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Seahawks hold off furious Vikings rally 37-30, take top spot in NFC West

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Minnesota Vikings v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Top dogs in the NFC West!

The Seattle Seahawks (10-2) got off to a bad start against the Minnesota Vikings (8-4), then took control in the 2nd half, and because they know blowouts are forbidden this season, they let the Vikings come right back into the game. In the end, Seattle’s defense made a pivotal stand and the offense, behind 200+ yards rushing, helped seal a 37-30 win over Minnesota.

What does this mean? Seattle is tied for 1st in the NFC West with the San Francisco 49ers, but beating San Francisco means the Seahawks have the tiebreaker. Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns (but a bizarre pick-six to Anthony Harris), Rashaad Penny scored twice, Chris Carson had over 100 yards rushing, and the defense/special teams forced three takeaways.

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What a night! Another Monday Night Football special at CenturyLink Field.

1st Half

The Seahawks received the ball first and gained 19 yards on the ground but would not go for it on 4th and 1 near midfield. “Trusting the defense” did not pay off, as the Vikings were able to march down the field with ease and get a two-yard touchdown run from Dalvin Cook. A missed tackle by K.J. Wright on fullback C.J. Ham and several missed tackles on a Stefon Diggs jet sweep defined that possession. 7-0 Vikings.

Seattle answered back with a 14-play, 75-yard drive that consumed eight minutes of clock. Chris Carson scored from a yard out but not before two 3rd down slant pass conversions to Josh Gordon and DK Metcalf, as well as some nice running by Rashaad Penny. 7-7.

The defenses bogged the opposing offenses down, with punts exchanged on three straight possessions. Quandre Diggs introduced himself to Irv Smith Jr. Then this fluky pick-six by Anthony Harris happened. 14-7 Vikings.

Russell somewhat atoned for the weird interception with a 10-play, 62-yard drive that included two nice catches by DK Metcalf and Jacob Hollister, but they had to settle for a field goal. 14-10 Vikings.

For some weird reason, Minnesota let a lot of clock bleed and they still got an end-of-half field goal thanks to the Seahawks defense not generating pressure and getting caught out on a Dalvin Cook screen. 17-10 Vikings.

2nd Half

After a Vikings three-and-out, the Seahawks put in a 9-play, 71-yard drive that ended in a Rashaad Penny one-yard touchdown run. Chris Carson’s 25-yard gain into a light Vikings box set up Penny to do the finishing act, and it also helped that Xavier Rhodes committed a (debatable) unnecessary roughness penalty on Carson earlier in the drive. 17-17.

One play later, Dalvin Cook fumbled the ball. Rasheem Green with the strip and Bradley McDougald on the recovery!

Unfortunately, David Moore short-armed a 3rd down end zone target and the Seahawks settled for a field goal. 20-17 Seahawks.

Seattle’s defense continued to suffocate the Vikings offense, and the offense extended the lead just before the 3rd quarter expired. David Moore got behind Xavier Rhodes and torched him for a 60-yard touchdown. 27-17 Seahawks.

Another turnover! Tre Flowers picked off Kirk Cousins on an absolutely phenomenal play. Stefon Diggs was the intended receiver, but Flowers had other ideas.

Rashaad Penny picked up his second touchdown of the night three plays later, taking in the screen pass from 13 yards out. 34-17 Seahawks.

This uh... this was not good Bradley McDougald. Laquon Treadwell with a wide open 58-yard TD to get Minnesota back in it. 34-24 Seahawks.

Sigh. And a three-and-out by the offense. Minnesota might get back into th——-BAH GAWD IS THAT TRAVIS HOMER’S MUSIC?!!! FAKE PUNT TIME!!!

But it was for naught. DK Metcalf, who has had fumble issues this year, coughed up a 3rd down conversion and the Vikings recovered. Brutal turnover with a chance to ice the game.

And that was costly. Tre Flowers committed a 3rd down pass interference penalty, and Kyle Rudolph an insane one-handed catch for a touchdown. The missed PAT kept it a four-point game. 34-30 Seahawks.

Next series? Three-and-out and the blown last timeout. Absolute disaster. But the Seahawks defense stood firm with a turnover on downs! Akeem King making the clutch stop on Irv Smith Jr. on 4th and 3.

Seattle still needed to drain the rest of the clock. Two first downs would ice the game. Chris Carson gained nine yards total through 1st and 2nd down, causing Minnesota to blow two timeouts. 3rd and 1... Carson picks up 11 yards! The Vikings still had one timeout left and they used it on the other side of the two-minute warning. Rashaad Penny gained five yards and forced the Vikings into using their last timeout. Chris Carson lost two on the next play, setting up 3rd and 7. No gain on the next play but chewed up enough clock to take it down to under :20 left. Jason Myers trotted on for a 36-yarder, which he made. 37-30 Seahawks with :21 left.

CJ Ham fumbled the kick return. GAME OVER. 37-30 Seahawks.

Seahawks Injury Report

LG Mike Iupati got his foot stepped on but he returned later in the 3rd quarter.

DE Ziggy Ansah left the field in the 4th quarter on a collision with Alexander Mattison.

Next week’s opponent

The Seahawks go on the road for two straight weeks, starting with a Sunday Night Football showdown on December 8th against the Los Angeles Rams (7-5) at 5:15 PM PT on NBC.