The Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1) are coming off a loss to the New England Patriots in which their offense didn't do much at all. It doesn't get any easier for the Vikings with a trip to Seattle to face a team fighting with them for a playoff spot in front of a rowdy crowd. The Seahawks absolutely destroyed the San Francisco 49ers last week, 43-16, winning their third straight to improve to 7-5. The NFC Wild Card race is bunched up and could get even crazier if the Vikings lose this game. The teams just behind these two in the standings -- the Carolina Panthers, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins -- have not been very consistent, and one of them (Redskins) just lost another QB for the season.
How to Watch Seahawks vs. Vikings: Week 14
Where: Seattle, Washington
Start: Monday, Dec. 10, 8:15 p.m. ET
TV Network: ESPN
Stream Online: Watch live with WatchESPN.com
The Vikings have been difficult to read. They have only scored 30-plus points in one game -- an offense that came into the season under new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has failed to be as explosive as expected. Kirk Cousins leading the NFL with 350 completions is a misleading stat because he’s had to throw the ball so much. They really need to bring the running game into the picture and stop throwing 3-yard routes with Cousins. Yet the Vikings are still in decent position to make the playoffs if they can win this game. They get the Miami Dolphins at home next week then go to Detroit for another winnable game against the Lions before ending the season at home against the Chicago Bears. The Vikings defense is solid with Danielle Hunter attacking the QB and Harrison Smith manning any deep balls, but the offense needs to get to 30 points to take down the Seahawks.
The Seahawks are always trouble for visitors in front of their vaunted "12th Man" crowd. Three of their final four games are in their building, giving them a strong chance to secure a playoff spot if they can take down the Vikings. Russell Wilson was sensational against the 49ers, throwing four TD passes. Chris Carson led the backfield with 108 yards from scrimmage, and Rashaad Penny rushed for 65 yards and a score. Tyler Lockett has become their top WR, a deep-ball machine averaging 16.2 yards per catch, which ranks fifth in the NFL. Doug Baldwin has been taking more of a backseat, but the Seahawks still need him. Bobby Wagner, the quarterback on defense, put up 12 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and 98-yard interception reture TD last week. Yes, that all happened in a single game. That’s a video game performance. Leading pass rusher Frank Clark will look to make Cousins get rid of the ball quickly and have to check down, which he’s been forced to do a lot this season.