CINCINNATI – On a day in which very little went right for the Vikings, rookie Cordarrelle Patterson continued to be a bright spot.
Patterson scored a rushing touchdown and moved closer to the franchise record for return yards in a 42-14 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
Patterson recorded his second rushing touchdown of the season on a 35-yard run in the third quarter.
He also returned four kickoffs for 143 yards and needs 4 return yards to break Buster Rhymes’ team record of 1,345 set in 1985.
Patterson had returns of 48, 44 and 34 yards.
“We didn’t take advantage of that,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “We started with ideal field position to start the game, and we had a few others where we he set us up with good field position as well. When you don’t take advantage of those situations on the road, it’s going to come back and get you.”
The Bengals took a different approach with Patterson than Philadelphia did a week earlier. The Eagles used short kickoffs to eliminate Patterson as a returner. The Bengals opted to kick to him, which didn’t surprise Patterson.
“[Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer] told me that their coach is kind of arrogant; he’s just like him,” Patterson said. “He’s going to kick it deep no matter who the returner is.”
Patterson presumably was talking about Bengals special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons. Patterson wants to make teams regret choosing to kick the ball to him.
“If they kick me the ball, I’ve just got make them pay for it,” he said. “Every time I catch the ball, I feel like owe someone something.”
Patterson was asked if he would ever consider taking a knee in the end zone.
“It depends on what the situation is,” he said. “If Coach gets in my head and says take a knee, I’m going to take a knee. I can’t be a knucklehead and return it. Something bad might happen.”
The Bengals nearly doubled the Vikings in time of possession (39 minutes, 32 seconds to 20:28). The main reason was third-down efficiency. The Bengals converted eight of 14 third-down opportunities. The Vikings offense was 0-for-9.
The Vikings defense gave up conversions on third-and-10, third-and-7, third-and-11, third-and-10 and third-and-15.
“Third down was terrible to say the least,” defensive end Jared Allen said.
Hard to sack