20 Brief & Essential Facts: Vikings-Patriots

20 Brief & Essential Facts: Vikings-Patriots
Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Each week, VikingsTerritory details 20 statistical or interesting facts about the upcoming Minnesota Vikings game. This week’s edition involves the New England Patriots, who are three-point underdogs facing the Vikings in Week 12.

The game is on November 24th, 2022, at 7:20 pm CST at U.S. Bank Stadium.

These are the 20 random facts to know about Vikings-Patriots:

Nov 20, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) hands the ball off to running back Rhamondre Stevenson. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports.

1. The Patriots defense ranks first in the NFL per defensive EPA/Play, outranking the Dallas Cowboys, who just annihilated the Vikings, by two spots.

2. When Thursday’s game kicks off, Harrison Smith will have played more games as a member of the Vikings than Chris Doleman.

3. When Thursday’s game kicks off, Adam Thielen will have played more games as a member of the Vikings (129) than Sammy White (128) and Tommy Kramer (128).

4. Through nine games, the Vikings offensive line ranks 12th-best leaguewide per Pro Football Focus. The group slid three spots after the Cowboys debacle. Rightfully so.

5. The Vikings magic number for the NFC North is now four — by Thanksgiving. Any combination of four wins or four Detroit Lions losses (combined) hands the Vikings the NFC North for the first time since 2017.

6. Teams led by Kirk Cousins have never defeated:

🏈 Cincinnati Bengals
🏈 Indianapolis Colts
🏈 Kansas City Chiefs
🏈 New England Patriots

7. The Vikings haven’t won a game against the Patriots in 22 years. They were 0-5 versus the Tom Brady-led Patriots but did beat Bill Belichick in 2000. Drew Bledsoe was New England’s quarterback then.

Vikings vs. Cardinals — a High Scoring Game like Last Year?
Sep 19, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs the ball against Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports.

8. Justin Jefferson is on pace for 1,858 receiving yards and 9 total touchdowns.

9. Minnesota has a 99% chance of reaching the playoffs, per FiveThirtyEight. The Patriots are at 55%.

10. If the playoff started today, the Vikings would host the Seattle Seahawks at U.S. Bank Stadium in the wildcard round. And if Minnesota continues to win — and doesn’t collapse — it will likely face those Seahawks, Washington Commanders, New York Giants, or Atlanta Falcons to begin the postseason.

11. The Patriots are the NFL’s second-worst team in the redzone, only scoring touchdowns inside the opponent’s 20-yardline 43% of the time.

12. New England ranks 29th in giveaways, turning the ball over to opponents 1.7 times per game. That is also known as fourth-worst in the NFL.

13. Bill Belichick loves to dominate time of possession — the Patriots rank sixth in the metric — while the Vikings like to go-go-go on offense, shrinking their time of possession.

14. Kirk Cousins was pressured on 63% of dropbacks against Dallas. For perspective, when Patrick Mahomes was under siege by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV — and everyone was outraged — Tampa Bay pressured Mahomes on 38% of dropbacks.

Jan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports.

15. According to Pro Football Focus, the Vikings best player at the moment is Christian Darrisaw, with an 89.0 grade. Darrisaw is on track for Pro Bowl and All-Pro recognition — if he returns to health relatively soon.

16. Five teams in NFL history have lost games by 30+ points in the regular season and gone on to win a Super Bowl.

🏈 1976 Raiders
🏈 1994 49ers
🏈 2003 Patriots
🏈 2012 Ravens
🏈 2020 Buccaneers

17. The Vikings are the first team in NFL history to have eight wins thru 10 games with an upside-down point differential (-2). They’ve been outscored by opponents 229-231.

18. No team has ever had a negative point differential, like the Vikings (-2), thru 10 games and gone on to win a Super Bowl. The closest team was the 2011 Giants, who were 6-4 thru 10 games, with a 228-228 combined score of games.

19. Teams led by Kirk Cousins have weirdly never lost a Week 12 home game. His teams are 5-0 at home in Week 12.

2015: Commanders over Giants, 20-14
2017: Commanders over Giants, 20-10
2018: Vikings over Packers, 24-17
2019: Vikings over Broncos, 27-23
2020: Vikings over Panthers, 28-27

20. If the Vikings take care of business against the Patriots, they’ll have a 9-2 or better record thru 11 games for the 10th in franchise history — 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1998, 2000, 2009, and 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).