NFL: Kirk Cousins, Vikings overtake Patriots in fourth quarter


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Kirk Cousins threw for three touchdowns, including the game-winner to Adam Thielen, as the Minnesota Vikings earned a 33-26 win over the New England Patriots on Thursday night in Minneapolis.

Cousins, who capped the scoring with a 15-yard TD pass to Thielen with 9:34 left to play, completed 30 of 37 passes for 299 yards and an interception for the Vikings (9-2).

Justin Jefferson hauled in nine catches for 139 yards and a touchdown, and Dalvin Cook rushed 22 times for 42 yards.

Jefferson finished the night with 4,248 receiving yards, the most ever for a receiver in his first three NFL season. The old mark was set by another Viking, Randy Moss, who amassed 4,163 receiving yards from 1998-2000.

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones was also impressive, finishing with a career-high 382 yards and two touchdowns on 28-for-39 passing, as New England (6-5) saw its three-game winning streak come to an end.

Five Patriots receivers finished with at least 60 yards in what was a balanced passing attack.

Hunter Henry hauled in a 37-yard touchdown reception to close New England’s first drive of the second half, putting the Patriots up 23-16. However, that advantage lasted just 13 seconds, as Kene Nwangwu took the ensuing kickoff 97 yards to the end zone.

Henry seemingly caught another touchdown pass on New England’s next drive, but the ruling on the field was reversed, forcing the Patriots to settle for a 25-yard Nick Folk field goal.

Greg Joseph’s 36-yarder for Minnesota then made it 26-26 at the beginning of the fourth.

Late in the second quarter, Folk booted a 40-yard field goal to put New England up 13-10, but the Vikings responded. Cousins threw a 1-yard scoring strike to T.J. Hockenson, but Joseph missed the extra point.

New England then drove deep into Minnesota territory, and Folk’s kick was good from 23 yards out with three seconds left to send the teams into halftime with the score 16-16.

Minnesota carved up the Patriots’ defense on the opening drive of the game, using eight plays to move 80 yards for a 7-0 lead. Cousins closed the march with a 6-yard TD pass to Jefferson.

It didn’t take long for New England to respond, though, as it scored just 2:19 later when Jones connected with Nelson Agholor for a 34-yard touchdown. Folk added a 34-yard field goal later in the opening quarter.

–Field Level Media


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