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The Patriots’ offense is still a chore, but Thursday finally gave us a glimmer of hope

For all the good the Patriots (finally) displayed on offense Thursday night in Minnesota, everything else fell apart.

Four days after leading New England to a last-second victory over the New York Jets, its special teams bottomed out; directly leading to 14 points for the Vikings off a kickoff return and a costly fourth-quarter penalty on rookie Pierre Strong for running into the punter. The Patriots’ secondary, meanwhile, couldn’t handle Justin Jefferson (who can?), who torched New England for nine catches for 139 yards and a touchdown. Indeed, “Primetime” Kirk Cousins (299 yards, three touchdowns, one interception) took Thanksgiving night off in leading his team to a 33-26 win, giving the Vikings a commanding five-game lead in the NFC North with only six left to play.