Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson sets a new NFL record for most receiving yards in a player’s first three seasons, surpassing former Vikings Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss; the Vikings (9-2) back to winning ways after 40-3 drubbing by Dallas Cowboys last week

Last Updated: 25/11/22 8:01am

Highlights of the New England Patriots against the Minnesota Vikings from Week 12 of the NFL season

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Highlights of the New England Patriots against the Minnesota Vikings from Week 12 of the NFL season

Highlights of the New England Patriots against the Minnesota Vikings from Week 12 of the NFL season

Kirk Cousins threw three touchdown passes, including the game-winning score to Adam Thielen in the fourth quarter, as the Minnesota Vikings beat the New England Patriots 33-26 on the final game of Thanksgiving Day in the US.

Story of the Game

Cousins completed 30 of 37 throws for 299 yards (plus one interception, with Vikings (9-2) superstar receiver Justin Jefferson accounting for 139 of those, including catching one of Cousins’ hat-trick of TD passes to cap the opening drive of the game.

With his 21st 100-yard outing in only 44 career games, Jefferson set a new NFL record for most receiving yards in a player’s first three seasons, finishing the night with 4,248 to surpass former Vikings Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss’ total of 4,163 set between 1998 and 2000.

Watch the best plays from Minnesota Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson as he broke an NFL record for the most receiving yards in a player's first three seasons with his 139-yard game.

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Watch the best plays from Minnesota Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson as he broke an NFL record for the most receiving yards in a player’s first three seasons with his 139-yard game.

Watch the best plays from Minnesota Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson as he broke an NFL record for the most receiving yards in a player’s first three seasons with his 139-yard game.

Patriots QB Mac Jones went 28 of 39, passing for a career-high 382 yards and two scores but the Patriots (6-5) ran out of steam down the stretch. Their fourth quarter included two three-and-out punts, a turnover on downs at the Minnesota 39-yard line and a desperation last drive that went nowhere.

Watch Kene Nwangwu's tightrope act down the sideline to burn the New England Patriots for a 97-yard kick-off return touchdown!

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Watch Kene Nwangwu’s tightrope act down the sideline to burn the New England Patriots for a 97-yard kick-off return touchdown!

Watch Kene Nwangwu’s tightrope act down the sideline to burn the New England Patriots for a 97-yard kick-off return touchdown!

In a real back-and-forth contest for most of the game, Jones found tight end Hunter Henry for a wide-open 37-yard touchdown pass to start the second half – briefly securing the Patriots a 23-16 lead – but Kene Nwangwu answered right back with a stunning 97-yard kick-off return TD for Minnesota to again tie the game up.

Jones appeared to hit Henry for a second score late in the third quarter, but his twisting catch at the goal line that was initially called a touchdown on the field was reversed, with it ruled the ball had bobbled as he secured the catch, and New England had to settle for Nick Folk’s fourth field goal of the game.

New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry shakes two Minnesota Vikings defenders en route to a 37-yard touchdown catch and run.

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New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry shakes two Minnesota Vikings defenders en route to a 37-yard touchdown catch and run.

New England Patriots tight end Hunter Henry shakes two Minnesota Vikings defenders en route to a 37-yard touchdown catch and run.

It would prove decisive, as the Patriots faded in the fourth quarter, shut out by the Vikings defense, while Thielen’s score with nine and a half minutes to go nudged them out in front for good.

It sees Minnesota (9-2) back to winning ways after having suffered only a second defeat of the season – a 40-3 drubbing at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys – last week, and it gave their rookie head coach Kevin O’Connell a win over Bill Belichick, the same man who drafted him as a back-up quarterback to Tom Brady with the Patriots in 2008.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins locates wide receiver Adam Thielen in the corner of the end zone for a 15-yard game-winning touchdown.

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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins locates wide receiver Adam Thielen in the corner of the end zone for a 15-yard game-winning touchdown.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins locates wide receiver Adam Thielen in the corner of the end zone for a 15-yard game-winning touchdown.

    Stats leaders

    Patriots

    • Passing: Mac Jones, 28/39, 382 yards, 2 TDs
    • Rushing: Saquon Barkley, seven carries, 36 yards
    • Receiving: DeVante Parker, four catches, 80 yards
    • Nelson Agholor, six catches, 65 yards, 1 TD

    Vikings

    • Passing: Kirk Cousins, 30/37, 299 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT
    • Rushing: Dalvin Cook, 22 carries, 42 yards
    • Receiving: Justin Jefferson, nine catches, 139 yards, 1 TD
    • Adam Thielen, nine catches, 61 yards, 1 TD

    Scoring summary

    FIRST QUARTER
    Patriots 0-7 Vikings Kirk Cousins six-yard TD pass to Justin Jefferson (extra point)
    Patriots 7-7 Vikings Mac Jones 34-yard TD pass to Nelson Agholor (extra point)
    Patriots 10-7 Vikings Nick Folk 34-yard field goal
    SECOND QUARTER
    Patriots 10-10 Vikings Greg Joseph 30-yard field goal
    Patriots 13-10 Vikings Nick Folk 46-yard field goal
    Patriots 13-16 Vikings Kirk Cousins one-yard TD pass to TJ Hockenson (failed extra point)
    Patriots 16-16 Vikings Nick Folk 23-yard field goal
    THIRD QUARTER
    Patriots 23-16 Vikings Mac Jones 34-yard TD pass to Hunter Henry (extra point)
    Patriots 23-23 Vikings Kene Nwangwu 97-yard kick-off return for a TD (extra point)
    Patriots 26-23 Vikings Nick Folk 25-yard field goal
    FOURTH QUARTER
    Patriots 26-26 Vikings Greg Joseph 36-yard field goal
    Patriots 26-33 Vikings Kirk Cousins 15-yard TD pass to Adam Thielen (extra point)

    What’s next?

    Live NFL

    November 27, 2022, 5:00pm

    Live on Sky Sports Action HD

    The Thanksgiving Week action continues with the usual triple-header of NFL action on Sunday night, kicking off with the Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) travelling to the Tennessee Titans (7-3) in a repeat of last year’s divisional round playoff clash between the pair, which the Bengals won 19-16 on their way to the Super Bowl – watch live on Sky Sports NFL from 6pm.

    After that, we head to the San Francisco 49ers (6-4), who are riding a three-game win streak into their home game against the struggling New Orleans Saints (4-7) – this one at Levi’s Stadium gets under way at 9.25pm.

    Live NFL

    November 27, 2022, 9:15pm

    Live on Sky Sports Action HD

    Live NFL

    November 28, 2022, 1:10am

    Live on Sky Sports Action HD

    And rounding off the Sunday night action, we join our friends at NBC for Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football, with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (4-7) absolutely desperate for a win to keep their fading playoff hopes alive as they travel to the NFC’s best Philadelphia Eagles (9-1) – kick-off is at 1.20am, early on Monday morning.

    Sky Sports NFL is your dedicated channel for NFL coverage through the season – featuring a host of NFL Network programming. Don’t forget to follow us on skysports.com/nfl, our Twitter account @SkySportsNFL & Sky Sports – on the go!