The National Folks Picking the Patriots over Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings (8-2) are three-point favorites one day before a showdown with the New England Patriots (6-4) on Thanksgiving night.

The Patriots beat the New York Jets, 10-3, in Week 11 at home, keeping pace with the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins in the brutally good AFC East. The Vikings were strangled by the Dallas Cowboys, 40-3. Minnesota sits atop the NFC North with a four-game lead over the Detroit Lions.

According to NFLPickWatch, a website that logs NFL experts’ weekly picks, about 81% of folks believe Minnesota will take down New England at U.S. Bank Stadium in Week 12. The Vikings have a 4-9 (.307) all-time record against the Patriots.

Nov 20, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots defensive end Deatrich Wise Jr. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports.

A handful of notable personalities forecast a Patriots over Minnesota, though, as the Vikings will experience a New England team sans Tom Brady for the first time in 22 years. The Vikings are 0-6 all-time against Brady but 1-5 against head coach Bill Belichick. As of Wednesday, these individuals predict New England sending the Vikings to an 8-3 record:

Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk said about the Vikings-Patriots matchup, “The Patriots held the Colts to three points and got Frank Reich fired. The Patriots held the Jets to three points and got Zach Wilson benched. Who from the Vikings will be losing their job after Thursday night?”

Recapping the Vikings Players to Watch vs. WAS
Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports.

Greg Rosenthal from predicted a Patriots triumph, “This is the type of Patriots team Bill Belichick loves: all defense and special teams, with the hope to find offensive footing by Thanksgiving. […] Look for Belichick to confuse Kirk Cousins, too, and get a win over Kevin O’Connell, whom the Patriots coach once drafted to back up Tom Brady.”

Five teams in NFL history have suffered 30+ point losses in the regular season and gone on to win a Super Bowl. But each team won in the week following the shellacking.

If the Vikings are triumphant, they’ll be 9-2 in a season for the first time since 2017.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).