Cordarelle Patterson (a.k.a C-Pat) had his big breakout game yesterday. In a contest that featured blizzard conditions, a possible major injury to Adrian Peterson, some of the worst officiating imaginable, and the craziest last two minutes of a game in recent memory, C-Pat’s coming out party is what Viking fans will be chatting about the most when circled around the water cooler this morning.
Although he had already flashed his ridiculous athleticism returning kicks this year, C-Pat finally got the chance to show what he can be: a top NFL receiver. Only 22 years old, he stands 6’2″ and checks in at a rock-solid 220 lbs. The Vikings have themselves a beast in the making; a player with a physique reminiscent of Terrell Owens but with an attitude that resembles that of team-first poster boy Peterson.
And C-Pat is showing that he may be every bit as good as another uber-talented malcontent that recently wore purple: Percy Harvin. Not only does Patterson appear to be nearly as elusive in space as Pouting Percy, #84 also brings size, something that limits Harvin’s durability and therefore reliability. After years of loving the talent yet hating the personalities of game-changers Moss and Harvin, perhaps Viking fans can finally have their cake and eat it too with C-Pat. Just imagine if the Vikings had a QB that could consistently deliver the ball to him.
The fact that it took until the 13th game of the season for C-Pat to break out is yet another indictment on the current coaching staff. As soon as Frazier and Co. saw what Patterson could do on kick returns they should have been doing everything possible to get the ball in his hands. Yet what did we get? A paltry 21 catches over the first ten games while barely seeing the field as the coaching staff put forth lame excuses about C-Pat being “too raw”. The offense was, as Charles Barkley would say, “turrible, just turrible”, yet there sat C-Pat on the sidelines, confined to special teams. Complete insanity, I tell you.
Fittingly, there will be a new coach next year along with a new QB. Whoever takes these jobs will salivate as they watch C-Pat’s highlight reel, as well as knowing Greg Jennings, Kyle Rudolph, and Peterson make up the rest of the offensive weaponry. With a decent QB and a free agent signing at right guard to replace the open screen door that is Brandon Fusco, the Vikes will have all the makings of a potent, potent offense.
With the defense finally showing some solid improvement (it wasn’t their fault the refs were extra blind and Jacoby Jones was kicked to late in the game), there is some hope that the team can make strides next season. Xavier Rhodes has been fantastic the last few weeks, Sharrif Floyd has been coming on, Audie Cole continues to impress, and Chad Greenway, Harrison Smith, and Brian Robison will also be major parts of the defensive core next season. Toss in a free agent or two and another good draft, and this defense can be at least decent by next year.
Questions do remain about the coach, the QB, and the defense, but any questions about C-Pat should be put to rest. He has arrived Viking fans, and once again you may find yourself spontaneously rising to your feet every time the ball heads the way of a purple jersey with the number 84 on it.
This is gonna be fun.