Patriot vs. Vikings Final Score: New England can’t keep pace in 33-26 loss

Things started off with a bang for the New England Patriots offense (6-5) on Thursday night. Mac Jones and Co. were out of the gate, scoring 26 points in the first three quarters, but that was about it. The offense broke out in the final quarter and a half, as the New England defense could not slow down Justin Jefferson and the Vikings offense.

Ultimately, New England’s last chance fell through as they lost 33-26.

Here’s everything you need to know from the Thanksgiving contest.

Thursday, November 24, 8:20 PM ET | US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis MN | Broadcast information | Inactive

First quarter

Minnesota had the ball first to start Thursday night’s contest and immediately got to work. Cousins ​​found Johnny Mundt for 13 yards, then immediately went to Justin Jefferson on a fast screen for seven more—a Jon Jones penalty added another 15 yards. After Cousins ​​found Thielen 16 yards, Minnesota composed the deception as Jefferson found Thielen for another first down. Three plays later, Cousins ​​found his superstar catcher running across the field for an early score. [Patriots 0 : 7 Vikings]

Trailing early, Mac Jones and the Patriots offense responded quickly to Minnesota’s score. Starting under center, Jones was not out on a muffled snap and hit Jakobi Meyers upfield out of game action for 26 yards. After an RPO run by Damien Harris for seven yards and an additional carry for four more, Mac found Henry for a four-yard gain before tearing a downfield run between the safeties to Nelson Agholor for a 34-yard touchdown. [Patriots 7 : 7 Vikings]

After a fast start from both offenses, the Patriots defense leveled off on their second drive. Facing a third-and-one after a six-yard catch by Jefferson and a three-yard carry by Dalvin Cook, Cousin’s third down pass intended for Jefferson was broken up (and nearly intercepted) by Jonathan Jones.

New England turned to Rhamondre Stevenson on their next drive, as the back tallied a five-yard carry and a two-yard catch to start the drive. On third down, Jones’ quick pass to Stevenson was slightly high but fell incomplete, leading to a punt.

After allowing an opening first down, the Patriots defense found its hit playbook. Blasting off Cook’s second down run to put Minnesota on third and long, New England was able to chase down Cousins ​​and force an errant pass, which was intercepted by Jonathan Jones.

Starting at the Minnesota 17-yard line after the interception, New England’s red area problems continued. An engineered run to Kendrick Bourne on second down was stopped for a loss of seven yards. Jones’ third down pass to Agholor fell short of sticks, leading to a 34-yard field goal by Nick Folk. [Patriots 10 : 7 Vikings]

Second quarter

Back with the ball and facing a third-and-seven, Kirk Cousins ​​delivered a strong anticipatory ball to TJ Hockenson down the right sideline for a 14-yard conversion. Two plays later, Cousins ​​ripped a game action pass through center field to Jefferson for a 21-yard gain. Minnesota then moved inside the red zone after running backs Alexander Mattison and Dalvin Cook picked up a pair of first downs. Faced with a third-and-15 after Matthew Judon equalized from a holding penalty, Cousins’ pass to Adam Thielen went empty. Greg Joseph’s 30-yard field goal was good to cap a 14-play, 72-yard drive. [Patriots 10 : 10 Vikings]

New England started just outside midfield after a 46-yard kick return by Marcus Jones, who picked up right where he left off. Stevenson then started the drive with a 14-yard run, but that was just short of picking up another third down in the air several plays later. Nick Folk then connected on a 46-yard field goal. [Patriots 13 : 10 Vikings]

The Vikings started their next drive on the ground, but Jahlani Tavai crossed the line to stop Cook for a two-yard loss. Facing a then third-and-12, an offside by Judon moved Minnesota up to a third-and-seven. Cousins ​​then aired one downfield to who else but Jefferson, who threw it in for 37 yards. Two plays later, Cousins ​​found Jefferson again for 17 more yards. Outside the two-minute warning, Cousins ​​found TJ Hockenson along the goal line for a touchdown. Greg Joseph, however, pushed the extra point to right field. [Patriots 13 : 16 Vikings]

With 1:30 remaining in the time, Mac Jones got to work. Lui first found Stevenson in left flat for five yards before Hunter Henry stormed in for a 22-yard gain. However, Henry did not go out of bounds and New England had to burn one of the remaining time outs of the round. Jones then connected on back-to-back passes to DeVante Parker for a combined 30 yards, but then surrendered at the line of scrimmage and New England were forced to burn out one last time. Jones then found Agholor 13 yards to set up New England at the five-yard line, but they had only nine seconds remaining after being forced to burn two timeouts earlier. With their one play, Jones’ goal line faded until Kendrick Bourne fell incomplete. Nick Folk then hit a 23-yard field goal. [Patriots 16 : 16 Vikings]

With two seconds left in the half, Kirk Cousins ​​​​​​kneeled.

