MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WPRI) — The New England Patriots had minimal time to prepare for their next contest, but they head into Thanksgiving riding a three-game win streak.
Just four days ago, the Patriots improved their playoff chances by beating the Jets 10-3 on a near walk-off punt return touchdown from Marcus Jones. They’re now the 6-seed in the AFC.
Now, the 6-4 Patriots move into the home stretch of their schedule, with five out of the seven matchups against teams who currently sport winning records.
Up first on Thursday are the 8-2 Minnesota Vikings who are coming off a humbling 40-3 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Prior to that, the Vikings were winners of seven straight.
The last time the two teams met was in December 2018. New England walked away with a 24-10 win. The Patriots are looking for their sixth straight victory over the Vikings and have a 9-4 record all-time against Minnesota.
The Patriots will be without OL Isaiah Wynn, who was ruled out with a foot injury, while OL David Andrews is listed as questionable.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:20 p.m.
Below are some notes and quotes to get you ready for the game:
- The Patriots have a winning record on Thanksgiving (3-2)
- The Patriots have only played at U.S. Bank Stadium once before: their loss to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII
- This game starts a stretch of four straight prime-time games for the Patriots (two on Thursday night, followed by a Monday night and a Sunday night)
QB Mac Jones on playing on Thanksgiving: “I think it’s a privilege to play football on Thanksgiving at whatever age. Whether you’re a young guy or high school, college, NFL. Definitely have good memories watching, playing and definitely excited to be able to play on Thanksgiving.”
Jones on the challenges of a short week: “I think everybody has their own challenges. Obviously, we just played, but really it’s about just getting your mind and your body ready to play again. That’s what we do, we play football. Any day of the week, we want to play. We’re excited about this one. For me, it’s just, like I said, get the treatment, get your body ready and then go out there, have fun, play on Thanksgiving, and enjoy it.”
Head coach Bill Belichick on the Vikings’ assets: “You know offensively they have a great back, great receiver, great quarterback. Added [T.J.] Hockenson, so they’ve got a lot of firepower there on offense, and defensively they’re good at all three levels. Their front’s really good, and they’ve got two really good edge rushers. Big guys inside, two good linebackers, and obviously [Patrick] Peterson and Harrison Smith are two outstanding defensive backs.”
Belichick on playing stars Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook: “I mean some of the catches he’s made, you couldn’t cover him much better than he’s being covered, and he comes down with the ball. But they move him around. Doubling him sounds a lot easier than it really is. You’ve got to find him, got to get the right guys on him and then there’s some other guys to worry about, too. It’s not like he’s all they’ve got. You don’t pay attention to Cook and he has an 80-yard touchdown, whatever it was against Buffalo. So, he can kill you in a hurry, too.”