MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kirk Cousins threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns, the last a go-ahead score to Adam Thielen in the fourth quarter to push Minnesota past New England.
Justin Jefferson had 139 yards and one of the touchdown passes from Cousins, who delivered precisely the clutch performance against a formidable defense the Vikings (9-2) needed to bounce back from a blowout loss to Dallas. That gave rookie coach Kevin O’Connell a win over Bill Belichick, who drafted him with the Patriots in 2008.
Mac Jones passed for a career-high 382 yards and two scores to snap a lagging offense to life for the Patriots (6-5), but they ran out of steam down the stretch. Their fourth quarter included two three-and-out punts, a turnover on downs at the Minnesota 39 and a desperation last drive that went nowhere.
Jones found Hunter Henry for a wide-open 37-yard touchdown pass to start the second half for a 23-16 lead. Kene Nwangwu scored on a 97-yard kickoff return to strike right back for the Vikings.