Here’s how the Seattle Seahawks grade out in their 27-26 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at CenturyLink Field:
What a bizarre game for Seattle’s offense. Over the first 58 minutes the Seahawks did almost nothing, with the exception of a two-minute burst in the third quarter when Seattle took advantage of turnovers to score three touchdowns. But when the game is on the line at the end of the game, it always pays to have Russell Wilson. Seattle’s superstar quarterback marched the Seahawks 94 yards and converted twice on fourth down, including the game-winning touchdown pass to DK Metcalf with 15 seconds remaining, Metcalf’s fifth TD of the season. The last drive salvages what was Seattle’s worst offensive game of the season so far.
This game was equally bizarre for Seattle’s defense. On one hand, the defense turned the tide of the game in the third quarter, coming up with two big turnovers that set up short fields and led to the touchdowns that gave the Seahawks control of the game. On the other hand, the defense gave up 400-plus yards again, allowed all kinds of sustained drives, and it capitulated in the fourth quarter as the Vikings surged back ahead. However, when it was most important, the defense made the fourth-down stop that gave Seattle the chance to win it at the end.
The reason why the Seahawks even had a chance in this one is because of special teams. Punter Michael Dickson, who’s having an All-Pro season, almost single-handedly kept the score respectable in the first half with his combination of long punts in bad weather and pinning the Vikings inside their own 5-yard line. The Seahawks were also fantastic in both kickoff and punt coverage, and David Moore even had a quality punt return.
There was one particularly good moment for Pete Carroll, when he challenged a Minnesota incompletion that turned into a fumble. However, there was a lot not to like. Seattle was a no-show in the first half as the Seahawks were fortunate to only be trailing 13-0 at halftime. After the tide turned completely in the third quarter, Seattle was unable to put its foot on the Vikings’ neck when the game was there for the taking. Minnesota star running back Dalvin Cook went out injured, yet the Seahawks still couldn’t stop the Vikings run game. The team came up with the winning formula at the end of the game and deserves credit for that, but how much of that was coaching and how much of it was execution by the players?
Well, if there’s one thing that’s certain about these Seahawks, it’s that they’re going to play games that hold everyone’s attention until the final second ticks off. And full credit to Seattle, as this season they’ve won all of them. This one was all over the place, with both teams having multiple junctures in the game where their win probability was more than 80%. But the most important thing is winning, and the Seahawks now find themselves as the only 5-0 team in the NFL as they head into their bye week.
– Nick Patterson, Herald writer