Matt Cassel and Matt Asiata carved up the Patriots defense, Miami Dolphins-style, on the first series of Sunday's game at TCF Bank Stadium and the annual guarantee that the Patriots are good for at least 11 wins per season seemed as though its expiration date was finally closing in.
But Devin McCourty's interception and 60-yard return of a Cassel pass at the 7:16 mark of the first quarter signaled the beginning of a textbook Patriots road win and offered assurance that New England will once again be in the mix for AFC supremacy. The Patriots torched Minnesota, 30-7, to move to 1-1 on the 2014 season.
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Follow Metro Boston sports editor Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS