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Cousins, Jefferson lead Vikings to bounce-back win over Patriots


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have rapidly change into a assured and resilient crew underneath rookie coach Kevin O’Connell and his workers, and so they positive confirmed it on this quick week.

Kirk Cousins threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns, the final a go-ahead rating to Adam Thielen with 9:34 left to push Minnesota previous the New England Patriots in a 33-26 victory Thursday night time.

Justin Jefferson had 139 receiving yards and one of many landing passes from Cousins, who delivered the clutch efficiency in opposition to a formidable protection the Vikings (9-2) wanted to bounce again from a blowout loss 4 days earlier than.

They rebounded a number of instances throughout the sport, too. After an overthrow by Cousins was intercepted by Jonathan Jones and returned 55 yards to arrange a area objective within the first quarter, the Vikings scored on 5 straight possessions excluding a kneel-down to finish the primary half.

“Kevin has empowered me a lot. This crew has empowered me a lot,” stated Cousins, who went 30 for 37. “At instances, it nearly brings me to tears the way in which these guys help me.”

Mac Jones handed for a career-high 382 yards and two scores to snap a lagging offense to life for the Patriots (6-5), however they ran out of steam down the stretch. Their fourth quarter included two three-and-out punts, a turnover on downs on the Minnesota 39 and a short desperation final drive.

Jones discovered Hunter Henry for a wide-open 37-yard landing move to start out the second half for a 23-16 lead. Kene Nwangwu scored on a 97-yard kickoff return to strike proper again for the Vikings.

Jones — who has accomplished greater than 77% of his passes over the past two video games — appeared to hit Henry for one more rating on the following possession with a twisting catch on the objective line that was dominated a landing on the sphere. The replay reversal to an incomplete move compelled the Patriots to accept Nick People’s fourth area objective of the sport.

“My hand was underneath it even when it hit the bottom,” Henry stated.

One other important name went the Vikings manner a couple of minutes later when Pierre Robust Jr. was referred to as for working into punter Ryan Wright. With a contemporary set of downs, Cousins and the Vikings cruised up the sphere for the go-ahead landing.

“We undoubtedly needed to are available in and present those who final week, it simply wasn’t our week,” Jefferson stated.

O’Connell additionally obtained the bonus of a win over Invoice Belichick, who drafted him with the Patriots in 2008.

“This one means an entire heck of so much, simply because I’ve a lot respect for that group and coach Belichick,” O’Connell stated.

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The Patriots allowed simply three factors in every of their final two video games and introduced the NFL sack chief Matt Judon to the stadium the place the Vikings had been decimated by Dallas on Sunday whereas Cousins took a career-high seven sacks.

With standout left sort out Christian Darrisaw sidelined by a concussion, the Vikings gave backup Blake Brandel loads of additional assist and put Cousins in way more favorable conditions with shorter drops and faster throws. The Vikings had 231 yards within the first half, greater than the Patriots allowed within the earlier two video games mixed.

MOVING ON UP

Jefferson had his footprints throughout this sport from the beginning, when his 3-yard reception on a crossing route ultimately zone capped the opening drive. He made catch after inconceivable catch in tight protection, together with a 36-yard seize on a go route proper earlier than he was sandwiched by Jonathan Jones and Devin McCourty. Thielen’s landing got here on the following play.

“His capability to not hear footsteps and never alligator-arm it however carry it in and get popped, that’s considered one of his many traits,” Cousins stated.

Jefferson set the NFL document for many receiving yards in a participant’s first three seasons to move Randy Moss. Jefferson has hit the 100-yard mark in 21 of 44 profession video games, and this one was considered one of his best given the way in which Belichick’s defenses continuously concentrate on taking star gamers out of the combo.

“Kevin did a very good job,” Belichick stated. “They made a number of extra performs than we did.”

INJURY REPORT

Patriots: RB Damien Harris (thigh) was damage within the third quarter and didn’t return. … C David Andrews (thigh) and RT Isaiah Wynn (foot) had been inactive, changed within the beginning lineup by James Ferentz and Yodny Cajuste.

Vikings: Fourth-stringer Duke Shelley began at CB, with Cameron Dantzler Sr. (ankle), Akayleb Evans (concussion) and Andrew Sales space Jr. (knee) all sidelined. … DE Dalvin Tomlinson (calf) missed his fourth straight sport, with James Lynch filling in.

UP NEXT

Patriots: Host the Buffalo Payments on Dec. 1 in one other Thursday night time sport.

Vikings: Host the New York Jets on Dec. 4. They will clinch the NFC North division with a win and a few assist.

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