After a 5-10-1 season in 2013, the Minnesota Vikings will be looking for solutions to become a better overall football team in 2014. There needs to be some players who step up and become bigger parts of the team’s success. The player that needs to be rising up the most in 2014 would be wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. It will be up to players like Patterson to take the Vikings to the next level.
Patterson had 45 catches for 469 yards and four touchdowns last season. He added three rushing touchdowns as well and has shown that he can be a dynamic player. What are the Vikings going to do with him this season though? They still have Greg Jennings on the outside but he is over the age of 30 now and his career is beginning to start a downturn. Jennings did lead the team with 68 catches in 2013 and will be counted on to have another season like that in 2014.
However, it is Patterson that must have the big year. The Vikings must find a way to get the ball into Patterson’s hands at least 10-12 times a game. That can be in the passing game or rushing the football but there is simply too much ability there not to have him doing more. Adrian Peterson isn’t getting any younger and with a talented NFC North around them, the Vikings have to be looking at the next generation of players to help them succeed. It is plays like these that make Patterson a weapon Minnesota must employ.
A season where Patterson finishes with 65-70 catches and adds 30-40 carries in the process would be a perfect scenario for a successful Minnesota season because it means Patterson is finding the end zone probably. The key is whether or not new offensive coordinator Norv Turner will want to do something like that. The system has changed but Turner can’t forget about the talents of Patterson. There has to be a hope that Patterson and first-round draft pick Teddy Bridgewater can build a relationship on the field together. That would be in the best interest of Minnesota moving forward. While it may not happen this year, Patterson is the biggest key to the Vikings’ future in 2014 and beyond.