Hopefully you’re all out enjoying a beautiful November Saturday, shopping at small businesses and supporting your local economies. The one plus about a Thursday night game is that we all get a weekend off from football should we so choose.
But if you’re still sore from Thursday in a manner that wasn’t self-inflicted by calories and tryptophan, maybe this article will ease the pain a bit. Here are five positives we can all take away from the New England Patriots’ loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Expected Loss. This is one of those games that I can’t imagine features too many shocked fans. Perhaps early in the year before the Vikings emerged as one of the better teams in the NFC, there were folks who thought New England would take this one. But I know that I had this game pegged as an L for a long time. I had the 2022 Patriots finishing 10-7 with losses against Miami, Green Bay, Baltimore, Buffalo twice, Minnesota, and Cincy, so they’re more or less where I thought they’d be by this point in the season (stupid Bears). The loss certainly didn’t help their playoff chances, but it for sure didn’t doom them either. Especially since...
Non-conference Loss. Should the playoff picture come down to tiebreakers (which may very well be the case given how tight the AFC is), this loss to the Vikings isn’t really going to factor in too heavily. The loss itself matters, of course, but if you’re in a tie and you have to get all the way down to non-conference opponents to decide which team gets in, it likely doesn’t bode well for your playoff chances anyway. This is a fairly easy game to move on from.
Patriots were in it. New England continues to shoot themselves in the foot with costly penalties and a few boneheaded plays that ended up swinging the game. They were right in this game until the very end and honestly, I feel like Agholor could have hauled in that 4th down heave. Not to mention the Henry TD that wasn’t and some poor clock management at the end of both halves. Losing in a blowout may be easier on the ticker since it’s over early, but the Patriots can hang with any team in the NFL and Thursday night once again proved that.
Offense looked solid. Thursday’s game was the best the Patriots have looked offensively and it isn’t even close. I don’t want to go as far as to say that the offensive woes have magically healed themselves, but this was the first time all year that New England looked strong enough offensively where we aren’t sitting here saying the team lost because the O couldn’t move the ball. I’m hoping that they can build off of this and continue to play strong complimentary football.
Leftovers! One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is, in my opinion, the meals we get out of the leftovers from the big day. Turkey sandwiches with crunchy mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. Those random plates of nothing but sides, just because. A few slices of pie for breakfast because why not? This is a great weekend to recover, watch some football, and continue eating all the stuff we didn’t have room for on Thursday. So if you’re still feeling down, head to the fridge and grab yourself that leg you hid behind the creamed turnips because you knew Uncle Stu would snipe it if you didn’t stash it somewhere you knew he’d never look.