Patterson looks great as Vikings dominate Rams
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson ran for 102 yards on just three carries, with a 67-yard scoring run off a simple pitchout and the Vikings looked impressive across the board under new coach Mike Zimmer, shutting down the St. Louis Rams 34-6 on Sunday.
Running Adrian Peterson rambled for 212 yards the last time the Vikings played in St. Louis in December 2012, enjoying the view on the end zone video board at the end of an 82-yard run. But on Sunday the All-Pro runner only gained 75 yards on 21 carries in the opener.
Rams quarterback Shaun Hill only lasted one half as the stand-in starter for Sam Bradford, missing the rest of the game with a quadriceps injury and leaving untested Austin Davis in charge. Coach Jeff Fisher believed Hill was hurt before his last pass was intercepted by Josh Robinson with 1:09 to go in the half, setting up Matt Cassel’s 8-yard pass to Greg Jennings for a 13-0 lead.
The Vikings were in command the rest of the way.
Patterson broke at least four tackles on the 67-yarder that put the Vikings up 20-3 late in the third quarter. He had carries of 23 and 12 yards in the first half and added three receptions for 26 yards.
Last year, Patterson returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and led the NFL with a 32.4-yard average.
The Vikings kept the Rams down in the second half with four of their five sacks, and Harrison Smith’s 81-yard interception return made it 34-3 late in the fourth quarter. It’s the third career interception return for a touchdown by Smith, beginning his third season.
Brian Quick had seven catches for 99 yards for St. Louis. The Rams didn’t help themselves with sloppy play and were penalized 13 times for 121 yards.
Robinson intercepted an underthrown pass by Hill looking like the primary receiver, tapping the turf with his right foot before going out of bounds. Cassel needed four plays and 48 seconds to find Jennings.
The 34-year-old Hill made his first start since 2010 and was 8 for 13 for 81 yards. After the game, he was guarded about his status and also declined to discuss how he was hurt.
Davis, who was 16 for 23 for 192 yards and an interception, has been with the Rams at least parts of the last three seasons. (Photo: Associated Press)