MINNEAPOLIS -- The run play that led to Cordarrelle Patterson's 33-yard touchdown had been in the Minnesota Vikings' playbook since Week 2, when the Vikings were preparing to play the Chicago Bears the first time. It went in and out of Vikings' game plans since then, but never got called until the Vikings saw the Bears again on Sunday.
When offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave finally dialed it up, Patterson followed fullback Jerome Felton to the right side of the Vikings' line, made two tacklers miss and strolled into the end zone with a 33-yard touchdown and a piece of Vikings history.
He became the first Vikings rookie to score a touchdown in three different ways, with his rushing touchdown joining his receiving score against the Dallas Cowboys and his two kick return touchdowns. Patterson is just the sixth player in Vikings history to turn the feat, joining Percy Harvin (who did it in three different seasons), Mewelde Moore, Koren Robinson, Herschel Walker and Bill Brown.
"He's something special," running back Adrian Peterson said. "I have been able to sit back and really watch him. I know talent, and he has it."
Peterson's comments come with an interesting backdrop, considering how dejected he was when the Vikings traded Harvin to Seattle in March. And the Vikings' reluctance to call the run before now is also interesting, considering the methodical approach they've taken with Patterson. The receiver got his first kick return touchdown in the first Bears game, and Frazier said after that game the Vikings needed to get Patterson the ball in their offense more often. They've increased his role in the offense as a receiver in recent weeks, and Frazier has pointed out the Vikings' concerns with doing it earlier in the season, saying they couldn't have taught him the offense much more quickly than they did and adding that when they used Patterson early in the season, they ran the risk of being too obvious, considering he was only lining up at the split end position at the time.
Getting him the ball out of the backfield might have been a simple way to rectify the situation earlier in the season; the Vikings were willing to do that with Harvin, even as Peterson was running for 2,097 yards last season. In any case, the Vikings finally went to the call on Sunday, and Patterson made it worthwhile.
"My thing was, just getting in the end zone," Patterson said. "It's the only opportunity I got for this play, so you've got to make the most of it so we'll call it again."