Patterson's playing time to get ‘rectified'

Cordarrelle Patterson (Andrew Weber/USA TODAY)

One of the Vikings' most exciting playmakers, as he proved Sunday, was once again sidelined for more than 90 percent of the offensive plays. Leslie Frazier sounded determined to change that going forward.

There was some puzzlement over the role of Cordarrelle Patterson in the Vikings offense in Week 1 of the season. Stymied by touchback after touchback in Detroit in his primary role as de facto kick returner, Patterson was only on the field as a wide receiver for five plays (9 percent of the Vikings' 55 offensive snaps). He wasn't gassed from a long return, which would have been a welcomed addition to the Vikings moribund offense the final 59 minutes of that loss to Detroit.

Things had to change. So was the mantra. Patterson will see more time in Week 2. He did. He saw six plays. But, seeing as the Vikings ran 64 plays, that equated to an identical 9 percent of offensive snaps.

On Monday, Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier said things are going to change.

"We're going to get that rectified," Frazier said. "He definitely deserves to be on the field more. He's showed that in the few snaps he's gotten in the first two ballgames. Hopefully, everything being equal, that should not be a part of the conversation next week. We want to get him on the field. He's one of our explosive players for sure. We see what he does when he gets the ball in his hands so we have to get him on the field."

The strange part of that exchange with the local media was that he made a similar comment the week before. Time for the VU I-Team to wake up and start earning its dingy Frogtown loft on the company dime.

In Week 1, Patterson played on 9 percent of the snaps. He repeated that in Week 2. How did the others do?

"I-Team Assembl-l-l-l-le!"

Greg Jennings: 85 percent of offensive snaps in Week 1; 84 percent of snaps in Week 2

Jerome Simpson: 76-69

Jarius Wright: 49-45

Joe Webb: 11-11

Patterson: 9-9

Wait…what? The VU I-Team is a little sketchy, but, if you factor in the plays increased by John Carlson (whose play percentage numbers were the only to rise from Week 1 to 2) you may find the culprit.

At Detroit, Carlson was on the field for 13 plays (24 percent of the offensive snaps). He was targeted once and didn't catch the pass. At Chicago, he was on the field for 20 snaps (31 percent). He was targeted twice and caught one pass for seven yards.

Given the eerie similarities between the Week 1 and Week 2 numbers for the wide receivers, it would seem that offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave is calling the shots as to who is on the field and when they're in playmaking position. If it needs to be "rectified," who needs the rectify it? The head coach?

When pressed with a follow-up question as to how Patterson apparently got lost in the shuffle after starting the game with a 105-yard kickoff return, Frazier got a touch indignant, effectively repeating what he had said initially.

"He doesn't get lost," Frazier said. "We're well aware of his talents, even on the smoke screen when we threw it out and he got 14 yards. We're well aware of his talents. He doesn't get lost. We'll get it rectified."

To rectify something, almost by definition, means to make right something that is wrong. Musgrave has his idea of how playing time should be distributed. Frazier, as head coach, has his own interpretation. General manager Rick Spielman has his. In the current version of the Tripod of Offensive Authority, who will win out?

We'll find out Sunday.

TUESDAY NOTES

  • Cleveland QB Brandon Weeden is a question mark for Sunday, which could open the door for NFL retreads Jason Campbell or Brian Hoyer.

  • "Heisenberg!" In a rare, new twist of fate, the NFL did an unexpected solid for fans of the TV show Breaking Bad Sunday. The cult-favorite show is ending its run in two weeks and the climax to the finale has been building over the last six weeks. The problem for fans of both the show and the NFL was that the San Francisco-Seattle game was airing opposite. NBC can't catch a break. It's broadcast of the regular season opener between Denver and Baltimore was delayed when phantom rain showers came near the Denver area. On Sunday, the TV gods intervened and stopped the Sunday night game for one hour – almost perfectly synched up to the start of the one-hour Breaking Bad episode. Walter White fans inadvertently got the best of both worlds and the ratings for alternate programming got a spike against the highest-rated TV show on any network (NBC's SNF).

  • Regardless of how the Vikings and Steelers games on Sunday pan out, the game in London could be a "winner takes all" type of affair where the loser is mired too deep to get out of the pit they've dug for themselves at 1-3 at best.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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