Vikings up next for Thanksgiving

It’s a quick turnaround week as the Patriots travel to Minnesota to take on the Vikings in their first regular season visit to US Bank Stadium – the site of the Patriots Super Bowl XLII loss to the Eagles.

The game marks the 14th meeting between the Vikings and Patriots and it’s also the Patriots sixth Thanksgiving Day game. Historically, the Patriots have fared well in Thursday prime time games with a 13-5 record, but four of those games were season openers and did not involve a short rest. They are 12-6 in games involving the quick turnaround, including 2-2 in non-prime time Thanksgiving Day games. They are 6-5 when traveling on short week for a Thursday game.

So this week’s 1,400-mile road trip comes with its challenges and, perhaps, a bit of desperation for Minnesota on the heels of a 40-3 home loss to the Cowboys Sunday. The Patriots have to hope their defense will travel. It has not allowed a touchdown in two games, but both were in Gillette Stadium’s friendly confines.

The 8-2 Vikings are, at this point, competing for the NFC’s top playoff seed while New England is battling to find a spot in the playoffs at 6-4.

The Patriots are 9-4 all-time vs. Minnesota and have won five straight in the series. New England’s last loss to the Vikings was in Bill Belichick’s first year as Patriots head coach – a 21-13 loss at Foxboro Stadium on Sept. 17, 2000.

New England is 3-2 all-time in Minnesota with two of those wins coming in the Belichick era. The series dates back to Dec. 13, 1970, in the first season after the AFL-NFL merger. Minnesota won that game, 35-14, at Harvard Stadium. New England’s first win in the series was back in 1974, a 17-14 win in Minnesota.

With the Patriots offense still trying to find its way to increase its scoring output and avoid negative plays, this game could come down to how quickly the Patriots defense finds its legs in a short week road game.


The series:

  • The Patriots lead the all-time series, 9-4
  • The Patriots longest winning streak against the Jets is five games (2002-present)
  • The Vikings longest winning streak against New England is two games (1997-2000)
  • The Patriots are 6-2 at home and 3-2 on the road in the series
  • There have been two overtime games in the series and New England is 2-0 in those games
  • New England has won five straight in the series
  • The series dates to Dec. 13, 1970 (a 35-14 Vikings win in Boston)
  • The Vikings largest margin of victory is 30 (a 36-6 home win on Sept. 11, 1988)
  • The Patriots largest margin of victory is 24 (31-7 road win on Oct. 30, 2006)