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Vikings slam Rams behind Patterson, dominating defense

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Want your kid to have a scary Halloween costume this year? Dress them up as Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who had the Rams shaking in their cleats Sunday afternoon in a season-opening win in St. Louis.

Patterson destroyed the Rams (0-1) and led the Vikings (1-0) to a convincing 34-6 victory. Patterson, nicknamed "Flash," showcased his playmaking ability when he lined up in the backfield and took a toss from quarterback Matt Cassel 67 yards for a touchdown – a brilliant touchdown at that.

"Hats off to the offensive linemen for meeting me in the end zone and blocking downfield," Patterson said, according to Vikings.com.

Patterson finished with three carries for 102 yards, becoming the first wide receiver in team history with a 100-yard rushing performance, according to ESPN Stats and Info. He also had three receptions for 26 yards.

Defense-Defense-Defense

An 81-yard interception return for a touchdown by Harrison Smith in the fourth quarter sealed the blowout win, but it was just one of many bright spots for the Viking defense – a defense that allowed a league-worst 30 points per game last season.

Smith also had one of Minnesota's five sacks. Everson Griffen had back-to-back sacks in the fourth quarter and Linval Joseph and Johnson picked up a sack, too.

Josh Robinson picked off a pass by Shaun Hill with about 90 seconds left in the first half to set up Minnesota's first touchdown. Leading 6-0 thanks to a pair of field goals by Blair Walsh (52 yards and 46 yards), the Vikings took advantage of Robinson's interception and capped a short scoring drive with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Matt Cassel to Greg Jennings.

Jennings led the Vikings with six catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Rudolph also hauled in a seven-yard touchdown from Cassel, who finished 17 of 25 for 170 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Mike Zimmer, making his head coaching debut after spending decades as a defensive coordinator, called plays that suffocated the Rams. It was the first time a Vikings team didn't allow a touchdown in a game since Week 16 of the 2012 season, when they defeated the Houston Texans, 23-6.

Zimmer's defense will be tested over the next five weeks as they go up against perennial stud quarterbacks Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers and Matt Stafford.

Adrian Peterson

Peterson's prediction of scoring a touchdown on his first carry didn't come true. He failed to find the end zone but he did finish with 75 yards on 21 carries. Peterson rocked the Rams for 212 yards when he last played them in 2012.

What they're saying

Vikings Scoring Plays

  • 1st Quarter: Blair Walsh 52-yard field goal, 3-0 Vikings
  • 2nd Quarter: Blair Walsh 46-yard field goal, 6-0 Vikings
  • 2nd Quarter: Greg Jennings 8-yard reception from Matt Cassel, 13-0 Vikings
  • 3rd Quarter: Cordarrelle Patterson 67-yard rush, 20-3 Vikings
  • 4th Quarter: Kyle Rudolph 7-yard reception from Matt Cassel, 27-3 Vikings
  • 4th Quarter: Harrison Smith 81-yard interception return, 34-3 Vikings

The Vikings had microphones and cameras around players during pregame warmups. Click the photo for an excellent video giving you an inside look at what goes through a player's mind just before kickoff.

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