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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings special teams ranked 10th according to Dallas Morning News analysis

By Derek Wetmore

Cast off from being a contributing wide receiver in the Vikings’ offense, Cordarrelle Patterson is still finding ways to make himself useful.

Each year the Dallas Morning News rates the league’s 32 teams based solely on contributions from special teams. The Vikings ranked 10th, at least in part thanks to Patterson.

Minnesota led the NFL in kickoff return yards and as a result, also led the lead in starting field position, according to the analysis.

The Vikings boast the best special teams unit in the division, according to Rick Gosselin’s analysis at the DMN. Chicago (12), Detroit (14) and Green Bay (17) all have some work to do to match Minnesota.

The analysis takes into consideration 22 different categories, like punt returns, punt coverage and opponent field goal percentage, and assigns a point value based on where the team ranks in the league. One point for the best in the league and 32 points for the worst, so the team with the lowest composite score is considered the best special teams unit.

Minnesota ranked 10th last year, too, after deciding to stick by special teams coordinator Mike Priefer through the muck storm of the investigation triggered by Chris Kluwe’s bigotry allegations.

Priefer is expected back next year, but it might be a challenge for the Vikings to maintain their place on this list. Patterson will be an interesting roster decision, although given the cost and his contributions returning kicks, it seems like a reasonable cost even if he provides no value to the offense. Longtime punt returner Marcus Sherels will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, as will contributors like Audie Cole, and others. Furthermore, Trae Waynes spent a lot of time on special teams and could be in line for more run on defense in his second year.

And for what it’s worth this is a regular-season analysis. So Blair Walsh gets some credit for hitting more field goals than any other kicker in the NFL. He’s also not penalized for missing the biggest kick of the year at the end of the Seahawks game.

The post Vikings special teams ranked 10th according to Dallas Morning News analysis appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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