Vikings Have Done What against New England?!
Bill Belichick took over the New England Patriots in 2000. He’s been the head coach for over two decades, and his teams have been among the best in the NFL over that timespan. He helped turn Tom Brady into the best ever, and like most teams facing him, Minnesota has not fared well.
Fresh off an absolute butt-whooping at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota welcomes the Patriots to U.S. Bank Stadium for a primetime Thanksgiving night matchup. It’s well-documented how poorly quarterback Kirk Cousins has fared in those types of outings, but this franchise as a whole has not seen success against New England either.
Dating back to the year Belichick took over, Minnesota has just one win in six games against New England. That came in Belichick’s third game as head coach, and they’ve been shutout since. For Cousins, this will be his third time facing the Patriots and first since 2018. His teams put up just 10 points in each of his previous starts. He quarterbacked a Washington loss in 2015 before losing with the Vikings during the 2018 season.
For O’Connell, there may be some personal interest here. He was once a promising quarterback prospect in his own right. Drafted in 2008, the Patriots envisioned him as a backup to Brady. Ultimately he played in just two games, throwing six passes, and never seeing NFL action again. In fact, it’s been so long since Minnesota bested New England that there are some remarkable truths dating back to the last time they did.
Although history certainly isn’t on the side of The Purple, this is not the same entity it has been for much of the past two decades, either. Tom Brady is now in Tampa Bay, and Belichick doesn’t have the same superstars in his stable. Rhamondre Stevenson is hardly an All-Pro, while Mac Jones has three more interceptions than touchdowns to his credit this season. New England barely squeaked by an awful Steelers team, and they were trampled by the Chicago Bears at home just a few weeks ago.
As much as Minnesota would prefer the doubting to end, given their record, this is another opportunity to substantiate who they are as a football team. Coming off a bad loss, with some key players shelved, the Vikings can beat a team they absolutely should and get right back on the horse.
All season long, leadership has been evident in how Minnesota has responded to close and adverse circumstances. They’ve got another opportunity to rise above before this one even kicks off, and coming in prepared should allow them to rewrite recent history in their favor.
Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.