Frankly, I don’t think ANYONE is taking the Vikings seriously. I think people are looking at the Vikings’ record (6-5-1) and all they see is a mediocre, middle-of-the-road team.
Furthermore, they see this game is on Monday Night, they see the Seahawks are at home, they see the Seahawks have been on a tear recently (3 in a row) and over the last 10 games (7-3), and that’s the end of the analysis. Seahawks in a laugher, and let’s move on to next week.
There’s a lot at stake in this one. SO MUCH. If the Seahawks win, it all but guarantees we secure a playoff spot. Winning this one – even if we somehow drop one to the 49ers or Cardinals in the final three weeks – still puts us in tremendous position to make the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
But, the Vikings have just as much on the line. A win for them puts them in the driver’s seat for that top wild card spot. From here, they host the Dolphins, go on the road to the Lions, and host the Bears; they should win 2/3 EASILY and it wouldn’t shock me to see them winning all three. Don’t forget, if the Vikings win out, and the Bears drop one either to the Packers or 49ers, then the Vikings steal the division at 10-5-1.
To their credit, the Vikings sound as pumped up as I’ve ever heard a team coming into Seattle in a primetime game. If you don’t think they’re coming ready to play, you’re crazy. If you think the pisspoor crowd noise we’ve had at CenturyLink this year – and really for the last few years – will be enough to rattle them, you’ve got another thing coming.
I keep reflecting on 2017. Kirk Cousins – on an injury-depleted Redskins team – coming into Seattle as heavy underdogs and narrowly escaping as victors. The Seahawks were riding high and 5-2 coming into that game. The season went into the tank from there, as including that game we finished 4-5.
These Vikings are SO MUCH BETTER than that Redskins team. I would argue a big reason why the Vikings’ record appears so bad is because they started off the season with a lot of injuries, and they’re just now getting healthy again.
The Vikings have a ferocious defense, for starters. Don’t expect the Seahawks to run the ball as well as they’ve been doing most weeks. D.J. Fluker being out definitely plays into that and no one’s really talking about it, because Jordan Simmons started in one of those Rams games and did okay. I think the Seahawks’ O-Line is going to struggle tonight. Quite frankly, it wouldn’t shock me if they looked Tom Cable-esque. I expect Chris Carson to be bottled up, and I expect Russell Wilson to be running for his life like we really haven’t seen since the Chicago game back in Week 2.
Our only hope is if we throw the ball a ton, but I don’t know how confident I am in that either. I’m obviously more confident in that than I am in our running game, but not by a lot. I think Wilson is destined for at least one turnover, maybe two. I think we’ll be playing from behind pretty early on in this one, so he’ll have a ton of attempts when it’s all said and done. And, since I need Wilson to absolutely crush it for one of my fantasy teams, let’s just go ahead and lock it in that he’s going to score below 20 points tonight.
Defensively for the Seahawks, I think we match up about as poorly as with anyone in the league. The Vikings have two ELITE receivers with a capital ELITE in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs; whereas the Seahawks have a secondary that can’t tackle and doesn’t really cover all that well. I expect Cousins to have a monster game. Furthermore, while the Vikings don’t run the ball particularly well, the Seahawks are among the worst defenses in the league at stopping the run, so figure the Vikes get at least 150 on the ground as they move the ball at will.
Honestly, I won’t call for a Vikings blowout, but I think they’ll be up big by halftime, and it’ll take a furious Seahawks comeback in the second half to bring this game back to single digits. Ultimately, I see a Seahawks loss – their THIRD of the season at home – and I see this thing being a lot more interesting the rest of the way.
I still think the Seahawks make the playoffs. I still think we’ll beat the 49ers and Cardinals. Honestly, I think our chances of beating the Chiefs are better than the Vikings! It wouldn’t shock me in the SLIGHTEST if we scored with the Chiefs and nipped them in the end, because their defense is so bad!
But, like I’ve said before, when do the Seahawks ever make it easy on themselves? This should be a minor blip, but it will be a blip. Thankfully, as I believe both us and the Vikings will be wild card teams, we won’t have to play them in January.