What to Expect from Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings Offense in Week 13

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What to Expect from Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings Offense in Week 13
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Cordarrelle Patterson hopes to continue his impact at wide receiver in Week 13 for the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings are coming off an "exhilarating" tie against the Green Bay Packers, stirring up debate whether the practice should even still exist in the NFL

Either way, the 26-26 finish for the Vikings will need to be in the rear view mirror, as they prepare to host another division rival this week in the Chicago Bears.

Minnesota's offense in last week's contest played relatively well, outpacing its season average of 329.5 total yards with a showing of 447 yards.

An extra quarter of football never hurts to pad a team's stats.

But even in terms of efficiency, several players stepped up, including embattled quarterback Christian Ponder, who had one of his best outings of the season.

The Vikings signal-caller completed 21-of-30 passes for 233 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions. Ponder's quarterback rating broke into triple digits at 103.9

One of the biggest surprises of the game was the breakout performance by Cordarrelle Patterson at wide receiver. The rookie hauled in a season-high eight receptions for 54 yards on 11 targets.

Patterson's previous season high for grabs was three.

In order for the Vikings to remain competitive against the Bears this week at Mall of America Field, they will need to continue drawing up plays that get Patterson the ball in open space, as well as take some shots down the field.

The improved passing game also helped open up the running attack when facing the Packers, as both Adrian Peterson and backup Toby Gerhart had solid showings.

The reigning MVP recorded 146 yards on 32 carries, while tacking on a touchdown. The rushing total was also a season high for Peterson, as he ran for 140 yards both in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and in Week 9 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Adrian Peterson ranks second in the NFL this season with 997 rushing yards.

Gerhart helped to spell his starting teammate on eight carries, totaling an impressive 91 yards for an average of 11.4 yards per carry.

So how does this stack up against the Bears defense?

Most fans remember the dreadful outcome in Week 2 versus Chicago at Soldier Field, which began the trend of fourth quarter collapses by the Vikings in 2013.

However, it was a second-quarter interception by Tim Jennings that helped set the tone of the game. The eight-year veteran stepped in front of a poorly thrown ball by Ponder and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown with 2:51 remaining before halftime.

The Bears are tied for sixth in the NFL with 14 interceptions, and the matchup against Jennings will be especially important, as starting cornerback Charles Tillman is out for the season with a torn triceps.

Ponder will need to choose his throws wisely in the direction of Jennings, with the ball-hawking cornerback most frequently lined up against the Vikings own Greg Jennings.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Jennings avoids the tackle by Christian Ponder en route to a 44-yard interception returned for a touchdown in Week 2.

That equals another good matchup for Patterson against backup corner Zack Bowman, who hasn't started for the Bears since 2009 when the team finished 7-9.

Jerome Simpson should also benefit from the Bears secondary fill-in, as he leads Minnesota with 546 receiving yards and is tied with Jennings in receptions at 36.

This should all help to spell success for the Vikings running game, facing a Bears defense that ranks last in the NFL with 145.2 yards per game, nearly identical to the total Peterson just rolled up on the Packers.

Considering the injury to Tillman in the secondary and a weak rushing defense for the Bears, the Vikings offense is in prime position to improve upon the performance from last week. 

And with Jay Cutler likely out for Chicago, this week's contest for the Vikings may be the best opportunity for a win left on the team's schedule.

 

All statistics courtesy of ESPN.com, unless otherwise noted. 

Matthew Stensrud is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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