Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins’ third touchdown pass made the difference in a game that was tied five times as the Vikings clinched a 33-26 win over the New England Patriots on Thursday night.
Cousins connected with wide receiver Adam Thielen at 9:34 to play for the final touchdown of the game and a third-down sack and a fourth-down incompletion on either side of the two-minute warning after Once the Patriots reached the Minnesota 30, New England’s best chance for the sixth tie of the game returned.
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Thursday night’s game between New England and Minnesota capped the NFL’s Thanksgiving tripleheader.
After the Detroit Lions’ Michael Badgley equalized with a 51-yard field goal with 23 seconds remaining, Tyler Bass gave the Buffalo Bills a 28-25 win with a 45-yard field goal two seconds from time .
Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes to Dalton Schultz in the third quarter as the Cowboys closed a six-point halftime deficit for a 28-20 win over the New York Giants.
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17 graduates from Alabama high schools and colleges played on Thursday.
Buffalo Bills 28, Detroit Lions 25
Four players from Alabama high schools and colleges entered the field between Buffalo and Detroit:
· Isaiah Buggs (Alabama) started defensive tackle for the Lions. Buggs made four tackles and registered a quarterback hit.
· Bills cornerback Siran Neal (Eufaula, Jacksonville State) played but didn’t record any stats.
· Lions guard Ross Pierschbacher (Alabama) played but didn’t record any stats. Detroit lifted Pierschbacher from its practice team to qualify him for his first NFL regular season appearance since 2020.
· Lions cornerback Saivion Smith (Alabama) is on practice team injured reserve and ineligible to play.
· Lions guard Logan Stenberg (James Clemens) played but didn’t record any stats.
· Lions wide receiver Jameson Williams (Alabama) is on reserve/not football injured and ineligible to play.
Buffalo improved to 8-3 to top the AFC East rankings a half game ahead of the Miami Dolphins. Detroit fell to 4-7 as their three-game winning streak ended.
The Bills will play Thursday again next week when they visit the New England Patriots on December 1 at 7:15 p.m. CST. The Lions host the Jacksonville Jaguars at noon on December 4th.
Dallas Cowboys 28, New York Giants 20
Six players from Alabama high schools and colleges took the field during the game between New York and Dallas:
· Giants safety Landon Collins (Alabama) is on the practice team and not eligible to play.
· Giants offensive tackle Korey Cunningham (Montevallo) played but didn’t record any stats. New York has lifted Cunningham from its practice team to qualify him for his first appearance of the 2022 NFL season.
· Trevon Diggs (Alabama) started as a cornerback for the Cowboys. Diggs made seven tackles.
· Cordale Flott (Saraland) started at right cornerback for the Giants. Flott made five tackles before leaving his fourth NFL game to be evaluated for a concussion.
· Giants wide receiver Robert Foster (Alabama) is on the practice team and not eligible to play.
· Giants safety Xavier McKinney (Alabama) is on reserve/not football injured and ineligible to play.
· Giants offensive tackle Evan Neal (Alabama) was declared game day inactive. After starting the first seven games of his NFL career with right tackle, Neal missed his fourth straight game with a knee injury.
· Giants cornerback Aaron Robinson (Alabama) is on injured reserve and ineligible to play.
· Darius Slayton (Auburn) started at wide receiver for the Giants. Slayton had three receptions for 63 yards. Slayton made a jumping catch at the Dallas 1-yard line for a 44-yard gain that set up New York’s first touchdown as the Giants took a 10-7 lead by 9:28 in the first half.
· Cowboys wide receiver Jalen Tolbert (McGill-Toolen, South Alabama) played but didn’t record stats.
· Cowboys defensive end Sam Williams (Lee-Montgomery) was playing but not recording stats.
· Giants defenseman Nick Williams (Minor, Samford) is on injured reserve and ineligible to play.
Dallas went ahead of New York in the NFC East rankings by improving to 8-3 while the Giants fell to 7-4. It trails the Philadelphia Eagles, whose 9-1 record is the best in the NFL.
The Cowboys are playing the Sunday night game next week. The Indianapolis Colts visit AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on December 4 at 7:20 p.m. New York remains in the division with a home game against the Washington Commanders on December 4 at noon for its next game.
Minnesota Vikings 33, New England Patriots 26
Seven players from Alabama high schools and colleges took the field during the game between New England and Minnesota:
· Patriots defensive tackle Christian Barmore (Alabama) is on injured reserve and ineligible to play.
· Damien Harris (Alabama) started as a running back for the Patriots. Harris ran for 16 yards on five carries.
· Anfernee Jennings (Dadeville, Alabama) started as a linebacker for the Patriots. Jennings made two tackles.
· Jonathan Jones (Auburn) started at left cornerback for the Patriots. Jones made seven tackles, intercepting a pass and breaking up two others. Jones’ third interception of the 2022 season and tenth of his career came with a 55-yard return — the longest of his career — at the Minnesota 17-yard line. New England converted the takeaway into a field goal for a 10-7 lead with 1:28 in the first quarter.
· Mac Jones (Alabama) started as quarterback for the Patriots. Jones completed 28 of 39 passes for 382 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Jones had the longest reach of his NFL career, surpassing a 321-yard rush on Sept. 25 in a 37-26 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Jones threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Nelson Agholor as New England leveled the game at 7-7 with an 8-21 in the first quarter and a 37-yard touchdown pass to tight end Hunter Henry when the Patriots took a 23-16 lead with 10:54 in the third quarter.
· Patriots cornerback Marcus Jones (Enterprise, Troy) ran a kickoff back 46 yards, returned two punts for 11 yards and made a tackle against special teams.
· Vikings quarterback Nick Mullens (Spain Park) dressed for the game but didn’t play.
· Patriots defensive tackle Ray LaBryan (James Clemens, Alabama) is on injured reserve on practice team and ineligible to play.
· Vikings tight end Irv Smith Jr. (Alabama) is on injured reserve and ineligible to play.
· Za’Darius Smith (Greenville) started as an outside linebacker for the Vikings. Smith made three tackles and recorded one tackle for loss.
· Vikings defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson (Alabama) was ruled game day inactive. A calf injury saw Tomlinson sidelined for the fourth year in a row.
· Patriots outside linebacker Mack Wilson (Carver-Montgomery, Alabama) made a tackle against Special Teams.
Minnesota improved to 9-2 while New England fell to 6-5.
The Patriots play Thursday again next week when they host the Buffalo Bills on December 1 at 7:15 p.m. The Vikings host the New York Jets in their next game at noon on December 4th.
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Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for the Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarkG1.