Beating the New England Patriots on the road can be a real challenge, it’s something the Minnesota Vikings haven’t done since 2000.
The Minnesota Vikings are traveling to Foxborough to face the New England Patriots on Sunday. The purple and gold are coming off a huge win last week over the Green Bay Packers and every game the rest of the season for the Vikings is very critical as the playoff race continues to heat up.
The last time Minnesota was able to beat the Patriots on the road was during the 2000 season.
Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper completed 19 of his 28 passes for 177 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Culpepper also rushed for 59 yards on 12 carries. Minnesota running back Robert Smith rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries while Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter finished with seven receptions for 67 yards.
Minnesota ended up beating New England by a final score of 21-13 and the victory improved the Vikings’ record to 3-0 on the season. Minnesota started that year 7-0 before finishing 11-5 and advancing to the NFC Championship for the second time in three years.
For the Patriots, quarterback Drew Bledsoe completed 21 of his 35 passing attempt for 190 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. New England running back Kevin Faulk rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and Patriots receiver Terry Glenn ended his afternoon with eight catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. New England defensive end Greg Spires also chipped in with 1.5 of the team’s four sacks on the day.
The Patriots lead their all-time series with the Vikings 8-4 and New England has won each of the past four meetings between the two teams.
Here is what else occurred during that 2000 season.
- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was a rookie (appeared in one game).
- Bill Belichick was in his first season as New England’s head coach.
- Dennis Green was in his ninth season as the Vikings’ coach (he coached team for 10 years).
- Culpepper was a first-year starter (second season).
- Minnesota wide receiver Randy Moss was in his third season.
- Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter was in his 14th season (played 16).
- Minnesota defensive tackle John Randle was in his last year with the team.
- Vikings running back Robert Smith was playing in his final NFL season.
- Former Minnesota defensive tackle Henry Thomas was on that 2000 Patriots team
Yes, it has been that long since the Vikings defeated New England. Can Minnesota finally end that drought and beat Brady for the first time on Sunday?
It certainly won’t be easy. Ever since the Patriots decided to start Brady under center, they have always been in the mix as one of the best teams in the league. Even when people expect them to falter, they keep proving their critics wrong.
Brady is among the greatest quarterbacks of all-time and Belichick is among the best coaches ever. As long as both are in town, New England will continue to be a very tough team.
Prediction for Sunday: Patriots win 27-17