Patriots' Bill Belichick, Vikings receiver have heated exchange during fourth quarter

Elise Amendola | AP

Elise Amendola | AP

The Vikings have been held to under 300 total yards in three of their past four games, and against a Patriots defense that has allowed 30-plus points four times this season they were frequently stymied again.

Tom Brady passed for 311 yards and a touchdown, Bill Belichick earned his 250th victory, including playoffs, as Patriots coach in Sunday's victory over Minnesota.

"I've got to get better", Thielen said.

At the same time, Patriots safety Patrick Chung was down on the field with injury, and Thielen seemed to be complaining about Chung being down, preventing the Vikings from snapping the ball to keep the Patriots from challenging.

Social-media lip readers watching on TV surmised that Thielen had yelled, "That's bulls-!" Belichick did not appreciate Thielen's attitude and had some choice words of his own.

The challenge was futile, as there was no evidence to overturn the officials' blatant bad call on the field, so the first down stood. "But like I said, just interesting timing for a guy to go down when it's a close play".

Pats coach Bill Belichick challenged the spot, which led Thielen, near the Pats' sideline, to launch into a tirade aimed at Belichick.

Thielen said it's a wakeup call for the Vikings. "It's football. There's emotions".

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was intent on going for the big play even when it wasn't there, befuddled by the different looks the Patriots were giving him, including just one down lineman. "I don't want us to go backwards anymore".

Belichick said little about the episode. So, yeah, it was good to get the win, you know? The Vikings don't have a win this season over a team that now has a winning record.

The Houston Texans and Pittsburgh Steelers remain in that race as well.

Following Minnesota's punt, the Patriots picked up where they left off. And they don't have Brady.

The Patriots have had a lot of strong starts and strong finishes. The Vikings have the fourth-fewest rushing attempts and the third-most passing attempts in the NFL. He tied Peyton Manning for the most career touchdown passes in National Football League history including postseason games, with 579.

The Vikings quickly went three-and-out on a drive in which Cook was not utilized in the run or pass game.

"Hopefully I don't go backwards next week".

The Patriots' offense had success early in the game, with a first-quarter touchdown run by fullback James Develin. The sloppiness and lack of discipline reached baffling levels on a third-quarter drive that ended with a missed field goal for Stephen Gostkowski.

The Patriots are well-aware of how fired up head coach Bill Belichick can get. The second Brady-to-Gordon connection resulted in a 24-yard touchdown.

At the end of his Monday news conference, Zimmer was asked to further explain why he felt his team grew panicked when the Patriots took the lead.

"That makes it hard for them to defend us", Brady said.

It was a frustrating day for the Vikings, whose record dropped to 6-5-1. Cousins threw a second interception in the game's final minute.

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