Vikings' Three-and-Out: Patterson won't take a knee

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 17, 2013 - 12:24 AM

Tight end Kyle Rudolph had nine catches, including a 23-yard TD, against Carolina but only 12 grabs in the season’s first four games.


CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

As the Vikings prepare Josh Freeman to be their third starting quarterback in six games on Monday night at the Giants, we use this space to venture off the beaten path with three items you might want to know …

1. No taking a knee for Patterson

Since the start of the 2011 season, the Vikings rank No. 1 in the league in kickoff return average at 27.3, nearly a full yard ahead of second place Baltimore (26.4).

Obviously, Percy Harvin was daring when it came to returning kicks from deep in the end zone. But rookie Cordarrelle Patterson has raised the bar in his first year as Harvin’s replacement.

“If I could jump up nine yards deep and tap the ball to myself, I would do it,” said Patterson, who watched all six of Carolina’s kickoffs sail over his head for touchbacks in last week’s 35-10 loss. “Coach believes in me. Every chance I get to catch it and go with it, I’m gone.”

Patterson, the NFC’s Special Teams Player of the Month for September, is second in the league in kickoff return average (33.8) and the Vikings are third in the league in starting field position following kickoffs. Their average starting spot is the 23.6-yard line. Only Chicago (24.6) and Seattle (24.2) are better.

Keep an eye on Patterson on Monday. The Giants may be 0-6, but their kick coverage team ranks No. 1. Their opponents’ average starting point following kickoffs is the 19.0-yard line.

“I’m not taking a knee,” Patterson said. “Well, if it’s the end of the game and we’re up by seven or eight, but that’s about it.”

2. Quiet milestone for Loeffler

The only teams that talk about long snappers are teams that don’t have a good one. As Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said two years ago when the Vikings extended Cullen Loeffler’s contract through 2014, “as soon as you don’t have someone operating in the fashion Cullen does, you’re searching.”

Monday, Loeffler, now 32, will play in his 145th game, a team record for a long snapper, breaking the mark set by Mike Morris from 1991 to ’99. Except for missing the final five games of the 2011 season because of a back injury, Loeffler has played in every game since unseating Brody Heffner-Liddiard as an undrafted rookie out of Texas in 2004.

“It’s strange,” said Loeffler, the snapper on 10 of the 11 longest field goals in team history. “It goes by so fast. Kevin [Williams, who joined the team in 2003] is the only guy who’s been here longer. I never thought in terms, ‘Hey, this whole locker room that I’m looking at my rookie year is going to completely change over.’ I’ve really been blessed to play for the Vikings as long as I have.”

3. Rudolph does indeed exist

Tight end Kyle Rudolph set career highs for catches (nine) and receiving yards (97) against the Panthers, but it wasn’t exactly an afternoon worthy of having the game ball mounted.

“No,” Rudolph said. “Not really.”

It took a 35-3 deficit in the closing moments for Rudolph to break his previous highs. He had three catches for 35 yards and a touchdown on the Vikings’ final drive.

But, as Rudolph put it, maybe what he did at the end of that game helps get him more opportunities in the future. After all, the reigning Pro Bowl MVP had only 12 catches for 103 yards in the first four games of the season.

“Everybody knows our style of football is running the ball with Adrian Peterson,” Rudolph said. “You’d like to do more to help the team win, so anytime I’m able to get an opportunity in the offense, I want to take advantage of it. I want to put that on tape for the coaches to consider when they’re putting the next game plan together. No matter what the score is.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Cleveland - LP: T. House 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: A. Simon 4
Chicago Cubs 0 Postponed
Cincinnati 0
Kansas City 0 Postponed
Chicago WSox 0
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 9 FINAL
Oakland - LP: K. Graveman 3
NY Mets - WP: M. Harvey 8 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Sabathia 2
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 0 FINAL
Miami - WP: T. Koehler 8
Toronto - LP: B. Cecil 2 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: E. Frieri 4
Atlanta - WP: S. Miller 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: D. Buchanan 2
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Matusz 5
St. Louis - WP: M. Belisle 5 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 3
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2 FINAL
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 1
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 5 FINAL
Colorado - LP: B. Brown 4
Los Angeles - WP: B. McCarthy 11 FINAL
San Diego - LP: I. Kennedy 8
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: V. Pestano 4
Minnesota - WP: T. Stauffer 8 FINAL
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 5
Atlanta 83 FINAL
Brooklyn 91
Chicago 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 92
Golden State 109 FINAL
New Orleans 98
Memphis 115 FINAL
Portland 109
Washington 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Detroit 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay 0
Nashville 3 FINAL
Chicago 4
Vancouver 4 FINAL
Calgary 7
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Columbus 4
Real Salt Lake 0 FINAL
New England 4
Sporting Kansas City 4 FINAL
Houston 4
Vancouver FC 1


question of the day

Poll: Who has been the Wild's best player in the playoffs?

Weekly Question





Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters