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Anthony Varriano
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Cordarrelle Patterson a Bigger, Badder Percy Harvin

09/07/2014 10:37pm
last edited:09/14/2014 11:43pm

Few players have made bigger statements in the first week of NFL games than Percy Harvin and Cordarrelle Patterson. Harvin opened the NFL season with an impressive performance covering 100 total yards from scrimmage against a soft, but improved Green Bay defense. Harvin was most impressive in the run game, as he used to be in Minnesota, gaining 41 yards on four carries. He graced the homepage of ESPN.com the next day as an early MVP candidate. And then Cordarrelle Patterson dwarfed Harvin's accomplishments in a matter of seconds.

No mention of Patterson or the Vikings' win on ESPN.com/nfl homepage
Patterson more than tripled Harvin's rushing average Sunday, going 102 yards on just three carries, including a 67-yard touchdown, during which he dodged and outran every St. Louis Ram. The Rams are probably a better defense than Green Bay, but it didn't show against Norv Turner's potent offense in the 34-6 drubbing. (Harrison Smith and rookie Anthony Barr were responsisble for seven of those 34 points.) Patterson also bested Harvin in yards per reception, averaging 8.7 to Harvin's 8.4. Patterson nor the Vikings were recognized by ESPN.com/nfl immediately following the game. 

So, who has a real chance at MVP? Patterson's build and Harvin's injury history make it a pretty easy decision. Harvin hasn't played a full season since 2011, and at 5-foot, 11-inches and 200 pounds, he certainly isn't a bruiser. 

Patterson, on the other hand, is belt like a gazelle. At 6-foot, two-inches and 216 pounds, Patterson should be more effective in the running game than Harvin, and is on paper if you compare their rookie season statistics. Patterson's length also makes him a bigger target in the passing game, and his size and straightaway speed should allow him to rack up the yards after catch. He shares the same 40-yard dash time with Harvin despite being three inches taller and 16 pounds heavier.
If anyone should be gracing ESPN's NFL homepage, it's Cordarrelle Patterson. He outran Adrian Peterson and many of the league's running backs on Sunday. He had a highlight reel play. He did it all, and will keep doing it all while Harvin is recovering on the disabled list – again. 

Norv Turner should get some credit for utilizing the two tight-end look, but not really for implementing Patterson into the running game. Those plays were no different from what was run last year. The blocking downfield was just better and Patterson is much improved in all aspects of the game. His route running is still mediocre, but better nonetheless. 

Mike Zimmer didn't get much love from ESPN, either, but the Vikings defended very well against, albeit an anemic offense that was down to their last quarterback, and I give much of that credit to Zimmer. We'll get a real idea of how much better the Vikings' defense is next week against Tom Brady and the Patriots.

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Anthony Varriano is the editor of GoGonzoJournal.com/sports, a sports blog featuring the rants of fans and outlaw journalists.

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