Matthew Judon thought Patriots weren’t too ‘far’ in loss to Vikings

Morning sports update

“I think a couple calls, a couple plays and it goes the other way.”

Matthew Judon and the Patriots fell short against the Vikings on Thanksgiving. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

On Thursday, the Patriots lost to the Vikings, 33-26, to fall to 6-5 on the season. The Patriots will play again on Thursday, December 1 when they host the Buffalo Bills.

The United States men’s soccer team takes on England in their second match of the World Cup group stage at 2 p.m. on Friday.

TD Garden will also host a Bruins-Celtics doubleheader on Friday. The Bruins host the Hurricanes at 1 p.m. and the Celtics host the Kings at 8 p.m.

Matthew Judon more frustrated than disappointed with Thanksgiving loss: The Patriots’ loss to the Vikings on Thursday night was there for the taking, at least according to Matthew Judon.

After the loss, Judon said he didn’t think the Patriots were too far from beating the now 9-2 Vikings.

“I think one couple calls, one couple plays and it goes the other way,” Judon said. “But it wasn’t our party tonight. I don’t think we are far. I don’t think this team manipulated us.

“I just think it was just a few calls, a few plays, a few this and a few that and it could have been a different game. But we didn’t make those games. So we have to film and watch them and correct ourselves.

There were plenty of opportunities the Patriots failed to capitalize on and plenty of unusual mistakes that could have cost them that made the difference. New England went 0-for-3 in the red zone, settling for field goals each time against a Minnesota defense that ranked last in red-zone efficiency at the start of Week 12.

On the other hand, the Patriots allowed a 97-yard return touchdown after scoring one of their own, which allowed the Vikings to tie the game again. They also made a few mental errors in the first half that cost them their final two timeouts in their final practice of the half. A run in the punter’s penalty also gave the Vikings new life on the disc which ultimately led to the winning score.

With all that stuff piling up, it’s understandable why Judon is “frustrated” but “not disappointed” with the loss.

“We have to play better in defense, come up with some of those saves,” Judon said. “In the home stretch, we can’t let them score in back-to-back practices, especially in a game like this. We are not disappointed. We will bond. We will keep coming. But we’re just a little frustrated.

Judon also put in an unusual performance on Thursday. The NFL sack leader didn’t record a sack against the Vikings, making it the third time in 11 games this season that he hasn’t recorded a sack.

Judon and the rest of the Patriots don’t have the usual extended break teams after playing a game on Thursday. They will have a week to rectify the mistakes they made against the Vikings before hosting the Bills 8-3 on Thursday, Dec. 1. This game is just one of many the Patriots have against playoff contending teams in the second half of the season, but Judon knows there’s still great significance behind it.

“You have to watch this game, correct it and put it behind you,” Judon said. “You have to put that behind you and focus on the next game. We have a big division game ahead of us, but we don’t want to make the same mistakes we made tonight in this game.

“So we have to correct them and then we have a head start against Buffalo.”

Fun Fact: Thursday’s loss marked the third time the Patriots have lost a Thanksgiving game in franchise history. When was their last loss at Thanksgiving?

Answer below

(Hint: A certain seven-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback made his debut in this game.)

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The cowboys play the mole: After Peyton Hendershot’s fourth quarter touchdown against the Giants on Thanksgiving, a few of his Cowboys teammates jumped into the Salvation Army box behind the end zone. Each made their appearance in turn as Hendershot also played Whack-a-mole in the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving victory.

Jinx announcer: Lions kicker Michael Badgley hadn’t missed a field goal all season in their Thanksgiving showdown against the Bills – at least until CBS play-by-play announcer, Jim Nantz, talks about it. Nantz mentioned the stat as Badgley lined up for a 29-yard field goal, saying “don’t talk to me about an announcer’s misfortune” before Badgley missed the field goal.

Nantz and his broadcast partner, Tony Romo, had a good laugh in the moment. The dud also proved costly. The Bills ended up beating the Lions, 28-25, scoring their own basket in the final seconds.

That day : In 1993, former Cowboys defensive lineman Leon Lett had a goof for the ages when he decided to pursue football after a blocked kick against the Dolphins that would have sealed Dallas’ victory. Lett chased the ball and missed, allowing the Dolphins to recover the ball and score a closer field goal before winning the Thanksgiving game, 16-14.

Highlight of the day: Brazil’s Richarlison scored the World Cup goal so far on Thursday, connecting on a bicycle kick that took his country 2-0 up in Serbia before winning.

Quiz Answers: 2000 vs. Lions


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