After a crucial win in week 11 versus the New York Jets, the team has a quick turnaround before playing their next game on Thanksgiving day. The schedule does not get much easier for the Patriots as they travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings on Thursday, Thanksgiving day.
It’s a 8:20PM kickoff time as New England looks to further elevate their record past .500. Their win on Sunday against the Jets brought their record to 6-4 and sent the Jets to the bottom of the AFC East division.
Both the Bills and Dolphins are 7-3 and appear to be a tier or two better than the Patriots. Thursday is going to be a tough test for the team, as the Vikings are 8-2 in their first year with Kevin O’Connell as the head coach.
Perhaps the best part of the Vikings team is their balance and coaching staff. They have many veteran assistant coaches who are simply great at their jobs. Their offense features Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook, and their defense features playmakers on all three levels.
The game also comes with a massive home field advantage for the Vikes. In week 11, the Vikings took a huge loss, losing by 37 points to the Dallas Cowboys. They’re a very good team, but are still, at the end of the day, unproven, regardless of what their record shows.
What Kevin O’Connell has done in his first year is exceptional, but he’ll be at a huge coaching disadvantage against Bill Belichick. The Patriots’ defense will have to come up with a way to keep Justin Jefferson as limited as possible.
Seeing as the Dolphins and Bills are likely going to continue winning, falling to 6-5 really is not an option here. Getting to 7-4 with a Thanksgiving day win will continue to put pressure on Miami and Buffalo and will show them that the Patriots are not going away.