Something new I’m going to be doing during game week is taking a closer look at the opposing teams top threat, offensively or defensively. So today, I am going to do an article entitled Scouting the Vikings Threat: Cordarrelle Patterson. Most teams have a player (or players) who must be accounted for at all times, they are the game changers. This week we’ll look at Minnesota’s Cordarrelle Patterson.
With Vikings embattled running back Adrian Peterson out for the foreseeable future the main offensive threat on the Vikings roster is wide receiver/return man Cordarrelle Patterson. I remember watching film on him early last year when he was coming out of Tennessee, my first impression back then was that he was raw but there was no denying his talent and if a team could harness that, watch out, the Vikings have done just that.
In week one against the Rams Patterson had a 67 yard touchdown being used as a running back. Not only was it a fantastic run but the Vikings blocking was text-book. In the screen shot below the Vikings are in a two TE run heavy set (Kyle Randolph and Rhett Ellison on the far right) Patterson is originally lined up wide right but goes in motion and sets as a running back, Rams CB EJ Gains follows him. Note: as soon as he sets the Vikings snap the ball.
The key to this play is the Vikings taking out the Rams second level defenders as you will see in the two screen shots below, first TE Kyle Randolph takes out SLB Alec Ogletree while Vikings center John Sullivan and left guard Charlie Johnson team up to take out MLB James Laurinaitis.
After Patterson shoots through the hole his open field talents really shine, he runs with speed and vision. One thing that also sticks out is Rams DE Robert Quinn (94), even though they ran the ball away from him, he almost caught Patterson some 40 yards down field. He’s the one that I froze the frame on towards the end of the play. Also notice Patterson’s cut back going full speed on Rams corner back Janoris Jenkins right at the end, Below is a clip of the play.
Okay last week the Patriots shut Patterson down but the stat sheet doesn’t tell his impact. Our good friend Deuce Windham from the Who Dat Confessional does a nice job explaining why HERE. Are the Vikings over matched? probably but Patterson can do damage in all sorts of ways. This was last year against the Packers on a kickoff return, the screen shot below show’s the danger of his explosiveness. There is no way he gets out of this, right? think again.
Patterson kicks it into a second gear and before you know it he is gone tying an NFL record with a 109 kickoff return. Greg McMahon you better have you special teams ready to play Sunday because Patterson can break one at any time as seen below.
Now as I mentioned earlier Patterson was raw coming out of college and you can still see it in certain parts of his game. He is not a refined route runner by any means and he has trouble with his technique getting of the jams that come with press coverage and in the NFL timing is everything. Last week there were times when the Patriots just covered him man to man with little safety help and he was having problems separating from the press. but all it takes is one mistake (I’m looking at you Patrick Robinson) for him to bust one open.
The Vikings are really behind the eight ball in this one, everybody knows that Adrian Peterson is their offense. Every team that plays them stack 8 in the box to stop him and if you were successful doing so, you probably won the game. Now the pressure shifts to their other top threat in Patterson, the Saints must contain him to squash out any hope Minnesota has, I think they will do just that.
Whelp that’s it for the opposing teams top threat, I tried to keep it short and just hit on a few of the things that they bring to the table. Next week we’ll look at Dallas (Hint it’s not Romo) so until then, as always…WHO DAT!!!