Kirk Cousins passed for 299 yards and three touchdowns, including his last to Adam Thielen for the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter, and the Minnesota Vikings beat the New England Patriots 33-26 on Thursday night.
Justin Jefferson had 139 yards and caught one of Cousins’ TD passes, which had a crucial performance against a formidable defense that the Vikings (9-2) needed to bounce back from their crushing loss to Dallas.
Rookie coach Kevin O’Connell scored a victory over Bill Belichick, who had selected him for the Patriots in the 2008 draft.
Mac Jones passed for a career-high 382 yards, buoying a sluggish Patriots (6-5) offense that lost its edge late in the game.
In the fourth quarter, the Patriots missed three field goals, turned the ball over once at the Minnesota 39-yard line and failed to make a final offensive drive.
Jones completed a wide-open 37-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Henry in the second half that put the Patriots up 23-16 early in the third quarter. The Vikings responded with a touchdown by Kene Nwangwu on a 97-yard kickoff return.
Jones, who completed a career-high 23-of-27 passes last week, appeared to complete a pass to a tight end for a second touchdown with a loose goal-line catch that was ruled the field.
The touchdown was disallowed on the replay: Henry’s hand appeared to be under the ball without holding it briefly, forcing the Patriots to settle for Nick Folk’s fourth field goal late in the third quarter.