Patriots Shut Down Vikings to Stay Atop AFC

By Andrew Carroll

With a 24-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, the New England Patriots improved to 9-3 and remain at the top of the AFC. Meanwhile, the Vikings fell to 6-5-1 and into a tie for the wild card spot with the Washington Redskins.

The Patriots offense was firing on all cylinders Sunday. On the first drive, Brady led the team 81 yards on eight plays, capped off by a one-yard touchdown run from full back James Devlin. The Patriots virtually shut down the Vikings in the first half, until star receiver Adam Thielen managed a touchdown late in the second quarter. The Patriots went into halftime with a 10-7 lead, but that lead didn’t last long. After the Patriots went three and out on their first drive, Minnesota drove down and kicked a field goal to tie it up at 10. On the ensuing possession for the Pats, Brady looked to wide receiver Josh Gordon and he produced. Hauling in a 24-yard catch to start the drive, Gordon finished off the series with a 24-yard touchdown reception. After that it was all smooth sailing for the Patriots and rough waters for the Vikings. After a punt from Minnesota, the Pats drove down and fed Devlin for his second touchdown of the game. The Vikings made a late push in the fourth quarter but Duron Harmon picked off Kirk Cousins in the end zone, basically capping the win for the Patriots.

The Pats played tough defense all day and were able to execute on offense. Brady was 24/32 for 311 yards and a touchdown, while James White had 9 catches for 92 yards. Brady rushed for his 1000th career rushing yard, a milestone many thought he wouldn’t care about, but TB1K is a new trend. Also adding to his resume, Brady threw his 579th touchdown pass, tying him for the all-time lead with Peyton Manning. Next week, Brady will likely own this record, becoming the all-time leader in touchdowns and yards.   

This win was a big one and now the Patriots travel to Miami, where they always seem to have trouble winning. If the Patriots play like this again next week they are virtually unbeatable.


Photo Credit: AP Photo/Elise Amendola 

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