Bill Belichick is in his 23rd year of coaching the Patriots. That’s 364 regular-season games.
Last night, the Vikings connected on a higher percentage of throws than any other team had in 362 of them.
Via Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com, the Vikings generated a completion percentage of 81.6 percent on Thursday night. It came on 31 of 38 throws, with quarterback Kirk Cousins going 30 for 37 and receiver Justin Jefferson throwing a pass on a gadget play to Adam Thielen. That’s the second highest completion percentage in any game against the Patriots, with Belichick as the head coach.
The highest completion percentage happened on September 21, 2008, in the Wildcat game against the Dolphins. That day, with Miami desperate to get something going on offense and with the team pivoting to an approach that players like running back Ricky Williams dismissed in training camp as “high school shit,” quarterback Chad Pennington completed 17 of 20 and running back Ronnie Brown went one for one. That’s 85.7 percent.
Few would have expected the Vikings to have that kind of efficiency last night. Left tackle Christian Darrisaw was out with a concussion, but the pass blocking held up. And Cousins did a very good job of buying a little extra time with his feet and checking down to open receivers.
Cousins also did a great job of holding the ball while absorbing his lone sack of the night, on the first snap of the fourth quarter. That easily could have been a fumble and possibly a scoop and score, which would have put the Vikings down by 10 points.