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Patterson makes things happen efficiently - 2014-09-11 23:32:11

Michael B. Thomas/Getty ImagesWide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson ran for 102 yards and a touchdown on only 3 carries on Sunday.

It didn’t take long for Minnesota’s Cordarrelle Patterson to remind the league that he’s one of the most explosive players in football. Patterson ran for 102 yards on only three rushes in Sunday’s season-opening win against the Rams, including a 67-yard touchdown in the third quarter. 

Patterson’s 67-yard run is tied for the second-longest rush by a wide receiver in the last five seasons, and tied for the second-longest rushing touchdown by a wideout in the last nine seasons. 

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Patterson is the second player since 1950 to gain at least 100 rushing yards in a game with three or fewer rushes. 

Patterson has gained at least 50 yards rushing in each of his last three games. Dexter McClusteris the only other wide receiver since 2001 to have three games with at least 50 rushing yards (all in 2011), and no other wideout has done it in back-to-back games during that span. 

Patterson isn’t gaining empty yards - he’s a real threat to score whenever he touches the ball. He has five career rushes lined up in the backfield. Three of them have finished in the end zone, all gains of at least 33 yards. 

Patterson has scored at least one touchdown in each of his last six games, the longest active streak for any skill player and the longest streak for a wide receiver since Wes Welker had eight straight games with a score over the 2012-13 seasons. 

Patterson only had one total touchdown in his first 11 games of his career, and there is still room for his role to grow in the Vikings offense. 

Patterson has averaged 2.8 receptions per game in his career, but is the only receiver on the Vikings roster to catch a pass in all 17 games since the start of last season. 

While the Patriots game plan for Patterson this week, it’s worth noting he could have been a Patriot. Patterson was the 29th selection in the first round of 2013 NFL Draft, a pick originally owned by New England. 

New England traded that pick to Minnesota for four picks, two of which were used on players still on the roster. 

Cornerback Logan Ryan tied for fifth in the league with five interceptions last year, while linebacker Jamie Collins is the only Patriot with a sack, forced fumble and interception in the last eight games.