The Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks put on a show tonight for a national Sunday Night Football audience. It was a game in which the Vikings completely dominated the first half on both sides of the ball. The defense posting four sacks on Russell Wilson and held his high-powered Seahawk offense to a 2-quarter goose egg.
Watching it all unfold was shocking… and you knew a Seattle run was coming at some point.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) October 12, 2020
500+ lbs falling on Russell Wilson you hate to see it……. pic.twitter.com/8YMPjjstOK— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) October 12, 2020
Cook Goes Down (Again)
It did… but it took a Dalvin Cook injury before the Seahawks showed any life. It was a non-contact injury for the Vikings’ most potent offensive weapon. He caught a pass out of the backfield, when something went in his groin. He immediately turned straight for the sideline and hobbled off to the locker room.
Cook did return for one play but he looked hurt and it wasn’t even ran to him. Kirk Cousins threw an interception on the same down and Cook didn’t return for the next drive. He wore his helmet on the sideline for the rest of the game.
Dalvin Cook pulled up with a leg issue pic.twitter.com/onxL8s0U9g— Vikings Blogger (@firstandskol) October 12, 2020
Seattle Makes Their Run
The Seahawks came out on the next drive and immediately looked like a different offense. Russell Wilson would throw two straight touchdown passes on drives where the Vikings defense, which looked dominant leading up to this point, were suddenly overmatched.
Just like that, the score was 14-13, Seattle. Then it got worse when Chris Carson took off for a 29-yard TD scamper. The score was 21-13 but it might as well have been 51-13. As a lifelong Minnesota Vikings fan, this game was as good as over.
Late Game Kirk Rises to the Occasion…
But then…. Kirk Cousins rose to the occasion late in a game for the second week in a row. It was beautiful. It raised everyone’s game around him, too. Suddenly, Alexander Mattison looked a little bit better and Mike Boone became a really good #2 back. The Vikings’ offense started moving the ball however they wanted vs the Seattle defense. Mattison would finish the game with 112 yards… but it would be one yard too few.
After 21 straight Seattle points, Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota offense answered with 13 points of their own, to take the lead back 26-21. Then, classic Minnesota things happened. Mike Zimmer went for it on 4th down inside the 10-yd-line, instead of kicking a chip-shot field goal in the rain.
The Vikings had been running it down the Seahawks’ throat all drive so I can’t say I blame him. There was two minutes left and Pete Carroll was down to just one timeout. A first down would have sealed the game.
Alexander Mattison TWEAKED 🤦🏾♂️ could’ve had a game sealing TD if he saw the running lane 😓 pic.twitter.com/eNtcGBHkDp— VERSACEBOYENT (@versaceboyent2) October 12, 2020
Instead, going for it would end up costing Minnesota the game. Again, I can’t blame Zimmer for the play call. His defense had two chances to stop the Seattle offense from having the last laugh and covering for their HC… but that’s just not how things work when it’s Russell Wilson vs the Vikings.
Cam Dantzler fucked up a 4th down toss-up early in the drive, that would have sealed it. Then Russell Wilson did Russell Wilson things on 4th down from 5 yards out. Just like that, it was over.
There were so many good things that happened in this game for the Minnesota Vikings, that it makes this loss extra depressing. A win tonight would have led to so much hope, with much easier games on the upcoming schedule and a completely different Kirk Cousins and defensive stability we didn’t think this team had, before the last two weeks.
Instead, we’ll try to talk ourselves into the possibility of a 1-4 Vikings team digging themselves out of what seems like an insurmountable early-season hole. With Green Bay and Chicago both holding 4-1 records inside of the NFC North alone, that seems like a pipe dream at this point.
Fun game… but losing isn’t fun. Here is what the rollercoaster ride looked like.
Win Probability: Vikings @ Seahawks pic.twitter.com/wEyG9ZTGvv— Lee Sharpe, ⛓️ @ 🏠 (@LeeSharpeNFL) October 12, 2020
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan