impressed this season. The Vikings come into the game with a comfortable 8-2 record, but they’ll have some extra motivation after losing to the Dallas Cowboys 40-3 on Sunday.

This game is also the first Patriots game on Thanksgiving since 2012, when they played the Jets in a matchup that is less remembered for a dominant New England victory and more remembered for one of the most infamous blunders ever in the rivalry between the two teams.

With that said, here are three burning questions ahead of the turkey day showdown.

1. Will David Andrews be active?

Center David Andrews was active for Sunday’s game vs the Jets after missing the previous two with a concussion. However, midway through the first quarter, Andrews was hit awkwardly from behind and left the game with a thigh injury.

Many initially thought that Andrews’ injury was going to be serious, and potentially season-ending, but ESPN’s Mike Reiss tweeted on Tuesday morning that Andrews was at practice in full pads.

He is officially listed as questionable for Thursday’s game.

Without Andrews in at center, New England has struggled to maintain consistency on their offensive line this season. They will need all of the help they can get when standing toe-to-toe with a Minnesota defensive front featuring the likes of Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith.

2. Will the Vikings rebound?

As mentioned above, the Vikings are coming off a destructive 37-point loss to the Cowboys on Sunday, one that was a bit of a shock to a team that has been atop the NFL for most of the season.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins could not do much against the sturdy Dallas defensive front, throwing for only 105 passing yards on 12 completions. Running back Dalvin Cook was also held in check, only tallying 72 rushing yards on the day. No wide receiver topped 34 receiving yards.

Minnesota will be looking to rebound from this devastating loss but will have to do so against a New England defense that is only second to, well, the Cowboys in points allowed per game.

With the Vikings playing against two of arguably the best defenses in the league in back-to-back weeks, it will be interesting to see whether their offense evolves from the brutal loss against the first so they can perform better against the second.

3. Will we get Rookie Mac?

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones played arguably his best game of the season on Sunday against the Jets. He made safe passes, looked confident in his throws, and was able to come off his first read to finish a play.

However, Jones had the benefit of playing a Jets team that New England had already seen this season, and was able to consult the film from the first game when preparing for the matchup. Against the Vikings, Jones will have no such luxury.

Minnesota’s secondary is one that has been scrutinized heavily in recent years. While they have veteran stars such as cornerback Patrick Peterson and safety Harrison Smith, they also have a few young and developing corners that have yet to truly establish themselves at the NFL level.

With such an untested secondary, it will be interesting to see if Jones tries to target the younger and less experienced players with his passes and if head coach Bill Belichick runs more complicated play calls for confusion.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire