The Minnesota Vikings opened their 2013 preseason with a 27-13 loss to the Houston Texans on Friday night at Mall of America Field. It wasn't all bad however as rookie receiver Cordarrelle Patterson stole the show in his home debut.
The rookie from Tennessee ran the opening kick back 49 yards to set up the first team offense in excellent field position to begin the game. Christian Ponder found Jerome Simpson on the games first offensive play, but watched as Simpson had his second pass carem off his hand and into the waiting arms of Texans safety Shiloh Keo. It would be the only two plays the first team would see.
Matt Cassel entered the game and in his first action as a Viking, had a little good, bad and ugly.
First the good. Cassel found fullback Zach Line in the flat and the rookie rumbled 61 yards and in the process picked up a great block by Stephen Burton to spring him for his first NFL touchdown. Cassel finished the game 12-for-19, throwing for 212 yards. The bad came as he looked nervous in the pocket and during one situation, the ugly followed when he tried to hit tight end John Carlson but instead threw the ball right to safety Eddie Pleasant.
Back to Patterson. In addition to his return yardage, he caught four passes for 54 yards in the loss, but gave fans a glimpse of the offensive threat he is going to be in this offense.
The defense played without Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, Brian Robison, Chad Greenway, A.J. Jefferson and rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes held the Texans first and second teams at bay and took a 13-10 lead to the half.
Reining MVP Adrian Peterson did not play for the Vikings.
The Vikings travel to Buffalo for their second preseason game next Friday night for a 6PM battle with the Bills.