Final score Patriots vs. Vikings: New England can’t keep pace in a 33-26 loss

Things started with a bang for the New England Patriots (6-5) offense on Thursday night. Mac Jones and Co. they were hot out of the gate, scoring 26 points in the first three quarters, but that was it. In the final quarter and a half, the offense sputtered as New England’s defense failed to slow down Justin Jefferson and the Vikings offense.

In the end, New England’s last chance failed as they lost 33-26.

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

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

First quarter

Minnesota got the ball first to start Thursday night’s contest and went to work. Cousins ​​found Johnny Mundt for 13 yards, then immediately went to Justin Jefferson on a quick screen for the next seven — a Jon Jones face penalty added another 15 yards. After Cousins ​​found Thielen for 16 yards, Minnesota dialed the trick when Jefferson found Thielen for another first down. Three plays later, Cousins ​​found his superstar receiver streaking across the field for an early score. [Patriots 0 : 7 Vikings]

Mac Jones and the Patriots offense quickly answered Minnesota’s score. Starting under center, Jones wasn’t phased by a muffed snap and hit Jakobi Meyers out of bounds for 26 yards. After an RPO run by Damien Harris for seven yards and an additional carry for the next four, Mac found Henry for a four-yard gain before tearing one downfield between safety Nelson Agholor for a 34-yard touchdown. [Patriots 7 : 7 Vikings]

After a fast start from both offenses, the Patriots defense settled in on their second drive. After a six-yard catch by Jefferson and a three-yard run by Dalvin Cook facing third-and-one, Cousins’ third-down pass intended for Jefferson was broken up (and almost intercepted) by Jonathan Jones.

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

After allowing the opening first-down, the Patriots defense found its winning script. New England, which blew up Cook’s second drive to put Minnesota on third-and-long, was able to get after Cousins ​​and force an errant pass — which was intercepted by Jonathan Jones.

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

Second quarter

Back with the ball and facing third-and-seven, Kirk Cousins ​​sent a strong forecheck to TJ Hockenson down the right sideline for the 14-yard conversion. Two plays later, Cousins ​​ripped a pass over the middle of the field to Jefferson for a 21-yard gain. Minnesota then moved into the red zone after running backs Alexander Mattison and Dalvin Cook picked up a pair of first downs. Cousins’ pass to Adam Thielen faced a third-and-15 after Matthew Judon drew a holding penalty. 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 short of midfield on 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 missed another third-down through the air a few 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 burst through the line to stop Cook for a two-yard loss. Facing third-and-12 at the time, Judon’s offside set up Minnesota on third-and-seven. Cousins ​​then aired one down to none other than Jefferson, who took it 37 yards. Two plays later, Cousins ​​found Jefferson again for another 17 yards. After the two-minute warning, Cousins ​​found TJ Hockenson along the goal line for a touchdown. However, Greg Joseph pushed the extra point to the right. [Patriots 13 : 16 Vikings]

With 1:30 left in the half, Mac Jones went to work. First, he found Stevenson in the left flat for five yards before Hunter Henry broke free for a 22-yard gain. But Henry didn’t get out of bounds and New England had to burn one of the remaining timeouts. Jones then connected with DeVante Parker for 30 combined yards, but then gave up at the line and New England was forced to burn its final timeout. Jones then found Agholor for 13 yards to put New England on the five-yard line, but they had just nine seconds left after being forced to burn their two timeouts earlier. With their only play, Jones’ goal line fade to 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 ​​took a knee.

Third quarter

After a positive first half, the Patriots faced a third-and-one opening drive. On the offside, Jones found DeVante Parker on a shallow cross for the 10-yard conversion. New England then faced another third and punt, which Jones again converted by finding Jakobi Meyers over the middle of the field for 13 yards. Two plays later, New England dialed the power play-action — after running the power twice before that drive — and Jones found Henry for a 37-yard touchdown. [Patriots 23 : 16 Vikings]

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

Mac Jones immediately returned to the field and continued dealing with New England. Jones found Stevenson and Agholor to start the drive for 17 combined yards, then uncorked a dime down the field to DeVante Parker for a 40-yard gain three plays later. On third-and-goal at the Minnesota six-yard line, Jones found Henry on the 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) is questionable to return.

On the first offensive possession of the second half, Cousins ​​found Cook to convert a short third down. On the next play, Cousins ​​connected with Thielen for another three yards, but Jonathan Jones’ second masking penalty of the day went for another 15 yards. Just behind midfield on the ensuing third-and-7, Myles Bryant dropped in man coverage, leaving Jalen Reagor wide open for a 25-yard gain. A few plays later, Cousins’ pass to Theilen fell incomplete, but Bryant was called for unnecessary roughness when he hit a falling Thielen in the back. With another set of downs at the 11-yard line, Cook gained two yards before Josh Uche quickly beat backup left tackle Blake Brandel to beat Cousins ​​for a sack. On third-and-17, the pass was 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 have the same success as its last few. A one-yard pass to Stevenson started the drive, followed by an incompletion to Nelson Agholor. On third-and-9, Jones was forced to the right and lobbed one all the way to Jakobi Meyers, who just finished incomplete. Michael Palardy returned to Minnesota.

Quickly back down the field after a 14-play drive, Minnesota turned to 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-9, a false start penalty moved Minnesota back to third-and-14, where Cousins’ pass to Hockenson fell short. On the punt, Pierre Strong was flagged for bumping the punter to give the Vikings a first-down. Two plays later, Cousins ​​connected with Jefferson on a downfield pass between Jonathan Jones and Devin McCourty for a 36-yard completion. After using a timeout, Cousins ​​hit Adam Thielen on the next playoff play for a 15-yard touchdown. [Patriots 26 : 33 Vikings]

New England’s offensive struggles are now over. Facing a third-and-one, Jones looked down at Hunter Henry, who ended up on the ground. Henry looked for possession while Jones looked for hands to the face in the backfield, but neither was called. Palardy’s punt return to Minnesota was only 31 yards.

With over eight minutes remaining, the Patriots defense had done its job. After giving up one first down, Cousins’ second-down screen was beaten by Jalen Mills for a four-yard loss. On third-down, Cousins’ pass fell incomplete, leading to a punt.

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

Trailing by seven with 4:21 left, Mac Jones found Kendrick Bourne for a 14-yard gain. After the incompletion, Stevenson broke off a screen pass for 40 yards. Things went south as Jones was sacked on third-down to set up a fourth-and-16. On fourth down, Jones’ pass down the field with Nelson Agholor fell incomplete.

After a turnover on downs, Minnesota passed to Dalvin Cook three straight times. New England held him to just one yard.

With 53 seconds left and no timeouts, Mac Jones and the Patriots offense took the field needing a touchdown. Jones then took the sack first before connecting with Bourne and Meyers. However, it didn’t matter without time limits. [Patriots 26 : 33 Vikings]

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