Saturday, July 4, 2015

cordarrelle patterson

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Every now and then we get someone that wants to give this ol’ blogging thing a try.  Of course, we are happy for the added content and often hope the author succeeds as a Vikings writer, either here or elsewhere.  This is another post, of which I am particularly impressed with, so I hope you will all give Seth Forst’s first article here at VT and give him some supportive comments.

THEODORE EDMUND BRIDGEWATER II: By The Numbers

Author:  Seth Forst

One year ago, at this time, Teddy Bridgewater had just turned 21 years old. He was enrolled for his junior year at the University of Louisville, beginning preparation to play the University of Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl.  Between then and now, Teddy has been up, down, and in-between.

From fans calling for their team to “Tank for Teddy” to the debacle that was his Louisville Pro Day, his perceived draft stock fluctuated in a volatile way. Fast forward to the afternoon of September 28th – Viking fans at TCF Bank Stadium loudly expressed their satisfaction with the play of Bridgewater (TEDDDDY, TEDDDDY, TEDDDDY), as he led the Vikings to a victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

Then came the inevitable rookie struggles perhaps summed up by his performance in Chicago on November 16th, when Bridgewater finished the game 18/28 for 158 yards (5.6 YPA), 1 TD, and 1 INT. That’s a passer rating of 76.2 and a QBR of 21.3, for those keeping track at home.

Since the Bears game, however, the general consensus has been that Bridgewater is improving, and things are once again looking up (TEDDDDY, TEDDDDY, TEDDDDY).

Is perception reality? Let’s take a look at the passing numbers, and see what they tell us. I included his total ‘yards in air’, passing yards before any yards after catch, as a reference to how much he’s pushing the ball down the field. This can also shed light on completion percentage, given shorter passes are more likely to be completed than deep throws.

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Wide receiver Charles Johnson is set to start for the Vikings against New York on Sunday.

According to the Pioneer Press’ Chris Tomasson, offensive coordinator Norv Turner confirmed that Johnson will retain the starting split end position after getting the opportunity last week.

Cordarrelle Patterson generally holds the starting position, but his production has been much lower than anticipated this season. The sophomore WR seems to still struggle with route running, and Johnson has been given more reps recently. Last week, the official roster swap took place. After Patterson missed practices due to a personal matter, head coach Mike Zimmer reduced Patterson’s playing time.

Minnesota utilized Johnson on all 50 snaps in the win against Carolina, while Patterson played on just three overall—and not until the second half. Sunday was the first time in Patterson’s NFL career that he did not catch a single pass. While Vikings fans are surprised—and disappointed—with Patterson’s less-than-mediocre performance, Johnson is certainly earning his keep.

“C.J. is playing at a high level,” Turner said. “C.J. is the starter at X, that’s the position Cordarrelle plays. We’re going to do what we can to get him some opportunities to play there, but C.J. is playing at a real high level right now.”

Over the Vikings’ last three games, the 25-year-old has played 141 snaps and made 11 receptions for 180 yards.

Originally drafted by the Packers in 2013, Johnson suffered a knee injury early on and is just now getting his chance to prove himself in the NFL. He caught his first pass with the Vikings in Week 5, and Johnson is proving that he could play a significant role on this team.

And as for Patterson? No. 84 has been vocal about his disappointment with last week’s situation, and he told reporters that he will approach the coaching staff if he doesn’t play a larger role against the Jets. Patterson said the following:

“I’ll have to see how this week goes first and see how my reps and how my playing goes this week. Then next week if I my reps [aren’t] what I need them to be and I’m not feeling good about it, I have to sit down and talk with them.”

Regardless of what happens with Patterson, one thing is clear: Charles Johnson was handed a chance, and he isn’t looking back.

 

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While not as difficult as last week, it still seems somewhat silly to try and select a highlight player from a game that featured so much bad.

Alas, we will try. For the second straight week, the Vikings suffered a difficult loss. Despite holding a Saints offense that is historically prolific at home to 20 points, the Vikings offense could not muster anything other than three field goals for 9 points. The biggest news from the game is that the Teddy Bridgewater era has officially begun. After Matt Cassel suffered multiple fractured bones in his foot during a scramble in the second quarter, Bridgewater was forced to take control of a struggling Vikings offense and attempt a comeback on the road in the Superdome. All things considered, he performed well and showed a lot of poise against a defense that smelled blood in the water and pressured the rookie hard in his first start.

I know who I’d pick for the Player of the Game, but we’ll leave the decision up to you. Vote below for who you feel deserves the “game ball.”

