The Seattle Seahawks have not clinched a playoff spot per say, but they did defeat the Minnesota Vikings and have mathematically only less than 1% chance of missing the playoffs. After a grinding 21-7 win over the Vikings, the Hawks move to 8-5 and barring a 3 game losing streak and other freak occurrences, they will earn a wild card spot.
Although early on it did not look like it, the Seahawks pushed around and bullied the Vikings on both sides of the ball. On defense they limited the Vikings to just 276 yards and 4.9 yards per play. The Hawks prevented a potent Minnesota offense from even getting on to their side of the field for 7 straight possessions.
Bobby Wagner showed his extraordinary athleticism with a leap over the line to block a field goal that would have pulled Minnesota within 3. While questionable if Wagner’s jump interfered with the snap, he showed why he is THE BEST middle linebacker in the NFL. While other linebackers get more public praise and Wagner is stuck in Southeast Alaska, anyone who watches football would take B-Wags over any other linebacker in football—no exception.
With just 2:35 on the clock Seahawks defensive lineman Jacob Martin got into the act stripping QB Kirk Cousins of the ball which was picked up by Justin Coleman and returned for the nail in the coffin TD. The rookie out of Temple got his 2nd sack of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time as the Vikings were driving.
The Vikings managed just 199 yards via the air and a mere 77 yards rushing. Behind the pass rush of Frank Clark and company, Cousins couldn’t find anything down field as skilled receivers like Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen failed to get any significant yards until garbage time.
The Vikings had a rather strong pass defense themselves stopping Russell Wilson for just 72 yards in the air. Receivers were unable to get open and several times Wilson made the wrong read—including a blunder-headed interception to end the 1st half. The Seahawks sorely missed Doug Baldwin as Tyler Lockett had to basically do all the heavy lifting as Jarron Brown and David Moore looked lost at times on routes.
Luckily for Wilson and the Hawks, his feet and the running backs won the day. Russell ran for a 40 yard scramble in the 4th to get the Hawks in a winning position. That mad scramble was capped by a Chris Carson TD. Carson was the thunder in this running game with 90 yards while rookie Rashaad Penny was the lightening with 44 yards on 8 carries.