EAGAN, Minn. – You might not want to plan a post-Thanksgiving-meal nap this year, Vikings fans.
The NFL has unveiled its 2022 schedule, and the Minnesota Vikings are slated to host the New England Patriots Thanksgiving Night for a 7:20 p.m. (CT) kickoff at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The prime-time game will mark Minnesota's ninth time playing on Thanksgiving but first as a host on the holiday.
"That Thanksgiving game – I feel like that's always a big game," Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks told VEN's Gabe Henderson. "We play the Patriots. The last time we played them, we were in Foxborough. We got beat, so I'm looking forward to that one specifically, to be honest."
The Vikings are 4-9 all-time against the Patriots, their last win dating all the way back to September of 2000, when Minnesota prevailed 21-13 at New England.
Minnesota has historically fared well in Thanksgiving Day contests, however, having gone 6-2 on the holiday dating back to 1969. Most recently, the Vikings defeated the Lions 30-23 at Detroit in 2017 and got festive with a touchdown celebration.
This will mark New England's sixth time playing on Thanksgiving. The Patriots are 3-2 in previous games.
"The Patriots on a short week are coming here on Thanksgiving, a night game, so that's another challenge there," quarterback Kirk Cousins told Henderson. "Another great defense that's perennially been a top-10 defense in this league."
As Cousins pointed out, the inherent downside to a Thanksgiving Day game is turning the page quickly from the previous week's contest, which will be against Dallas on Nov. 20.
The good news, though, is that Minnesota will have a "mini bye" between playing the Patriots and their Week 13 game against the Jets on Dec. 4.
In addition to hosting the Patriots for Turkey Day, the Vikings will play in two other holiday games: against the New York Giants on Christmas Eve (a Saturday) and at Green Bay on New Year's Day.
Minnesota will hope to start its 2023 off right at Lambeau Field before capping its regular-season slate with a Week 18 trip to Chicago.
"Two divisional games to finish the season on the road. Hopefully we're looking to solidify some of the success we've already had," Head Coach Kevin O'Connell told VEN's Tatum Everett. "Hopefully we're playing for something really important and our guys will be ready to go."
Receiver Adam Thielen said he is always "most interested" in when the Vikings will visit the Packers.
"Unfortunately we play there again late — I don't know why they do that," Thielen quipped.