Harrison Smith: #22 showed once again that he is a special talent and could very well be the best player on the Vikings current starting roster. He had multiple pass break ups, some great tackles and generally just seemed to be all over the field. Unfortunately, there was one PBU that he most definitely should have taken the other way but couldn’t bring it in. Still, another great game from the Vikings young safety.

Teddy Bridgewater: The future is now. As far as I’m concerned the rest of this season is about watching one #5 take snaps under center. The situation was less than ideal, our offensive line looked like a sieve, our receivers couldn’t get any separation, our running game was atrocious, and yet, Bridgewater stood in the pocket (or ran from it) and looked like he belonged there. Not much more you could ask from a rookie QB in his first regular season action in the NFL. Teddy ended the game 12/20 for 150 yards, 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions and ran for 27 yards on 6 attempts.

Anthony Barr: The rookie linebacker registered 2 tackles, 3 assists and 1 sack (his NFL career first) in this game. Not a stat line that’s going to knock anyone over but, in general, Anthony Barr looked good during today’s game. He’s been better than expected in his coverage and has shown flashes of greatness where his athleticism allows him to shine. Barr most definitely has some growing to do but has shown why he was worthy of a first round selection so far. (Of course, he could always pull a Kalil…)

Captain Munnerlyn: For sacking the quarterback of the cheatin’ Saints (even if it did result in a horrible call that very well could have cost the Vikings the game).

Cordarrelle Patterson: This is a reach. But, there’s still that feeling you get that he could go all the way anytime he touches the ball. So, Norv Turner, let Patterson touch the ball more! Patterson had 5 touches in this game: 4 receptions and 1 disastrous end around for a total of 54 yards. As far as I’m concerned, that’s about 10 touches too few. (Can we bring back the Randy Ratio? But, you know, for Patterson?)

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That headline feels like it should end with a question mark, doesn’t it?

As we all know, the Minnesota Vikings put up their first stinker on Sunday, in front of the TCF Bank Stadium.  They had no answers for Julian Edelman, were prone to stupid penalties, and suffered from very poor quarterback play after the first drive of the game.

Finding “Player of the Game” nominations has been an interesting task, but I really want to do this every week.  Here they are:

CORDARRELLE PATTERSON:  I was perplexed as to why Patterson was so under-utilized in this game (he got no carries), but he did lead the Vikings in receiving yards (56), including a 26 yarder that was the longest play from scrimmage the Vikings had all day.  He also returned one kick for 23 yards.

JASPER BRINKLEY:  As is his style, Brinkley made a few quality downhill plays against the Patriots on Sunday, and he ended up leading the team in solo tackles (8) and total tackles (11).

HARRISON SMITH:  This guy should probably win, and probably will, as he was the only player that looked the exact opposite of “sluggish” all game long.  Smith played like the firecracker we’ve learned to expect out of him on his way to seven solo tackles (eight total).

JEFF LOCKE:  He couldn’t bring down Chandler Jones to avoid the score on the blocked field goal at the end of the first half, but he seemed to at least try.  Locke averaged 45.6 yards on five punting attempts.

Brady & Wake

Last week, Nathan Kearns of Ramblin Fan took a stab at answering five questions about the St. Louis Rams before the Vikings came to town.  We appreciated him taking the time to do it, and I think his attempts to predict the future contained lots of great information, but I’d bet he’d like to have his prediction back after the Vikings gave the Rams the horns.

Next up are the storied New England Patriots, but this week’s guest isn’t underestimating the Vikings, especially after the Patriots were upstaged by the Dolphins in Week One.

Morgan Smith of Patriots Gab took time out of her week to answer some questions for us and I think you’ll be plenty interested to get her take on the upcoming game.  Be sure to follow Morgan on Twitter, if only for a little fun trash talking during the rest of this week, by clicking here.

The Dolphins seemed to draw a map for future teams when it comes to overwhelming the offensive line and flustering Tom Brady.  Do you think this will become a pattern with the Vikings up next or was this a one-time fluke?

There is a blueprint against every team, and last week was the blueprint against the Pats. Last year, Cincinnati beat the Pats by doing what Miami did, and the Patriots were just as bad on offense. The blueprint is there, but not every team can execute it and not every team uses it. To beat New England you have to get pressure on Tom Brady, and it has to be constant throughout the game.

The offensive line isn’t the same as it was before when Brady barely got hit, they are allowing more hits on Brady than he’s ever had, so New England has to make some personnel changes on the line before this Sunday, because the Vikings will get to Brady. Maybe add Josh Kline to the line and take out Jordan Devy, and allow Wendell to play more over Marcus Cannon, or Bryan Stork gets to play. They have to figure something out by Sunday because the Vikings had 5 sacks against the Rams, so they can generate pressure.

We will see if Minnesota can execute the blueprint and if New England can adjust.

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