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WATCH: Minnesota Vikings’ Kene Nwangwu scores 97-yard kick return touchdown

Andrew Buller-Russ
Kene Nwangwu
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are bringing the gravy to the John Madden Thanksgiving celebration in a number of ways. Justin Jefferson was expected to be a big factor coming into the matchup against the New England Patriots, but kick returner Kene Nwangwu taking our breath away? That wasn’t on the bingo card.

We saw last week’s hero for the Patriots, Marcus Jones, get the party started with a 46-yard kick return, to which Nwangwu said, “hold my beer.”

Kene Nwangwu scores third kick return TD of career

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

With the Vikings trailing 23-16 with just under 11 minutes to go in the third quarter, the Vikings’ kick returner and third-string running back received the kick and immediately sprinted toward the left side of the field, where he appeared to go untouched for the 97-yard score.

For Nwangwu, who was a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, it’s his third career kick return touchdown. Nwangwu, who has all of four offensive touches this season, will take all the chances he can get to make an impact on special teams. With Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison ahead of the 24-year-old on the running back depth chart, it’s tough to get the second-year speedster many other looks.

Yet, it should be noted, Mattison is in the final year of his contract and is likely aiming for a bigger role on a new team next season, which should open up a few touches for Nwangwu.

Unfortunately for the Vikings, the momentum swing would be short-lived, as the Patriots quickly marched down the field on the ensuing drive to go back ahead with a 25-yard-field goal, his fourth make of the day.

It’s been a back-and-forth, high-scoring battle between these two playoff hopefuls. Clearly, their dinner plans haven’t slowed either team down one bit. But we’re not complaining.

Related: Justin Jefferson breaks another NFL record, passing Randy Moss again