The New England Patriots and the Minnesota Vikings will face off on Thursday, November 4th. The game will be live streamed on fuboTV (free trial).
The first regular season game Kevin O’Connell attended during his fleeting NFL playing career was late-game relief for New England in a rare close-range loss.
The Patriots said bye the following week and surely head coach Bill Belichick had them ready for a drop win. Even after Tom Brady was out for a year with a knee injury in the opener, the Patriots finished that 2008 season with an 11-5 record.
The response to the week 3 outbreak was methodical, not manic. The message was about controlling what was in their control and simply letting go of the rest.
The Minnesota Vikings’ first-year head coach found himself in just that situation this week, following a 40-3 loss to Dallas. The Vikings (8-2) host the Patriots (6-4), still coached by Belichick after all these years, Thursday night with only four days to regroup. O’Connell will, fittingly, experience one of the greatest tests of his mettle as a boss against a coach who has significantly impacted his know-how and his outlook.
When is Patriots-Vikings?
The Vikings will face the Patriots at 7:20 p.m. (8:20 p.m. ET) on Thursday, November 24.
Live streaming options
The game will be live streamed on fuboTV, which offers a free trial. The most basic plan is the “fubo standard” package, which includes over 121 channels for $69.99 a month. Like all cord cutting alternatives, there are many options, especially for sports. Comes with over 1,000 hours of cloud-based DVR and up to 10 simultaneous screens.
Will it be televised?
Vikings and the Patriots will air on NBC.
PATS’ FRIENDS: O’Connell made an instant friend in 2008 with roommate Matthew Slater, a member of that draft class who just so happens to still play for the Patriots as their longtime special teams ace. Slater was a best man at O’Connell’s wedding, and their wives are also friends.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of him, to see him grow and to see him accomplish so much as a young manager in this league,” Slater said.
The two Southern California natives found a lot in common as twenty-somethings living on opposite coasts in a very different climate.
During the 2011 lockout when O’Connell was with the New York Jets, they got together for daily workouts at whatever school field they could find to throw courses and stay in shape.
“A couple of kids trying to find our way. I guess we did everything right for ourselves,” Slater said.
BIG STAGE: This is the first Thanksgiving home game in Vikings history. They are 6-2 on the football-fueled holiday they last played Detroit in 2017. The Patriots are 3-2, all on the road. Their previous appearance was in a win over the Jets in 2012.
Washington played Dallas three times on Thanksgiving under quarterback Kirk Cousins, starting twice.
“A lot of kids grow up playing in the backyard, playing soccer on Thanksgiving, but not many get to continue the way we were able to,” Cousins said. “It’s a real privilege and you want to play in a way that reflects that. Hopefully we can do it.”
LINE BLEND: The Patriots tried a new look at the offensive line last week with a 10-3 victory over the Jets, looking for improvements for a group that has given up 12 sacks in its last two games. They benched Trent Brown, who started the previous nine games at left tackle. Then they moved Isaiah Wynn from right tackle to the left side he played most of last season. Yodny Cajuste started on the right side.
But that alignment was altered after Wynn injured his foot. Brown replaced him. Center David Andrews also left the game with a thigh injury, cutting short his return from consecutive absences to recover from a concussion. Wynn missed training on Tuesday, questioning his availability. Andrews was listed as a limited participant.
CINEMA: The Vikings had several flaws exposed by the Cowboys in the blowout loss, but the Patriots treated it more as an anomaly than a tip. Safety Kyle Dugger said he spent more time looking at previous performances to get the true picture, considering the Vikings have won seven straight games all by eight points or fewer.
“The closer games are the ones that tell you a little bit more because there are a lot more situations to deal with,” Dugger said. “Coordinators will go to things they think will be successful. Bursts or large point differentials can be a bit misleading in some ways.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.