For the first time ever, the Minnesota Vikings will host a game on Thanksgiving day this year. They're reportedly playing the New England Patriots in the night game at U.S. Bank Stadium, according to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald.
The Vikings have played on Thanksgiving before — eight times, to be exact, tied for 11th-most among all teams. But all eight of those games, which took place between 1969 and 2017, were on the road in either Dallas or Detroit. They went 6-2 in those games.
Now the Vikings finally get to play a home game on the nation's foremost NFL holiday. After the Cowboys and Lions play in the first two games, the three-game slate will wrap up with the Vikings and Patriots battling in Minneapolis. That should be a hell of an atmosphere.
This will be the Patriots' first game ever at U.S. Bank Stadium. The last time they came to Minnesota was in 2014, when the Vikings were still playing at TCF Bank Stadium. The last team these two teams played was in Foxborough in 2018. The Patriots have won the last five in this series, with the Vikings' last win coming in 2000.
Those five losses, between 2002 and 2018, all came with Tom Brady playing quarterback for New England. Now that he's in Tampa Bay, the Vikings should have a better shot. The Patriots are still coached by Bill Belichick, but they've gone 17-17 in the two seasons since Brady left, including a blowout loss to the Bills in the wild card round of last year's playoffs.
With new QB Mac Jones entering his second season, the Patriots have a chance to be pretty good this year.
Another cool storyline in this game is that new Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell will be coaching against the team that drafted him in 2008. O'Connell spent over a year with the Patriots before being waived prior to the start of the 2009 season.
Here are the four games we know on the Vikings' schedule:
- Week 2: at Eagles (MNF)
- Week 4: at Saints (London)
- Week 11: vs. Patriots (Thanksgiving night)
- Week 17: at Packers (New year's day)
That's pretty fun. The full schedule will be released tonight.
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