Vikings Outlast Patriots in Thanksgiving Shootout

The Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots overcame full bellies and the pacifying effects of tryptophan to deliver a thrilling finale to the NFL's Thanksgiving slate on Thursday. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins outdueled Patriots quarterback Mac Jones in a 33-26 win, lifting his team to an NFC North-best 9-2 record while dropping the Patriots to 6-5. Overall, the two quarterbacks passed for an amazing 681 yards, but in the end, the Vikings were the ones toasting with Turkey legs.

The Vikings and Patriots traded scores all night. Neither could find any success running the ball; the Patriots only ran the ball 13 times for 45 yards, and the Vikings pounded their heads into the wall 27 times for a mere 57 yards. Thankfully, the passing attacks provided plenty of fireworks. Cousins found wide receiver Justin Jefferson nine times for 139 yards while netting 290 passing yards with three touchdowns, and Jones spread the wealth to Patriots receivers with a career-high 382 passing yards. Five different Patriots pass catchers totalled 60 or more receiving yards on the day, but none exceeded 80.

At the end of the day, Cousins simply got a little bit more help from his defense and special teams. Kene Nwangwu returned a kickoff 97 yards for a crucial touchdown, and the Vikings defense tackled Patriots players inbounds on three straight plays to run out the clock on the Patriots' final possession. Jones played perhaps the game of his life, but it was all for naught.

Looking ahead to Week 13, the Vikings will host the New York Jets, and the Patriots will face their AFC East rival Buffalo Bills in a crucial divisional matchup on Thursday Night Football.