The Minnesota Vikings met the Seattle Seahawks in a clash of NFC contenders on Monday night. Off a bye, Minnesota looked to keep pace with the Packers in the NFC North. Likewise, Russel Wilson’s Seahawks needed a victory in order to tie the 49ers atop the NFC West standings. Minnesota came into the game undefeated on their home turf this season, but just 3-3 on the road. Star wideout Adam Thielen missed his third game in a row for the Vikings with a lingering hamstring issue.
Both teams came into this matchup off a victory, but neither side played their best football. Minnesota used a 20 point second-half rally to overcome the Broncos, while the Seahawks outlasted the Eagles 17-10. The winner of this one would put themselves in the driver’s seat for a divisional crown, and possibly even a first-round playoff bye.
First Half Summary
The scoring came early in this one, starting with the Vikings. Dalvin Cook punched it in from two yards out midway through the first quarter, giving Minnesota a 7-0 lead. It was Dalvin’s 12th rushing score of the season in what has been a superb bounce-back year for the Florida State alum.
Though Seattle responded quickly. Despite yet another fumble last week vs. the Eagles, it was Chris Carson who got the start at running back. With just 11 seconds left in the opening quarter, Carson surged ahead for a 1-yard rushing score knotting the game at 7-7.
Perhaps the craziest play of the night came with five minutes remaining in the first half. Deep in his own territory, Russel Wilson threw a pass that was deflected at the line of scrimmage. The pass was batted back in Wilson’s direction before he tried to knock it down himself.
However, this action created a volleyball affect where the ball was tipped back into the hands of Viking’s safety Anthony Harris. Harris took off in a flash and returned the batted ball for a 20-yard pick-six. Minnesota regained a touchdown lead at 14-7. From there, the two sides would exchange field goals before the half. Heading into intermission, Minnesota lead Seattle 17-10.
The second half of this contest produced even more fireworks. It started with Seattle’s second rushing touchdown of the game. This time it was a 1-yard score from former San Diego St standout, Rashaad Penny. +
The next possession for Minnesota provided a terrifying moment. Dalvin Cook rushed ahead for a 2-yard gain before fumbling the football and subsequently hurting his clavicle. Cook was forced to exit for the remainder of the game. On a positive note, he spoke after the game and said that he’d be “ready to go” for Minnesota’s Week 14 matchup with Detroit.
However, the fumble set up Seattle in excellent field position. Kicker Jason Myers gave Seattle the lead back on a 29-yard field goal. It looked like Minnesota would enter the fourth quarter only down three, until more fireworks happened. Russel Wilson hit David Moore on a 60-yard missile down the field for his first passing TD of the night. The Seahawks outscored the Vikings 17-0 in the 3rd and now lead 27-17.
After a Kirk Cousins interception, Seattle was in scoring position yet again. Russel Wilson found Rashaad Penny in the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown giving Penny two touchdowns on the night. The score was now 34-17, and the game looked to be all but over. But, not so fast. Kirk Cousins threw a deep touchdown pass of his own by finding Laquon Treadwell wide open down the field. This was Treadwell’s first receiving TD of the year, and just his seventh catch overall.
Seattle’s next possession seemed to be going very well until yet another turnover occurred. This time it was rookie wide receiver DK Metcalf who coughed up the football. Minnesota had new life, and Kirk Cousins took full advantage. On third and goal, he hit Kyle Rudolph on a touchdown pass that Rudolph snared with one hand. The game was now 34-30, but a missed Minnesota PAT kept the game at that score.
Minnesota’s Final Chance
Unfortunately for the Vikings, that’s as close as they would get. Seattle tacked on a field goal late to make the score 37-30. The Seahawks had to kick the ball off with just 21 seconds remaining, giving Minnesota a small glimmer of hope. Though, Kirk Cousins and the offense would not even get the ball back. The Vikings fumbled the kickoff return in what was the fifth total turnover of the ballgame. The Seahawks won the game 37-30 and now sit atop the NFC West standings. Minnesota remains firmly in the playoff picture even with the loss, but still behind Green Bay in the division standings.
The Vikings dropped to 8-4, but are still in a great position to make the playoffs. The division title is not out of the question either, as a rematch with Green Bay looms ahead in Week 16. As for next week, Minnesota will return home to play the Detroit Lions. These two sides last played in mid-October; a game Minnesota won 42-30. The two big questions for the
Vikings heading into next week will be the health status of Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook. While Cook remained optimistic that he’ll play this week, it is undoubtedly an injury worth paying attention to. Next week will be another opportunity for the Vikings to make a push for the NFC North crown.
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