The final NFL game of Week 14 got underway at CenturyLink Field with the Seattle Seahawks winning the coin toss and deferring to the second half, meaning the Minnesota Vikings would get the football first. Sebastian Janikowski put his foot to the ball and Ameer Abdullah returned the kickoff to the Minnesota 23 for the Vikings’ first drive of the evening.
Kirk Cousins led the Minnesota offense out onto the field, and got things started with a short run by Dalvin Cook. Cousins then rolled to his right and lofted one to Stefon Diggs for a first down, moving the ball to the 39. A pair of runs by Cook brought up a 3rd-and-4 situation for the purple, and a delay of game penalty pushed it back to a 3rd-and-9. Cousins was nearly intercepted, but the pass fell incomplete and Matt Wile came in to punt it away. Wile’s punt bounced into the hands of Tyler Lockett, who brought the ball back to the Seattle 20.
Russell Wilson and company took the field, and got their drive started with a 4-yard run by Chris Carson. Carson then carried again for another nice gain, bringing up a 3rd-and-1 situation for the home team. The third time was not a charm for Carson, as he was stopped short by Eric Kendricks on the play, and the Vikings’ defense forced a three-and-out! Rookie sensation. . .as much as a punter can be. . .Michael Dickson came in to punt the ball away, and the punt took a favorable roll down to the Minnesota 16-yard line.
Cousins and company started their next drive with an incompletion intended for Dalvin Cook. Cook then lost a couple of yards on second down to make it third-and-long. It looked like the Vikings would be stopped after a loss on a pass to Cook, but the Seahawks were called for a personal foul on Bobby Wagner to give them 15 yards and a fresh set of downs. Cook then burst through the line for 13 yards and another first down to the Minnesota 43-yard line.
The Vikings then tried a screen to Cook again. . .and lost four yards to make it 2nd-and-14. After a short gain by Latavius Murray, Cousins missed on a deep shot to Aldrick Robinson and brought on another fourth down. Wile came in once again, and a decent return by Lockett was negated by a block in the back penalty on Seattle, putting the ball back at the Seahawks’ 10-yard line.
The Seahawks got their drive started with a first down, as Wilson found Nick Vannett for a 12-yard gain. Wilson then found Lockett for a short gain, and then Carson rambled for nine yards to move the chains again. Carson then pounded for seven more, and the Seahawks were rapidly approaching the midfield stripe. Wilson then escaped what looked like a sure-fire sack by Linval Joseph and ran into Minnesota territory at the 49.
Rookie running back Rashaad Penny then got his first carry of the night, good for eight yards. Wilson then kept the ball on a zone read and ran for eight more yards and another Seattle first down. Penny then took the ball to the 29, and Wilson found Lockett after some jet sweep motion for a 14-yard gain to the Minnesota 15. Lockett was then stopped for a short gain on an end-around, and as we move to the second quarter, the Seahawks are looking at a 2nd-and-9 from the Minnesota 14.
We’re scoreless after one quarter of play in Seattle, folks. Will the Vikings’ offense eventually wake up here? Let’s hope so!