It was close, and then it was a blowout, and then it wasn’t -- which means to say it was as obscure as most Seattle Seahawks games in primetime.
When it was all said and done, the Seahawks (10-2) edged the Minnesota Vikings (8-4), 37-30, on Monday night from CenturyLink Field. Minnesota took a 17-10 lead into halftime before Seattle went on a 24-0 run in the second half. The Vikings ended up making it close with 13 unanswered points to close the game, and they even had the ball down four late in the fourth quarter.
With the win, Seattle is now in first place of the NFC West as the Seahawks own the tiebreaker over the 49ers (10-2). Here’s the instant analysis from the primetime win.
1. This Seahawks defense dominant for three quarters before faltering late
Seattle’s defense was fantastic for most of the contest, holding Minnesota to just one offensive touchdown. A busted coverage allowed Laquon Treadwell to score on a 58-yard pass from Kirk Cousins. The Vikings then engineered another touchdown drive to make it a one-score game midway through the fourth quarter. The Seahawks got the stop they needed in the game’s final minutes, forcing a turnover on downs.
Seattle’s defense was impressive overall, forcing two turnovers: a Tre Flowers interception and a Bradley McDougald fumble recovery on a fumble forced by Rasheem Green. Flowers has a pick and Green has a forced fumble in two consecutive games now. The Seahawks didn’t get a sack, but they hit Cousins seven times. Ziggy Ansah accounted for three of those QB hits.
2. Seattle has embraced a true running back by committee
Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny are now in a true timeshare as a two-headed running back by committee. Carson ran the ball 23 times for 102 yards and a touchdown. Penny racked up 74 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries and added four receptions for 44 yards and another score. We’ll have to wait for the game book to see the official snap breakdown, but it felt close to 50/50. That’s notable because it shows that Penny has finally earned the trust of Seattle’s coaching staff with back-to-back big games.
3. Russell Wilson quietly posts decent numbers
It wouldn’t be a Seahawks primetime game without a wonky, game-altering play. In the first half, Wilson had a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage. The ball floated back toward Wilson, and the QB tried to smack it to the ground. Instead, he hit it right to Vikings safety Anthony Harris, who intercepted the pass and ran it back for a pick-six.
Other than that, Wilson was pretty solid overall, finishing with a line of 240 yards, two touchdowns and the pick. He threw a 60-yard touchdown to David Moore, who was wide open thanks to a busted coverage, and a 13-yard touchdown to Penny.
Odds and ends
- Tyler Lockett was held without a catch and now has just one reception in his last two games. Between fighting an illness and still recovering from a bruised shin, it’s clear that Lockett isn’t himself right now. It makes sense that Wilson’s average numbers mirrors the quiet three games that Lockett has had.
- Travis Homer ran the ball 29 yards up the right on a fake punt to convert on 4th-and-3. The fake came in the fourth quarter with the Seahawks up 34-24. It was an aggressive call from Pete Carroll that shocked everyone in attendance, myself included. Homer also recovered a fumble on the final kickoff of the game on a fumble forced by Malik Turner.
- DK Metcalf lost his third fumble of the season just three plays after Homer’s run on the fake punt.