Seattle Seahawks Claim Top Seed in NFC West with Win Over Minnesota Vikings

The Seattle Seahawks dominated on Monday night as Kirk Cousins fell again in primetime.

First Half

The Vikings won the coin toss and elected to defer, allowing the Seahawks to receive the ball to start the game.

Russell Wilson, mic’d up for the game, was heard in the huddle saying “clear heart, clear mind, clear eyes” to get his team mentally right.

Just like last week, the home team used dual ground-pounding running backs Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny to establish the running game. Each back started with nine-yard efforts when given the ball. However, the drive stalled when Carson was hit hard and injured on a third-down play resulting in a punt.

Kirk Cousins led the opening Vikings drive passing four-for-four. Dalvin Cook returned to the game from a minor injury and scored on a two-yard run that was set up by a 27-yard catch-and-run by Stefon Diggs. It looked like Diggs could have scored on his catch if he kept running towards the left pylon instead of cutting back up-field.

The Seahawks then moved the ball at will on their second possession and Wilson, with his curly hair shown beneath his helmet, caught fire and felt the momentum of the game. Carson completed the 14 play, 75-yard drive on a second-and-goal run to tie the game at seven as the first quarter ended.

The Vikings had the first flag of the game early in the second quarter that moved them behind the chains. The team couldn’t make up for it and was forced to punt.

After punts by both teams again, Anthony Harris intercepted Wilson on a deflected ball and returned it for a Vikings touchdown with 5:07 left in the first half. Harris leads the team with four interceptions.

Tight end Jacob Hollister kept the Seahawks; drive alive on third-and-one, but the Seahawks had to settle for a field goal after a failed incomplete third-and-nine with just 58 seconds remaining.

Those 58 ticks left plenty of time for Cousins to lead his team down the field. Dan Bailey kicked a 47-yard field goal as time expired and the Vikings took a 17-10 into the locker room at halftime.

2nd Half

The Vikings received the opening kick but the Seahawks’ defense did their job and forced a quick three-and-out. It was not the way Minnesota wanted to start the second half, that’s for sure. You want to keep the momentum in front of the other team’s home crowd.

The Seahawks took advantage of a 15-yard personal foul penalty and a huge 25-yard Carson run. The drive led to a one-yard touchdown run by Penny to tie the game at 17 just six minutes into the third quarter.

Cook fumbled the ball on the first play of the next Vikings drive and the Seahawks recovered. Cook was injured on the play and was assisted off the field with what appeared to be a right shoulder injury.

Wilson couldn’t capitalize on the turnover with a touchdown but the Seahawks added points to the board with a field goal with 5:49 left in the third quarter. Suddenly, they led the game, 20-17. The Seahawks continued to find their peak form late in the season as they often do.

The Vikings needed a key drive here but a pre-start penalty and a batted pass, the punt team came onto the field again.

As the Seahawks had scored on their last three possessions, they looked to score again and they did just that in glorious fashion. David Moore hauled in a wide open 60-yard touchdown pass at the end of the third quarter. Moore and co. provided a choreographed dance in the end zone that won’t be getting any backup dancer auditions soon. The third quarter was all Seattle.

It only got worse on the next Vikings drive when Tre Flowers intercepted the ball with great concentration after a bounced ball of Diggs’s hands; he was down by contact at the 25-yard line as he tried to return it for a score.

It didn’t take long for Seattle to respond on a 13-yard screen pass to Rashaad Penny for another six points. The Vikings’ defense gave up on the play with poor tackling techniques.

The Vikings led by seven at the half and found themselves down 34-17 with 13:30 on the clock. Cook did not return to the game and the Vikings just couldn’t get anything rolling until Laquon Treadwell burnt the defense and scored, cutting the deficit to 10.

The Seahawks’ next drive stalled when Wilson called timeout on a third-and-two.  When action returned, the Vikings’ defense finally made a key stop on a designed quarterback run play to force a fourth down. The Vikings’ defense finally came off the field for a much-needed rest since they were on the field for the majority of the third quarter. The rest didn’t last long, though, as the Seahawks faked the punt and Travis Homer picked up the first down on a 29-yard run. After a successful challenge on a Metcalf catch and fumble, though, the Vikings’ offense took to the field and the defense got a rest.

The Vikings moved the ball after a catch by Kyle Rudolph and a 30-yard defensive pass interference. Rookie running back Alexander Mattison kept the drive rolling with physical running and the team finished it with a Rudolph one-yard score. What could have been a three-point game was unsuccessful as Bailey missed the extra point. The Seahawks led 34-30 with 7:02 left in the game.

Seattle strategically ran the ball as everyone knew the Vikings’ defense was getting worn down and fatigued. Wilson, though, was sacked for a 13-yard loss as he kept the ball for too long. This resulted in a third-and-nine and Seattle had to use their last timeout as the play clock hit zero. The Seahawks were forced to punt with 3:33 remaining.

Kirk Cousins had an opportunity to post a game-winning drive. A 19-yard catch by Rudolph on the first play was a great start. The Vikings had to keep the offense on the field on fourth down after the third-down pass was deflected high and made uncatchable. The Vikings couldn’t convert.

The fatigued Minnesota defense has to make another stop with 2:26 left with all of their timeouts left plus the two-minute warning. Wilson handed the ball to Carson on third-and-one and converted the first down for the fourth time this game as the two-minute warning stopped the clock. The Seahawks kicked the 36-yard field goal to make it a 37-30 game.

Cousins never got the ball again in his hands as the kickoff return was fumbled and the Seahawks recovered. Cousins is now 0-8 on Monday nights.

This was an exciting game throughout and both teams have a great shot at making a deep playoff appearance.

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