It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t sexy. It wasn’t impressive. It wasn’t overwhelming.
It was a win.
The Patriots did their job, beating the Vikings 24-10 on Sunday.
It was New England’s eighth victory in its past nine games and moved the Patriots to 9-3 and keep them in the second spot in the AFC playoff standings with a head-to-head victory over Houston. The Vikings, who had a chance to pick up a game on the Bears, fell to 6-5-1.
It was an uneven performance by the Patriots, one that likely won’t please Bill Belichick.
They still did enough to pull away early in the fourth quarter and assure an 18th consecutive winning season. That is the second-longest streak in NFL history behind only the Cowboys’ 20 straight winning seasons from 1966-85.
Brady completed 24 of 32 for 311 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He completed passes to nine different receivers. He was one of seven ball carriers.
The Patriots shut down Adam Thielen, who had only five catches for 28 yards and a touchdown. Kirk Cousins threw two interceptions in the fourth quarter with the Vikings fighting to come back and ended his day 32-of-44 for 201 yards and a touchdown.
Dalvin Cook ran for 84 yards on only nine carries.