Vikings left a few tricks in the bag in season's first half

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 11, 2013 - 12:22 AM

The Vikings struggled through the first nine games, leading to nagging developmental questions.

hide

Cordarrelle Patterson’s 2-yard reception off a Christian Ponder pass Thursday was his first touchdown catch as a pro.

Photo: ANN HEISENFELT • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

As the Vikings take the rare Sunday/Monday off following Thursday night’s win over the Redskins, we take this opportunity to ask the following questions regarding three areas of the team that could have helped the Vikings do better than 2-7 through nine games …

1. Could Cordarrelle Patterson speed it up?

After Adrian Peterson, the next best pure playmaker on the team is rookie receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. It took Patterson seven games to tie an NFL career record for most touchdowns of 105 yards or more, including an NFL-record 109-yarder. But both of those plays came on kickoff returns.

When it comes to receiver, Patterson’s learning curve has been even slower than advertised when he came out of Tennessee with only one year of major college experience.

But have the Vikings been too cautious with an obvious playmaker?

“The pace that we are at is, I think, about what we could have done,” coach Leslie Frazier said. “I don’t know if we could have accelerated it. … I think the way we’ve done it is about the best way you could have done it.”

Thursday night, Patterson caught multiple passes on the same possession for the first time all season. And the resulting eight-play, 73-yard drive was perhaps the most efficient possession that offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has called and quarterback Christian Ponder has executed this season.

On the first catch, Patterson lined up to the right, ran a simple route and caught a deep ball for 20 yards. Four snaps later, he lined up to the left, motioned right, released into the right corner of the end zone and caught a 2-yard touchdown, his first as an NFL receiver.

Patterson played a season-high 39.6 percent of the offensive snaps. He also had more snaps than receiver Jarius Wright (21-18) for the first time this year. But he still only caught those two passes.

“We’ve been adding a few things here and there as the season goes on,” Frazier said. “Just keep bringing him along, just keep devising ways to utilize his talents. I think Bill is doing a good of doing that, and we are doing it at Cordarrelle’s pace.”

2. Why not K-Will, Sharrif from the get-go?

When the Vikings invested the 23rd overall draft pick on defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and then expressed complete shock and utter joy that he fell from a top-10 projection into their laps, it was easy to assume that Floyd and Kevin Williams were to team’s top two playmakers at defensive tackle.

When asked if something could be done to get both of them on the field at the same time even though they play the same three-technique position, the Vikings said that wasn’t in the plans. Neither was a nose tackle and, besides, Floyd would be part of a rotation that would protect the older Williams from playing too many snaps.

But along came the Redskins game. Forced to play at nose tackle because of injuries to Letroy Guion and Fred Evans, Williams responded with 2½ sacks in his best game in five seasons.

Floyd played 60 percent of the defensive snaps, so Frazier was asked if this should have been the starting combo from the get-go.

“We felt good, and we still do, about Letroy and Fred at [nose tackle],” he said. “The injuries occurred and all of the sudden you’re forced to do it. In Sharrif’s case, we wanted him to be able to come along. Kevin was still playing solid at the three-technique so there wasn’t a need to force [Floyd] to be a starter at Day 1.”

3. What happened to Joe Webb, playmaker?

After Peterson and Patterson, Joe Webb might be the third-best pure athletic playmaker on the team.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Kansas City - J. Vargas 7:07 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Washington 10/27/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New Orleans 10/30/14 7:25 PM
Carolina
Buffalo 3:00 PM
San Jose
Boston 6:00 PM
Toronto
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Montreal
New Jersey 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Dallas 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Detroit 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Chicago 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
Nashville
Tampa Bay 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Florida 8:00 PM
Arizona
Washington 9:00 PM
Calgary
So Florida 17 FINAL
Cincinnati 34
Troy 13 FINAL
South Alabama 27
BYU 30 FINAL
Boise State 55
(6) Oregon 59 FINAL
California 41
North Texas 21 FINAL
Rice 41
UAB 17 FINAL
Arkansas 45
Rutgers 24 FINAL
(16) Nebraska 42
Maryland 7 FINAL
Wisconsin 52
Texas 0 FINAL
(11) Kansas State 23
Minnesota 24 FINAL
Illinois 28
Memphis 48 FINAL
SMU 10
North Carolina 28 4th Qtr 4:05
Virginia 27
San Jose St 17 3rd Qtr 0:17
Navy 31
Northern Ill 21 4th Qtr 11:55
Eastern Mich 17
Akron 21 3rd Qtr
Ball State 13
Massachusetts 20 3rd Qtr
Toledo 14
Ohio U 7 3rd Qtr
Western Mich 28
Ga Southern 27 3rd Qtr
Georgia State 17
(25) UCLA 24 2nd Qtr 1:46
Colorado 14
Kent State 0 2nd Qtr 5:00
Miami-Ohio 7
Oregon State 0 1st Qtr 11:39
Stanford 7
Fla Atlantic 0 1st Qtr 9:10
(23) Marshall 0
Louisiana Tech 0 1st Qtr 11:42
Southern Miss 0
(1) Miss State 0 1st Qtr 14:02
Kentucky 0
Georgia Tech 7 1st Qtr 12:41
Pittsburgh 0
(22) West Virginia 7 1st Qtr 10:29
Oklahoma State 0
Texas Tech 7 1st Qtr 13:46
(10) TCU 7
Michigan 0 1st Qtr 12:15
(8) Michigan State 0
Boston College 0 1st Qtr 8:00
Wake Forest 0
Central Mich 7 1st Qtr 10:36
Buffalo 0
Vanderbilt 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10:59 PM
Hawaii
(2) Florida State 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 10/30/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Memphis
Purdue 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
(17) Oklahoma 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa State
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:00 AM
(22) West Virginia
Texas 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Texas Tech
Northwestern 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Iowa
Maryland 11/1/14 2:00 AM
Penn State
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(18) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Texas State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico St
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
(20) USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(5) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(1) Miss State
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(6) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(7) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(15) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(19) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(14) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Los Angeles 0 1st Half 5:00
Seattle 0
D.C. 3:00 PM
Montreal
Toronto FC 6:30 PM
New England
Portland 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Colorado 9:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Montreal 23 FINAL
Ottawa 17
Saskatchewan 27 FINAL
Calgary 40
Hamilton 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 6:00 PM
Winnipeg
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who wins and loses in football this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close