Then, the third quarter happened, and the Vikings dug themselves a hole that they just couldn’t dig themselves out of, falling to the Seahawks by a final score of 34-30.
The Vikings got on the board first, putting the ball into the end zone on their first possession of the night. The opening drive was very impressive, covering 83 yards in just six plays and being capped by a two-yard touchdown run by Dalvin Cook to give the Vikings an early 7-0 lead.
Seattle would answer on their next possession, getting the ball into the end zone after a drive that took up eight minutes of game time. The drive concluded with a 1-yard plunge by Chris Carson to make the score 7-7 at the end of the first quarter of play.
Minnesota got the lead back just after the midway point of the second quarter, thanks to their defense. A pass from Russell Wilson was deflected by rookie defensive tackle Armon Watts, and Wilson tried to bat it down, but failed. . .instead tipping it right to Vikings’ safety Anthony Harris, who cruised into the end zone for a 20-yard pick-six to give the Vikings the lead back at 14-7.
Seattle answered with less than a minute remaining in the half, as they got a 29-yard field goal from Jason Myers to cut the Minnesota lead to four at 14-10. The Vikings executed a two-minute drill. . .poorly. . .but still managed to get themselves into position for Dan Bailey to attempt a field goal. He connected from 47 yards out, and the teams went into the locker room with the Vikings holding a 17-10 lead.
Minnesota went three-and-out to start the third quarter, and Seattle responded with a game-tying drive as Rashaad Penny went over from a yard out to tie things at 17-17.
On the Vikings’ first play after the touchdown, Dalvin Cook fumbled with the Seahawks recovering in Minnesota territory. Both Cook and Stefon Diggs were injured on the play, but Diggs came back into the game on Minnesota’s next series. The Vikings’ defense held Seattle to a 29-yard field goal by Jason Myers, but that gave Seattle the lead back at 20-17.
Seattle extended their lead on the next drive with an embarrassingly easy score. Facing a 3rd-and-5 from the 40-yard line, Wilson dropped back and lofted a pass to a wide open David Moore, who cruised into the end zone for a 60-yard touchdown. That moved the Seattle lead to ten at 27-17 as we went to the fourth quarter.
To make things worse, the first play of the fourth quarter featured Kirk Cousins throwing his first interception since Week 6, as a pass intended for Stefon Diggs was juggled and picked off by Tre Flowers at the Minnesota 25-yard line. The Seahawks capitalized again, as Wilson found Rashaad Penny for a 13-yard score, and the rout was on at 34-17.
Minnesota finally stopped the bleeding a bit on their next drive, as Cousins found a wide open. . .Laquon Treadwell? Yes, Laquon Treadwell for a 58-yard touchdown! That cut the lead to 34-24 with just under thirteen minutes remaining.
The Vikings appeared to have forced a three-and-out on the next possession, but the Seahawks dialed up a fake punt from their own 32-yard line, and backup running back Travis Homer ran for 29 yards and a first down instead. However, later in the drive, Xavier Rhodes forced a fumble from D.K. Metcalf, with Mackensie Alexander recovering the loose ball.
Minnesota then got the ball into the end zone again, thanks to the big hands of Kyle Rudolph. On a third-and-goal from the 3-yard line, Cousins and Rudolph connected for the touchdown. . .but Dan Bailey missed the extra point, making it a 4-point game at 34-30.
Minnesota got the ball back with an opportunity to take the lead, but Cousins’ fourth down attempt for Irv Smith Jr. fell incomplete. The Vikings were unable to prevent the Seahawks from running out the clock, and Jason Myers added a 36-yard field goal to provide the final margin.
Kirk Cousins had a decent, not great, night. He completed 22-of-38 passes for 276 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception that really can’t be placed at his feet. Treadwell’s big catch gave him enough to be the Vikings’ leading receiver for the evening with 58 yards. Alexander Mattison, who got no touches in the first half, wound up in second with 51 yards on four receptions. Kyle Rudolph chipped in with 50 yards and a touchdown on four grabs.
C.J. Ham had a pair of first-half catches for 42 yards, Dalvin Cook had three catches for 35 yards, and Stefon Diggs was held to just 25 yards on four catches, though he had several drops on the evening. Tyler Conklin had two catches for eight yards, Irv Smith had a six-yard reception, and Olabisi Johnson had a 1-yard catch.
As far as the ground game, it didn’t really do much this evening. Cook wound up with just 29 yards and a touchdown on nine attempts. Mattison, who spelled Cook in the second half, had 22 yards on four carries, and Diggs had a 27-yard run.
The Vikings fall to 8-4, and return to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon to face the Detroit Lions. They remain the #6 seed in the NFC playoffs as things stand right now. The Seahawks move their record to 10-2, take over the lead in the NFC West and the #2 seed in the NFC playoffs. They will face the Los Angeles Rams next week on Sunday Night Football.
The Vikings fight back from a big deficit, but come up just short as they fall to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football, 37-30. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!