By Andrew Vojt
Amongst the multitude of exciting games during the first week of the NFL season came an outstanding performance from a potential breakout star in the league. Cordarrelle Patterson of the Minnesota Vikings was the catalyst to the team’s blowout 34-6 victory over the lowly St. Louis Rams, going for 102 rushing yards, 26 receiving yards and a touchdown. The second-year wide receiver out of Tennessee topped many preseason lists ranking breakout stars of the 2014 season, and he lived up to the high expectations set for him on Sunday afternoon. As a proud Minnesota Vikings fan, I won’t hype him up more than necessary, but the kid was electric against the Rams and undoubtedly has the potential to reach stardom as the season progresses.
Patterson was labeled as a raw prospect coming into the 2013 NFL Draft; with only one season each of junior college and NCAA experience under his belt, teams were hesitant to draft him, worried he wouldn’t be able to display the work ethic needed to make it in the NFL nor the capability to handle an NFL offense. The Vikings traded up in the draft to snag Patterson with the 29th overall pick, convinced he was able to rise above his experience. As a kick returner and wide receiver, Patterson slowed flashes of brilliance in his rookie season, making the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team for his unmatched kick returning ability. Fantasy football experts have been slobbering over him for this season, primarily because of the addition of new offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Turner has been known to create dynamic and creative offenses; he commented before the season that he has designed multiple plays specifically for Patterson. With his blistering performance against the Rams, Patterson displayed his potential for success in this year’s NFL season. I’m excited to see what he can do against stronger defenses, but his breakout speed and electric cuts give him the skill set needed to lead the Vikings to a better performance this season.
By Evan Rogers
As the second week of September begins, things are finally beginning to feel like the disappointing end of summer and the beginning of fall. Thankfully, the return of fall brings the return of football season. Unfortunately, after an exciting weekend full of NFL games, the biggest story on Monday afternoon had nothing to do with anything that happened on the field.
The Ray Rice domestic violence incident was one of the biggest stories of the NFL offseason, and it escalated further this weekend. This summer, the NFL gave Rice a two game suspension after a video was released of him dragging his unconscious girlfriend out of an elevator moments after a heated argument. Most of the public felt the length of this suspension was short considering the scale of the offense. This week, the security tape from inside the elevator went viral and after seeing the gruesome nature of the incident, the Ravens terminated Rice’s contract and the NFL suspended him indefinitely, justifying those who called for a longer suspension. How the Ravens move on from this incident will be something to keep an eye on.
The Ravens have traditionally relied on their elite defense and strong rushing offense to win games. This year the defense is not as strong as in the past and without Rice, they have no true number one running back. In week one, Joe Flacco threw an eye-popping 62 passes and that historically stingy defense had no sacks, forced no turnovers and gave up a tie breaking 77-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter in a loss to Cincinnati.
The Ravens are a veteran team just a few years removed from a Super Bowl Title, but it will be an uphill battle to correct their on field problems while dealing with a media frenzy off the field for the next few weeks.
By Dan Martucci
Assistant Colgate Sports Editor
Sunday NFL football is upon us once again. This past Sunday, my New England Patriots faced off against the Miami Dolphins in the their season opener. I am not sure if I was angrier about our university not having the game on the cable package we get in our rooms (I had to watch the game on the small screen of my laptop), or the fact that the Dolphins outscored the Patriots 23-0 in the second half.
The Dolphins’ offense looked much faster than it has in previous years, and their defense looked good too, ending the game with four sacks. The fact that the Dolphins were able to score 23 points in the second half without any retaliation from the Patriots is just depressing and not what a fan like myself wanted to see. I think that this early season loss will only fuel the Patriots’ determination to bounce back and reclaim their position as one of the best teams in the league.
Although I am a little upset about New England’s loss, I am excited that Sunday football is back which gives me something to do on Sundays besides homework. The Bills, Jets and Dolphins don’t pose a huge threat to the Pats, so I am most looking forward to watching the Patriots rebound from this opening game loss and for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick to once again propel the team forward in the AFC East.