It was ugly and needlessly close for far too long, but in the end, the Seattle Seahawks (8-5) came away with a 21-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings (6-6-1) in front of 69,007 fans at CenturyLink Field. Russell Wilson was 10/20 for 72 yards and an interception, but had 63 of Seattle’s 215 yards rushing, including a key 40-yard scamper that helped the Seahawks cement this game away.
The defense was remarkable, holding the Vikings out of the end zone until garbage time. Kirk Cousins was sacked twice, including once for a fumble return touchdown, while Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs were largely held in check. They forced multiple turnovers on downs, blocked a field goal (controversially), and were just all-around dominant in what has to be their best performance all season.
The Vikings started with the ball first and only managed one first-down before punting. After Seattle went three straight runs and a punt, the Vikings had a three-and-out wiped out because of a Bobby Wagner “grasping the helmet opening” penalty while tackling Dalvin Cook. Wagner got away with a legitimate face mask penalty later in the drive, which ended in another punt.
Seattle embarked on an impressive 13-play, 70-yard drive featuring effective rushing plays, Russell Wilson scrambling and keeping on the read-option, as well as a well crafted play-action pass to Tyler Lockett. Unfortunately, 3rd and 9 ended in a sack and thus a 37-yard field goal for Sebastian Janikowski. 3-0 Seahawks.
Frank Clark sacked Kirk Cousins on a 3rd and short to stymie another Vikings drive. The Seahawks marched into scoring position again, but a personal foul penalty erroneously called on Germain Ifedi (later changed to Jordan Simmons) took the Seahawks out of FG range. On the plus side, check out this Rashaad Penny run.
Following ANOTHER Vikings punt, the Seahawks set up shop at their own 40 off a good return by Tyler Lockett. The Seahawks went on a 59-yard drive.... and then at the 1-yard line, Russell Wilson sees no one open on a sprint-out throw, flings it toward the sideline and it gets intercepted by Eric Kendricks. Seattle had no timeouts, so he nearly took a sack, and did that instead. No points again. What the hell was that?
GEORGE FANT CAUGHT A PASS ON THE OPENING DRIVE OF THE HALF!!!
(They punted shortly thereafter)
A couple of first-downs were achieved for the Vikings, and then for 3rd and 1, they did play-action pass and Cousins was pressured into a throwaway by Dion Jordan. The ineptitude continued as the Seahawks went three-and-out and had a brutal botched play that led to Russell Wilson doing an improvised QB draw. The Vikings finally got into Seattle territory on the next possession, but with 4th and 1 at Seattle’s 40, Latavius Murray was stuffed by Bobby Wagner.
On 3rd down, a controversial pass interference on Xavier Rhodes put the Seahawks at the Vikings 10. Stuffed run, sack, incomplete followed. 6-0 Seahawks.
An insane 48-yard catch by Stefon Diggs put the Vikings at the Seahawks 17. Poor tackling on Adam Thielen set up 1st and goal inside the 5. Dalvin Cook was stuffed at the 2 on 3rd and goal. Minnesota went for it on 4th and goal, and it was KNOCKED AWAY by Bradley McDougald to keep the score at 6-0, but the Seahawks gained no yards after being at their own 1.
A poor punt by Michael Dickson gifted the Vikings a short field again. Seattle’s defense held out again and forced them into a 47-yard field goal, which Bobby Wagner leaped over the line and blocked. The flag for possibly doing that leap illegally was picked up.
Bobby Wagner is a freak pic.twitter.com/tIA4EMxDha— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) December 11, 2018
Russell Wilson turned a 2nd down play-action pass into a 40-yard run down the sidelines, deep into Vikings territory.
Chris Carson bashed the Vikings up all the way into the end zone for a touchdown. Tyler Lockett converted on the two-point conversion. 14-0 Seahawks.
TOUCHDOWN Chris Carson!!!— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) December 11, 2018
The #Seahawks run inside zone out of shotgun. Carson makes a nice cut back into the backside C-gap and finishes for the score. Great run to take a 12 point lead. pic.twitter.com/nUS0FTO6mq
It got even better, as rookie pass rusher Jacob Martin strip-sacked Kirk Cousins, and Justin Coleman scooped the ball up and scored. 21-0 Seahawks.
TOUCHDOWN Justin Coleman!! #Seahawks— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) December 11, 2018
Jacob Martin speed rushes around the edge and uses his motor to finish Kirk Cousins for the strip-sack. Justin Coleman returns it for six.pic.twitter.com/QRsbNP4uiG
The Vikings were finally bothered to score a touchdown in garbage time. Kirk Cousins was almost totally over the line of scrimmage when he threw a dumpoff to Dalvin Cook, but it was a good, legal play. That wrapped up the scoring. 21-7 Seahawks final.
Seahawks injury updates
S Maurice Alexander limped off the field after being in kick coverage duty in the 4th quarter. He did not return.
Next week’s opponent
The Seahawks go on the road for the final time this regular season to play the San Francisco 49ers (3-10) on Sunday, December 16th at 1:05 PM PT on FOX.