Week 14’s offering of Monday Night Football proved to be a defensive parade, as both sides struggled offensively. That said, each team entered the game in the Wild Card spot and looked to gain momentum down the stretch. But, as ever, only one team could come out on top. The Seahawks were that team, as they emerged victorious, 21-7.
Seahawks Soar in Seattle
It wasn’t all plain-sailing for the Seahawks in this matchup, particularly on offence. At the helm, Russell Wilson completed just 10 of 20 passes for 72 yards and 1 interception. He was also completely deserted by the O-line which allowed constant pressure at the line of scrimmage. Including 2 sacks from Frank Clark and Jacob Martin. Wilson did experience success rushing the ball however, with 61 yards gained on 7 rushes in the game.
In the run game, Chris Carson garnered the majority of the snaps. He produced 90 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, whilst Rashaad Penny contributed 44 yards on 8 carries.
However, as aforementioned, the game was won on defence. The momentum completely flipped after Bobby Wagner’s controversial blocked field goal. That play prevented 3 points being added with just under 5 minutes to play, and foreshadowed more misery coming Cousins’ way.
On the Vikings’ ensuing possession, Jacob Martin’s strip sack forced the ball loose for Justin Coleman to collect. He then marched the ball into the end zone and put the game beyond any reasonable doubt.
The victory improves the Seattle Seahawks’ record to 8-5 on the season. Next up, they travel to San Francisco this week to face the struggling 49ers. That bout should be a fairly easy matchup for Russell Wilson and co.
Kirk Cousins once again performed poorly in this game, as he demonstrated very little diversity when attempting to make plays. He too was unaided by poor offensive line play. However, he was largely ineffective in decision making. Moreover, he missed several wide open targets in the open field, as well as overthrowing a couple also.
Conversely, his statistics tell otherwise as he compiled 208 yards and 1 token TD on 20 passes. With that in mind, it must be noted that the touchdown was merely a consolation as has been standard in recent matchups with strong opponents.
The run game was also halted at every opportunity. For example, Dalvin Cook accumulated just 55 yards on 13 rushes and Latavius Murray posted just 4 yards on 3 carries.
As evidenced, it was a truly horrific offensive display by both teams.
On the other hand, the Vikings defence were solid throughout the game for the most part.
Anthony Barr was exceptional in his performance, producing 7 tackles and 1 sack. Additionally, Danielle Hunter enhanced his sack tally to 12.5 sacks on the season with 1 on the night. Eric Kendericks also collected 7 tackles and caught the only interception of the night on a truly silly play by Russell Wilson.
Where Does This Defeat Leave The Vikings?
Honestly, not in a great spot.
The Chicago Bears can now clinch the NFC North title this weekend against the Packers. Moreover, the Vikings still have two divisional rivalries to partake in, and a tough encounter with the Dolphins to boot.
Even more worrying for the Minnesota Vikings is the fact that against the Saints, Brees was held to just 120 passing yards, yet they still lost by 10 points. Furthermore, in this game, Wilson was held to under 100 yards and the Vikings still got beat by 14. Conclusively, it represents a complete relapse on offence and evidences that it’s the only aspect of the team which is failing.
All eyes will now be on OC John DeFilippo as he must find a way to ignite this talented offence. By that same sentiment, could Mike Zimmer’s job be on the line too?
Image Rights – https://www.oregonlive.com/expo/sports/erry-2018/12/759a37d7fc9333/seattle-seahawks-vs-minnesota.html