MINNEAPOLIS - Rookie Cordarrelle Patterson scored two touchdowns, including the go-ahead catch in the end zone in the fourth quarter, and the Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions 14-13 on Sunday in the final game at the Metrodome after 32 seasons.
"Great win to close out the Metrodome, Mall of America Field," said coach Leslie Frazier. "So proud of our players, just battling and just being able to focus on this game and not focusing on anything else."
With both the Vikings (5-10-1) and the Lions (7-9) out of the playoffs, both coaches also faced the possibility of their last full day with their teams.
Jim Schwartz fell to 29-52 in five years with the Lions. Leslie Frazier raised his record with the Vikings in three-plus years to 21-33-1. Each of them has reached the playoffs once.
"I don't get concerned with reports about my job," Frazier said. "I can't control reports about my job, but I can control being able to prepare our football team to go out and play like they did (Sunday). That's something under my control."
Frazier said he spoke with the Wilfs this weekend and that their message was to go out and battle and try to get a win. After the game, Frazier said he address the team on the emotional win.
"I just told them how proud I am of what they've done this season, to battle through adverse moments and to finish the second half 4-3-1 against some quality, quality opponents, who are battling for playoff spots," Frazier said.
The Metrodome has been filled with memories of Vikings greats. While the stadium will be torn down next month to make room for a new stadium on the same site, fans can't help but think about what the future holds.
On Sunday, Cordarrelle Patterson made it clear that he will be a big part of that future.
"I think he's going to be pretty special," Frazier said. "He stays healthy, the sky is the limit. He's a very talented young man without question. That's obvious. He can be one of the all-time greats before it's over."
"We have been dreaming about (playing football) since we were little, you can't worry about what's going on with the coaching staff," Patterson said. "Some of us guys know we are going to be here, some are going to be free agents, so we have just got to do our job and do what's best for us and come out and perform every week."
The Vikings did just that, thanks in part to the growth of Patterson.