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Minnesota Vikings send Metrodome to history books in final Metrodome event

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The seasons for both the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings were settled before the game even started on December 29, 2013 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The story of the day was the stadium. This would be the last major event to be held in the stadium before the power is to be cut, mid-January, starting the demolition process to make way for the team’s new stadium.

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Neither team was playing for a spot in the 2013 NFL post season. Neither team’s star offensive threat dressed to play in the game. Minnesota Vikings’ “All Day” Adrian Peterson was deactivated because of a nagging injury and to reduce the risk of re-injury. The Lions’ Calvin “Megatron” Johnson did not dress due to a knee injury.

The Vikings close the 32 season Metrodome era with a win, defeating the Lions 14-13 in front of 64,134 fans. The last three NFL plays in the Metrodome were somewhat disappointing with quarterback Matt Cassel assuming the “victory” formation after Vikings’ running back Matt Asiata scampered down the right sideline for a 39 yard gain to the Lions’ 14 yard line. After the two-minute warning, Cassel took the first of three knees and time expired on the Vikings’ season and the Metrodome era.

Some takeaways from the game:

  1. Cordarrelle Patterson is coming into his own and helping Vikings fans forget about the hole left in the lineup after the departure of fan favorite Percey Harvin.
  2. Matt Asiata has performed beyond expectations in the absence of Adrian Peterson in the last two home games.
  3. The Vikings close out their 32nd season at the Metrodome with a win.

Cordarrelle Patterson has blossomed into a force to be reckoned with in the NFL. The rookie receiver scored the team’s only two touchdowns, one through the air and one, a 50 yard scamper that covered both 50 yards down the field as well as sideline to sideline leaving defenders in his wake.

For the season Patterson has amassed 469 yards receiving on 45 receptions and 158 yards rushing on 12 attempts, averaging 10.4 yards receiving and 13.2 rushing on the year. He also racked up 1393 yards (a Vikings’ record) in kick returns, housing two of them. He scored nine touchdowns, four receiving, three rushing (a Vikings’ record) and two on kick returns.

Matt Asiata carried for 115 yards on 14 carries in the game. Asiata saw game action in just two games this year and ran for 166 yards, scoring three touchdowns in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles. With both backup running back Toby Gerhart and starting quarterback Adrian Peterson out of the final game, Asiata picked his time to shine, almost doubling his career yards in one game.

The story of the game, meaningless as it was record-wise as the two teams had been eliminated from playoff contention the week prior, was the ending of an era. The 32 season Metrodome era came to an end Sunday. As the Vikings-Lions game concluded, Vikings’ greats Robert Smith, Matt Birk and legendary coach Bud Grant shared some words, emceed by the voice of the Vikings, Paul Allen.

The dome is set to be deflated on January 18, 2014 marking the beginning of the end of the hub of Minnesota sports, a stadium that hosted the Minnesota Vikings, Twins, Gophers, Timberwolves, an NCAA Final Four, a Superbowl and countless other sporting events over the last 32 years.

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