Friday, January 10, 2014
10 Vikings plays that shaped season: No. 5
By Ben Goessling
Welcome back to our chronological look at the 10 plays that most shaped the Vikings' 2013 season. Today: Play No. 5.
WHEN: Oct. 27, 2013
WHERE: A 44-31 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
THE PLAY: Cordarrelle Patterson's 109-yard kickoff return touchdown on the game's first play.
WHAT THEY SAID: Patterson: "No matter where the ball is kicked, I feel like I'm going to return it regardless. I have a coach who believes in me. Wherever the ball is, I'm going to bring it out."
IMPACT OF THE PLAY: It was the longest kickoff return in NFL history, the second 109-yard play in the Metrodome's history and the return that probably cemented Patterson's place on the All-Pro team. His first return touchdown of the year -- a team-record 105-yarder against Chicago -- looked easy compared to this one, when Patterson squeezed through a small hole set by Robert Blanton and Larry Dean, followed Toby Gerhart upfield, bounced off a tackle from Green Bay's Chris Banjo and raced down the left sideline for a touchdown. Patterson would end the night with 228 return yards. After that, he became the return man that teams were afraid to kick to; the Washington Redskins let Patterson touch the ball just twice on kickoffs, and the Chicago Bears and Philadelphia Eagles kept it away from him the entire game.