Vikings sack Mac Jones, Patriots 33-26 on Thanksgiving night

For years, Bill Belichick has impressed upon the Patriots that real football starts after Thanksgiving.

Well, now the clock is ticking. And after Thursday night’s loss, it’s ticking a little bit faster.

The Vikings held off the Pats in a back-and-forth 33-26 thriller in Minneapolis on Thanksgiving night, when 11 scores sparked either a tie or a lead change. Patriots quarterback Mac Jones threw for a career-high 382 yards and a couple touchdowns, but failed to complete two potential game-tying drives inside the two-minute warning.

The first died with Jones taking a third-down sack at Minnesota’s 30-yard line and then firing a deep incompletion on fourth-and-16 with 1:54 remaining. After taking two timeouts and forcing a punt, the Patriots eventually swung possession back, but a sack on their next snap dropped Jones at his own 2-yard line, and the clock ran out after a pair of completions.

Thursday’s loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Patriots (6-5), who entered having won five of their last six. They now face a critical home showdown with Buffalo next Thursday that will significantly impact their playoff odds.

In Minnesota, quarterback Kirk Cousins put a dent in postseason plans by going 30-of-37 for 299 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. All-Pro wide receiver Justin Jefferson led all players with nine catches for 139 yards and a score. Vikings wideout Adam Thielen scored the game-winning touchdown, a 15-yard catch with 9:40 left.

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