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Game Preview: Vikings at Patriots

The New England Patriots return home to host the Minnesota Vikings.


Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018 at 4:25 p.m. ET. Gillette Stadium (65,878)

The New England Patriots improved to 8-3 with a 27-13 victory last Sunday at the New York Jets. New England will now finish with a record of .500 or better for the 18th straight season, second in NFL history to the 21 straight seasons by the Dallas Cowboys (1965-85). The Patriots are the only team to finish with a record of .500 or better in each of the last 18 seasons (2001-18). Each of the other 31 NFL teams has had at least one losing season since 2001.

A win this week will give the Patriots their ninth win of the year and a winning record for the 18th consecutive season, the second longest streak in NFL history, behind the 20 straight winning seasons by Dallas (1966-85).


The New England Patriots and Minnesota Vikings will meet for the 13th time overall and for the first time since 2014 when the Patriots defeated the Vikings, 30-7, on Sept. 14, 2014, at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus.

The Patriots enter this week with four straight wins over Minnesota.

The Patriots will host the Vikings for the first time since the 2010 season when they beat the Vikings, 28-18, at Gillette Stadium on Oct. 31, 2010.

The Patriots are 5-2 overall against Minnesota in home games with a 0-1 record at Harvard Stadium, a 3-1 record at Foxboro stadium and a 2-0 mark at Gillette Stadium.

Two of the more memorable games were a 1994 Patriots win and a 2006 Monday Night Football win. The Patriots entered the 1994 matchup with a 3-6 record before overcoming a 20-0 deficit for a 26-20 win that sparked a seven-game winning streak and a 10-6 record to earn a playoff berth. Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe set NFL records with 45 completions and 70 attempts while passing for a then team-record 426 yards in that game. Tom Brady led the Patriots to a 31-7 win after completing 29-of-43 passes for 372 yards with four touchdowns in the 2006 victory at Minnesota.


Overall Record, 8-4

  • Record in New England, 5-2
  • Harvard Stadium, 1-0
  • Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium, 3-1
  • Gillette Stadium, 2-0

Record in Minneapolis, 3-2

  • TCF Bank Stadium, 1-0
  • Metropolitan Stadium, 1-0
  • HHH Metrodome, 1-2

Bill Belichick vs. Minnesota, 4-3 (4-1 with New England)

Record 8-3 6-4-1
Divisional Standings 1st 2nd
Total Yards Gained 4,270 4,053
Total Offense (Rank) 388.2 (8T) 368.5 (14)
Rush Offense 118.2 (12) 85.3 (30)
Pass Offense 270.0 (11) 283.2 (7)
Points Per Game 27.9 (7T) 24.1 (16)
Total Yards Allowed 4,152 3,462
Total Defense (Rank) 377.5 (22) 314.7 (3)
Rush Defense 107.7 (14) 93.6 (4T)
Pass Defense 269.7 (25) 221.1 (5)
Points Allowed/Game 22.6 (11T) 22.4 (10)
Possession Avg. 30:10 29:52
Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost 16/111 28/174
Sacks Made/Yards 17/129 36/254
Total Touchdowns Scored 35 31
Penalties Against/Yards 58/469 63/520
Punts/Avg. 42/46.3 49/43.7
Turnover Differential +5 (9) +2 (16)


Tom Brady is slated to start against Minnesota for the fifth time in his career. Brady's first start against Minnesota was in 2002 when he threw three touchdown passes in a 24-17 Patriots victory. In his second start in 2006 on Monday Night Football at the HHH Metrodome, Brady threw for 373 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-7 win.


Minnesota is one of five NFL teams that Tom Brady has an undefeated regular-season record against.