Third quarter

After an upbeat first half, the Patriots faced a third-and-one opening drive. Out of game action, Jones found DeVante Parker on a shallow cross for a 10-yard conversion. New England then faced another third and throw, which Jones again converted to find Jakobi Meyers in center field for 13 yards. Two plays later, New England called the power of the game action – having run the power twice prior to this drive – and Jones found Henry for a 37-yard catch and run touchdown. [Patriots 23 : 16 Vikings]

Minnesota immediately returned Henry’s touchdown, as Knee Nwangwu returned the kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. [Patriots 23 : 23 Vikings]

Coming right back on the field, Mac Jones continued to trade for New England. Jones found Stevenson and Agholor to start the drive for a combined 17 yards, then snapped a dime off DeVante Parker for a 40-yard gain three plays later. On third-and-goal at the Minnesota six-yard line, Jones found Henry on a way out for another score, but it was ruled incomplete after a lengthy review. Nick Folk hit a 25-yard field goal to give New England another lead. [Patriots 26 : 23 Vikings]

Injury report: RB Damien Harris (thigh) questionable to return.

With their first offensive possession of the second half, Cousins ​​found Cook in the air to convert a short third down. On the next play, Cousins ​​connected with Thielen three more yards, but Jonathan Jones’ second facemask penalty of the day veered another 15 yards. Just out of midfield on a next third-and-seven, Myles Bryant dropped into men’s coverage leaving Jalen Reagor wide open for a 25-yard gain. Several plays later, Cousins’ pass fell incomplete to Theilen, but Bryant was flagged for needless roughness when he hit a falling Thielen in the back. With another set of downs at the 11-yard line, Cook picked up two yards before Josh Uche quickly beat backup left tackle Blake Brandel and brought down Cousins ​​for a sack. On third-and-17, the pass fell incomplete leading to a 36-yard field goal. [Patriots 26 : 26 Vikings]

Fourth quarter

New England’s first drive of the fourth quarter didn’t bring as much success as the last ones. A one-yard pass to Stevenson started the drive followed by a fumble to Nelson Agholor. On third and ninth, Jones was forced right and bowled one to Jakobi Meyers who just fell incomplete. Michael Palardy is back in Minnesota.

Quickly back on the field after a 14-play drive, Minnesota turned on Dalvin Cook who picked up four yards on the ground, but then lost three yards on a screen that was blown up by Ja’Whaun Bentley and Raekwon McMillan. On third-and-ninth, a false start penalty propelled Minnesota back into a third-and-14 where Cousins’ pass to Hockenson went short on sticks. On the punt, Pierre Strong was flagged for a punt run to give the Vikings a first down. Two plays later, Cousins ​​connected with Jefferson downfield between Jonathan Jones and Devin McCourty for a 36-yard completion. After using a timeout, Cousins ​​hit Adam Thielen right into the ensuing playoff game action for a 15-yard touchdown run. [Patriots 26 : 33 Vikings]

Now late, New England’s offensive struggles remained. Facing a third and one, Jones looked down at Hunter Henry who went down. Henry reached for a catch while Jones reached for a hand to the face in the backfield, but neither were called. Palardy’s punt at Minnesota went for just 31 yards.

With more than eight minutes remaining, the Patriots defense did its job. After giving up a first down, Cousins’ screen on second down was batted in by Jalen Mills for a four-yard loss. On third down, Cousins’ pass fell incomplete leading to one run.

Injury update: RB Damien Harris (thigh) was downgraded to out.

Down by seven with 4:21 remaining, Mac Jones found Kendrick Bourne for a 14-yard gain. Following an incompletion, Stevenson broke up a screen pass for 40 yards. Things turned bad, as Jones was sacked on third down to make up a fourth and 16. On fourth down, Jones passed the downfield to Nelson Agholor who fell incomplete.

After the turnover down, Minnesota gave up to Dalvin Cook three straight. New England held it to just one total yard.

With 53 seconds remaining and no timeouts, Mac Jones and the Patriots offense drove down the field needing a touchdown. Jones then took a first-down sack, before connecting with Bourne and Meyers. However, with no timeouts, it didn’t matter. [Patriots 26 : 33 Vikings]

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