"For him to be in a game like (Sunday's) and to be able to get the trust of the team to go out there and not only play but play at a high level it lets you know that he's really good". After Minnesota's first drive in the third quarter resulted in a 39-yard field goal to tie the game, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady orchestrated a four-play, 75-yard touchdown drive in 1:45 to take a 17-10 lead.
Although they are tied with the Texans and Chargers at 8-3, the Patriots hold the tiebreaker advantage over Houston by virtue of their 27-20 win in Foxboro in the teams' season opener back on September 9 and have the upper hand on LA due to the fact that it's in second place in the West.
It was a frustrating day for the Vikings, whose record dropped to 6-5-1.
But facing a fourth-and-11 seven plays later, the Vikings turned it over on downs after Cousins' pass to Laquon Treadwell came up short. They blocked their tails off today against a good front, and I don't want to make too much of a 4 or 5-yard gain.
Gordon to the rescue.
The New England Patriots managed to secure a crucial victory over the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have the fourth-fewest rushing attempts and the third-most passing attempts in the NFL.
Why did it take so long?
"We thought we were getting that, that's what we got and we've used him in different ways", Belichick said. "They did a good job of taking away our outside receivers - for a while. We're all hungry", Patriots receiver Cordarrelle Patterson said.
"No, I don't think there's panic", he said. It's not cheating. There's no rule against it, from a guy going down. I'm trying to find the most open guy...
None of which seems to concern cornerback Jason McCourty, who, after spending his first nine years in the league with Cleveland (eight seasons) and Tennessee (one) is hoping to play in his first postseason game. I think they trust me.
While the defensive players in the Patriots locker room were noisy and celebrating, the offensive players were polite, happy, but not jumping for joy - except for fullback James Develin, part of the old school script with two TDs. It's a smart football play - if you are in that situation, why not? For example, Rob Gronkowski only had three catches for 26 yards. "I have a lot of respect for him and what he's done". Zimmer said he's always involved with the offensive game plan and is in constant communication with DeFilippo on the Vikings' approach. But like I said, just interesting timing for a guy to go down when it's a close play'.
So the Patriots waited.
"That makes it hard for them to defend us", Brady said. Plus others. Old school? Now that the defense is showing signs of playing as a cohesive unit, the Patriots just may be primed to take off in the month of December and into the playoffs.