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Eight Takeaways From the Patriots Loss to the Vikings on Thanksgiving Night

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Minneapolis – The Patriots played some of their best offensive football of the season in a highly entertaining game in Minnesota but fell short in a 33-26 loss to the Vikings on Thanksgiving night.

We can chalk this game up to three breaks that didn’t go the Patriots way when Hunter Henry’s initial touchdown catch was overturned. Or when Kyle Dugger was held on the kickoff return touchdown, and it wasn’t called. Or when rookie Pierre Strong ran into the punter to give Minnesota a new set of downs. It felt like it came down to those three plays.

But the bottom line is that the Patriots fell short in a higher-scoring game, continuing a trend in the Mac Jones era that doesn’t look pretty on the young quarterback’s resume. Amuch as the lamenting will point to officiating, the Pats didn’t check the necessary boxes to capture a road victory against a playoff-caliber team. New England’s offense failed to score in the red zone once again (0-3), they made two critical errors on special teams, and the defense wasn’t as sharp.

With Jones at quarterback, the Pats are now 0-8 in games where the opponent scores more than 25 points. When the defense holds opponents to under 25 points, New England is 14-3.

Most teams aren’t going to have a great record when the defense doesn’t get stops, but the Patriots need to and have yet to win a game script where the offense drives the bus. The defense, especially against a highly skilled offense on the road, isn’t going to dominate every week. At some point, Jones and the offense will need to win a game into the 30s, or it will be challenging to get where they want to go as an organization.

There were good things that the Patriots can build on offensively, which we’ll dissect in the days to come in a mostly positive light. But, in the end, it wasn’t enough, and that’s a worrisome trend that Jones and company need to overcome to take the next step.

Here are eight takeaways as the Patriots fall to 6-5 on the season with a loss on Thanksgiving night:

1. Powerful Play of the Game presented by Enel: Kirk Cousins’s Game-Winning Touchdown Pass to Adam Thielen in the Fourth Quarter

We usually reserve this section for a Patriots highlight, but this game came down to an excellent high red zone play call by Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connel that caught the Pats in their go-to coverage in this game.

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