It took all of about 10 seconds for Patterson to make his first big splash. He took the opening kickoff 5 yards deep in the end zone and returned it 50 yards to get the Metrodome crowd on its feet. He had his share of nerves, but knew he was going to be on the field for a lot of the game and having a big play out of the gate took away much of the nerves he may have been feeling.
"It took a lot of the pressure off," Patterson said. "Being out there so long, I was kind of tired because I was so happy to be out there. The first series I kind of gassed out, but, when I got my first series out of the way, it was pretty good."
Patterson ended up leading all Vikings receivers with four catches for 54 yards and was consistently getting off the line quickly and doing his assignment as called, whether he was the intended target of a pass or not. Quarterback Matt Cassel was impressed with what he saw, as Patterson played like a veteran, not a player in his first NFL game.
"I think, like any rookie that comes in, it's probably a little overwhelming," Cassel said. "You're in a new city with new faces, unfamiliar surroundings, a new offense, everything else. You're just trying to get your bearings about yourself and you're in a new offense. Each day that you're with the coaches and each practice you get to go out there, you learn something. You learn more from your mistakes than you do from your success."
The immediate media reaction was that the Vikings have themselves the real deal in Patterson, but he isn't ready to start making any bold predictions. This was just the first of many games he will have in his NFL career and he's not going to start projecting anything beyond the next game.
"I can't say that I'm going to do this or do that," Patterson said. "Then it won't happen. I can just look at the film, see what mistakes I made and go from there."
For his teammates, it's another story. They were in awe of what the rookie was able to accomplish and the good things he did, both for the offense and the special teams.
"He did awesome for his first professional game," fellow receiver Jerome Simpson said. "He's going to be really good. He's going to help us a lot."
When the Vikings drafted Patterson, the knock on him was that he was raw in route-running and the little things that make wide receivers successful in the NFL. He admitted he has made a lot of progress since first stepping on the Winter Park practice field in May.
"I have come a long way," Patterson said. "I feel it. I had receivers telling me that (I) have come a long way since OTAs with route running, but, personally, I feel like there is a lot more than I can do to get better."
While Vikings fans had a love affair with Harvin, if opening night was any indication, they're ready to give their love to Patterson and he's ready to return it in kind.
"It was great to be out here in front of the home crowd," Patterson said. "The crowd was all into it, even though it was only a preseason game. I can't wait until the regular season and how that will be."
Following the game, Floyd said the injury wasn't anything to be overly concerned about.
"It felt weird at first, but it wasn't anything serious," Floyd said. "I didn't get hurt. I just got cut from behind, but everything's good."
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.