  • The Patriots will guarantee a winning record for their 18th consecutive season (2001-18), extending their own NFL record for most consecutive winning seasons since the 1970 merger. San Francisco and Dallas are next with 16 straight winning seasons since the merger.
  • New England will cement its 33rd winning season since the 1970 merger, second only to the 35 by Pittsburgh.
  • The Patriots will own a 54-14 (.794) record vs. NFC teams since realignment in 2002, which is the best interconference record in the NFL during that time, including a 17-3 mark against the NFC North.
  • The Patriots will improve their home record versus the NFC to 27-7 (.794), tying the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most such wins since 2002.
  • The Patriots will have an 9-3 record through 12 games, marking the 13th time under Bill Belichick and the eighth-straight year that the team has started the season with a 9-3 or better record. Seven of those 13 times, the team has advanced to the Super Bowl.
  • The Patriots will improve to 107-29 (.787) since 2001 on or after Thanksgiving (regular and postseason). That is the best record in the NFL during that time by more than 20 wins.
  • Bill Belichick will earn his 18th consecutive winning season (2001-18), second-most in NFL history behind Tom Landry's 20 (1966-85).
  • Tom Brady will extend his own record for most career wins in NFL history to 232 victories (regular and postseason). Entering Week 13, he is tied with Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri with 231 wins.
  • Tom Brady will remain undefeated against the Vikings and improve his mark to 5-0 in the regular season as a starter. Brady currently holds a perfect record against five teams, including Atlanta (5-0), Chicago (5-0), Dallas (4-0), Minnesota (4-0) and Tampa Bay (4-0).
  • Tom Brady will earn his 75th regular-season win at home since 2007, which is more than five teams have earned, both home and away, during that span — Tampa Bay (72), Oakland (68), Jacksonville (66), L.A. Rams (67) and Cleveland (52).
  • Tom Brady will improve to 59-11 (.843) in December, the second-best winning percentage in December among quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era. Roger Staubach is first (17-3, .850). Brady's 58 December wins are already the most in NFL history, followed by 52 by Brett Favre and 49 by Peyton Manning.
  • It will mark the 205th regular-season win of Tom Brady's career. He is currently in third place for most regular-season wins in NFL history.


  • With two touchdown passes, Tom Brady will pass Peyton Manning for most career touchdowns all-time (regular and postseason). Brady already owns the NFL record for most touchdown passes with one team.
  • With two touchdown passes, Brady will also pass Brett Favre for thirdmost regular-season touchdown passes with 508. Peyton Manning is first with 539 touchdown passes and Drew Brees is second with 517.
  • Tom Brady needs 5 yards rushing to reach 1,000 rushing yards in his career.
  • With one score, Rob Gronkowski will record the 80th touchdown of his career. He has 78 receiving touchdowns and one rushing touchdown since 2010. Gronkowski also has the third-most touchdowns among tight ends in NFL history, behind Antonio Gates (116) and Tony Gonzalez (111).
  • If Rob Gronkowski has a 100-yard receiving game, he will tie Wes Welker (28) for second-most in Patriots history behind Stanley Morgan (38). He will also be just three games from tying Tony Gonzalez (31), who has the most 100-yard games by a tight end in NFL history.


The New England Patriots have won more than half of their games for 17 consecutive seasons and look to continue that streak with a win against the Vikings. New England is the first team to win more than half of their games in 17 straight seasons since free agency began in 1993 and the first team to finish over .500 for 17 straight seasons since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. The Patriots have won nine or more games in 21 of the 24 seasons Robert Kraft has owned the team.


TELEVISION: This week's game will be broadcast by FOX and can be seen locally on WFXT Channel 25. Joe Buck will handle play-by-play duties with Troy Aikman as the color analyst. Erin Andrews will work from the sidelines. The game will be produced by Richie Zyontz and directed by Rich Russo.

NATIONAL RADIO: Sunday's game will be broadcast to a national audience on ESPN Radio. Jason Benetti will call the game with Bill Polian providing analysis. Jeff Darlington will report form the sidelines.

LOCAL RADIO: 98.5 The Sports Hub is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 41 stations can be found here. Play-by- play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. The games are produced by Marc Cappello.

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