The Minnesota Vikings definitely showed up in primetime on Thanksgiving night and beat the New England Patriots by a score of 33-26.
The game was an oddity as all 12 scores in the game either tied the game or took the lead. It was incredibly competitive throughout but the Vikings’ star players found a way to seal the deal.
The Vikings came out of the gates blazing with an eight-play, 80-yard drive that was sealed by Justin Jefferson, who broke and extended NFL records on Thursday night. As usual, he was tremendous on the day with nine catches for 139 yards and even threw an 11-yard pass to Adam Thielen in the first quarter.
Kirk Cousins found a new alter ego that overpowers his struggles in primetime: Thanksgiving. He is now 2-0 on Thanksgiving, having won with Washington in 2017.
Thanksgiving Kirk Cousins overpowers Primetime Kirk Cousins
— Tyler Forness (@TheRealForno) November 25, 2022
Cousins finished the day 30-37 for 299 yards and three touchdowns. That early interception wasn’t great, but it was more on the pressure than him making a bad throw.
The Vikings did a good job moving the football, but the running game was not there the entire night, as they ran it 27 times for 57 yards. The Patriots’ defensive front was excellent in getting pressure and stopping the run.
The Vikings didn’t miss Christian Darrisaw that much on the day, but Josh Uche did cook Blake Brandel in the second half as the Vikings were in the red zone.
For the Patriots, all the success was based upon the success of the offensive line. Mac Jones had all day to throw until the final two drives where the Vikings finally got to him and got two critical sacks. Jones had his best game of the season, completing 28-39 for 382 yards and two touchdowns.
Rhamondre Stevenson was excellent as well. He was running with speed, power and elusiveness, giving the Vikings fits. He had only 16 touches but accounted for 112 yards, including a 40-yard screen pass.
Ultimately, timely penalties extended two Vikings drives and they took advantage, including on the final touchdown drive where Cousins found Adam Thielen in the back corner of the endzone with 9:34 remaining.
Overall, the Vikings did what they had to do: they showed that they are a team that is still one to be reckoned with and bounced back in a huge way from that loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Up next for the Vikings, the New York Jets come to town to wrap up the three-game homestand.