The Seattle Seahawks head north on Sunday, January 10 when they will square off against the Minnesota Vikings at the TCF Bank Stadium in Minnesota in the NFC playoffs. The Seahawks are coming off of an impressive 36-6 win in Arizona against the Cardinals in their final game of the season. They finished the season with a 10-6 record which placed them second in the NFC West Division. The Vikings captured the NFC North by downing the Green Bay Packers 20-13 on the road in their season finale on Sunday and wrapped up the campaign at 11-5.
- Pinnacle Sports currently lists Seattle at -5 at +100 with the Vikings +5 at -110 and the over/under at 39.5 with both at -105
Seattle finished the regular season in fine fashion by snapping the Cardinals’ nine-game winning streak. Quarterback Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes and 197 yards as he went 19 for 28. Christine Michael led the backfield as he was responsible for 102 of the squad’s 145 yards on the ground. It was a good showing for the Seahawks considering their injury situation and the level of opposition in the desert. Tight end Cooper Helfet has done a good job of replacing Jimmy Graham and has worked well with Wilson.
Helfet, who was undrafted and came out of Duke, has been a key player over the past two games. He hasn’t managed to score a touchdown, but chipped has in with 85 yards on eight receptions. He’ll be facing a Minnesota side that is one of the league’s worst when it comes to defending against tight end receivers. The Seahawks are also hoping that running back Marshawn Lynch will be healthy enough to return to action in Minnesota after being sidelined since November 15 due to an abdominal injury. However, head coach Pete Carroll still isn’t sure if Lynch will be ready or not.
Seattle ranked third-best in the league this season in their ground attack by averaging 141.5 yards each game and the Vikings’ run defense is mediocre. These two teams met each other in Minnesota back on December 6 with the Seahawks leaving town as 38-7 winners. Seattle conceded just 125 yards against in that game as they came up with a defensive gem. That’s pretty god considering the Vikings’ averaged 321.2 yards per game this year with 183 of them coming in the air and the other 138.2 coming on the ground. The Seahawks have been hot on the road lately as they’re 5-0 straight up and 4-1 against the spread on their last five road trips.
The Vikings went 6-2 at home this season while Seattle was 5-3 on the road. The Seahawks victory in Minnesota should give them confidence especially since Vikings’ quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed just 10 of 19 passing attempts last Sunday for 99 yards and was also picked off once. The Vikings’ seemed to depend a lot on their backfield this season and ranked fourth in the league in rushing. They ran for 151 yards last week since their passing attack was actually ranked second-worst in the league. The Vikings will pin their hopes on running back Adrian Peterson, but will be up against a tough Seattle defense.
In their meeting in December, Minnesota managed only 31 yards on the ground against the Seahawks. However, Peterson led the NFL in rushing with his 1,485 yards. Bridgewater will need to beat his best though and the offensive line will need to do its job. The Vikings’ quarterbacks didn’t get much protection this year as they were sacked 45 times, including three in the season finale. The defense will have its hands full since Seattle scored the fourth-most points per game this season at 26.4 while their 378.6 yards per outing also ranked fourth and they were ranked third in rushing at 141.8 yards per contest.
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Written By Ian Palmer