The Minnesota Vikings had a bad year, and it cost coach Leslie Frazier his job. Whoever the next coach is will have a tough task ahead of him, made tougher by the fact that no one in Minnesota has any idea who the starting quarterback will be.
But if the Vikings’ next coach can get the quarterback situation straightened out, they have the talent to turn into one of the most exciting offenses in football. Adrian Peterson, of course, is the greatest running back of his generation. And in April the Vikings drafted the most explosive playmaker to enter the NFL this season.
That playmaker was Cordarrelle Patterson, who has just been named the NFL offensive rookie of the month for December. Patterson had three rushing touchdowns and three receiving touchdowns in December, making him the first rookie to have three touchdowns both rushing and receiving in the same month since San Francisco’s Roger Craig, 30 years ago.
And Patterson was even better on special teams than he was on offense: Patterson was by far the best kickoff returner in the NFL this season. He led the league with a 32.4-yard average, he was the only player in the league with more than one kickoff return touchdown, and he had 10 kickoff returns of 40 or more yards in a season when no one else had more than five.
Patterson is a star in the making. He can become an even bigger star if the Vikings can find a quarterback who can get him the ball consistently.