New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings – NFL Week 12 Game Preview

Vikings stadium

NFL fans will get a tasty treat for Thanksgiving dessert this Thursday, as the schedule for the day concludes with the New England Patriots taking on the Minnesota Vikings in the nightcap. Minnesota can’t wait to get back on the field after their 40-3 drubbing at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday. New England was able to gut out a win against the New York Jets in Week 11 by a final score of 10-3.

After having some apple pie of our own, here are three things we’ll be watching for in this matchup.

Winning Ugly

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what a team does to secure a victory, as long as they end up with the win. Those words have never been more relevant after one of the toughest viewing experiences of the season, which saw New England claw their way to their sixth victory of the 2022 NFL season. They couldn’t get anything going on offense against a stout Jets defense, and it seemed unlikely that they would figure something out even if the contest went into overtime.

While that game script might have worked on a windy day at Gillette Stadium against New York, chances are the Patriots will need more than 10 points to take down a high-powered Minnesota team. It’ll be interesting to see how New England will try to manufacture points in this game.

Helping Cousins On Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday is all about getting together with family and enjoying time with loved ones, and the Vikings will need to help their Cousins in order to enjoy the holiday. The Minnesota quarterback had a rough go of it against Dallas on Sunday, as he was brought down seven times.

Kirk Cousins will need more time to scan the field on Thursday, but the Minnesota offensive line will continue to have their hands full against another stout defense. New England is second in the NFL in total sacks(ironically behind Dallas), with 36 takedowns of opposing quarterbacks. The Patriots brough Jets quarterback Zach Wilson down four times on Sunday.

Old School Versus New School

With each passing season, 70 year-old New England head coach Bill Belichick’s contemporaries dwindle as the league continues to favor younger minds to lead their teams. Most weeks, Belichick’s experiences dwarfs his counterparts, which makes for an interesting chess match on the sidelines.

This week will be no different, as 37 year-old Kevin O’Connell goes up against the greatest coach of all time. One interesting layer between the two coaches is that O’Connell was actually drafted by the Patriots in 2008, and got into two games during that season under Belichick. That was a long time ago, but it will be fun to see if the former quarterback retained anything from this days in New England that might serve him well this Thursday.

Regardless of the X’s and O’s, McConnell will need to motivate his team to recover from their worst loss of the year.