Like the majority of the Minnesota Vikings' 2013 season, the final game of the year and the final game in the history of the Metrodome had plenty of ups and downs, but unlike the majority of the season, the home team managed to pull this one out at the end.
After going down 13-7 early in the fourth quarter of play, the Minnesota Vikings came all the way back and closed out the Metrodome with a victory over the Detroit Lions by a score of 14-13.
Minnesota got on the board first, as Cordarrelle Patterson did. . .well, what Cordarrelle Patterson does. He came in motion from the right side of the formation to the left, took a pitch from Matt Cassel, came back around to the right, and outran the Detroit defense for a 50-yard touchdown to put the Vikings ahead 7-0. Again, I can't describe it, you'll just have to watch the video. There wasn't a whole lot of offense for the rest of the first half, and the two teams went into the locker room with that same score.
The Lions came to life to start the third quarter, as they marched down the field and tied the game on a 19-yard pass from Matthew Stafford to Reggie Bush. Two field goals by David Akers gave the Lions a 13-7 lead, but the Vikings got a huge punt return from Marcus Sherels in the fourth quarter, a 53-yard return down inside the Detroit 10-yard line, and then Patterson struck again, hauling in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Cassel, with the Blair Walsh extra point providing the final margin of victory.
This game really was all about Cordarrelle Patterson, folks. He had the two touchdowns, and set the Vikings' single-season kick return yardage record. He showed exactly why he should not only be included in the discussion for the Offensive Rookie of the Year, but will be a huge part of the Minnesota Vikings' offense for years to come. He's the first player since Ollie Matson in 1952 with three or more rush touchdowns, three or more receiving touchdowns, and two or more kick return touchdowns in his rookie season. He's also the first player in NFL history with a kick return touchdown of at least 100 yards, a receiving touchdown of at least 75 yards, and a rushing touchdown of at least 50 yards in the same season in NFL history.
Matt Asiata had a pretty solid game overall for the Vikings as well, carrying the ball 14 times for 115 yards. Matt Cassel completed 20-of-33 passes for 189 yards and a red zone interception. The Vikings also sacked Matthew Stafford five times on the afternoon, including a pair by Jared Allen, who was probably playing his final game in purple and gold. They also avoided giving up the most points ever by a Minnesota Vikings' defense, winding up with a total of 480 for the season, just short of the 484 the Vikings gave up in 1984. It was the first time the Vikings had held a team under 20 points since Week 16 of 2012 against the Houston Texans.
The victory also cements the Minnesota Vikings into the eighth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, regardless of the results of Sunday's other action.
The Minnesota Vikings close out the Metrodome with an all-time record at the facility of 168-92, winning 14-13 over the Detroit Lions to close out the 2013 NFL season. We'll have more on this over the next couple of days, folks, and we'll begin our focus on the off-season shortly thereafter. Thanks to everyone that hung out in the Open Threads today, and to everyone that's come out all season long.