Cordarrelle Patterson had such a magical, out-of-nowhere 2021 that it was hard to imagine him repeating it. So far in this young season, though, he’s not just repeating 2021’s impressive production but exceeding it.
The Falcons blocked well and called some great plays Sunday, setting up Cordarrelle Patterson for success against the Seahawks, but he had to turn those opportunities into a big day. Naturally, you can count on that, and Patterson put up a career-high 141 yards on the ground, fueling the team’s offense to a win and earning himself NFC Offensive Player of the Week honors for Week 3.
It’s a deserved honor. Patterson averaged over eight yards per carry on Sunday, driving an efficient and terrifying ground game forward, and added a catch for 12 yards. When he’s rolling he’s a juggernaut, and the Falcons don’t win the game against Seattle without him devouring yardage and scoring on Sunday. The Falcons may well look to dial down his workload a little bit as the season goes on to keep him fresh, especially with Tyler Allgeier looking solid thus far, but he’ll continue to have a major role give that he’s a game-changing weapon. He certainly has been on two out of three Sundays thus far.
Patterson had 85 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries this time a year ago as he worked his way into a prominent role in the Falcons’ offense, whereas this year he started the year as the undisputed lead back for Atlanta. Through three games, he’s up to 302 yards—nearly half of his 2021 rushing total of 618—with two touchdowns, putting him at second in the NFL for rushing yards. Patterson is having an absolutely bonkers start to the season, aided by better performances from the line and a playcaller hellbent on using him effectively, and it’s still unclear why no team looked at a player with his size, speed, and physicality and thought he might thrive in this role before now. We’re fortunate the Falcons were savvy enough to be that team.
We’ll see if Patterson can keep up his production against a tough Cleveland front, but one way or the other I feel confident he’ll continue to thrive, and that this will likely not be the last time he’s nominated for—or even wins—this kind of weekly award in 2022.