Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Card Rd

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Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Card Rd

Post by yezzir » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:32 am

Good morning and Skol!!!

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The Seahawks finished the season with six wins in their final seven games, outscoring opponents by an average of 18 points per contest.

The Minnesota Vikings captured their first division title in six years and their reward is a Wild Card round matchup against the two-time defending NFC champions, Seattle Seahawks, who destroyed them in December and are firing on all cylinders entering the postseason.

The Seahawks stumbled out of the gate at 2-4 and were still below .500 after nine games in mid-November. Beset by questions about their lingering Super Bowl hangover, Seattle's swagger appeared to be gone and it hardly looked like a team capable of playing for another ring in February.

But the Seahawks answered their critics with a resounding second-half run, ripping off six wins in their final seven games and are now well-positioned to reach the league's grand stage for the third consecutive year. If they can make it to Santa Clara, the Seahawks would be the first-ever NFC franchise to play for a Super Bowl crown in three straight years, and the first team from either conference to do it since the 1990-93 Buffalo Bills.

Seattle's 6-1 closing stretch was punctuated by a 30-point thrashing of the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17, cementing its status as a team that no one wants to face in a win-or-go home contest. The Seahawks are playing their best football of the season at the right time: in their final seven games, they went 3-0 against playoff teams, outscoring them by an average of 23 points per game.

The Vikings also head into this matchup on a roll, dominating the Bears, Giants and Packers to close out the year with a three-game win streak. After starting 2-2, the Vikings won nine of their 12 remaining games en route to the NFC North crown. Yet, their 11-5 record comes with a caveat: they went just 2-4 against teams that made the postseason, beating the Chiefs in Week 6 and Green Bay in Week 17.

One of those four losses was a 38-7 shellacking at home in Week 13 courtesy of the Seahawks. The rematch, though, should be much more competitive. The Vikings were without several of their defensive stars in that game, and now that they have their entire complement of defenders back, they are primed for a shot at redemption against the Seahawks.

If fans in Minnesota need a reason to believe that their team can somehow avenge a 31-point loss one month later, they don't have to look further than the 2010 New York Jets. Similar to the Vikings, the Jets got dismantled, 45-3, by the Patriots in Week 13. They got sweet revenge six weeks later in the Divisional Round, though, with a 28-21 victory over New England.

Digits

Defensively, this is a favorable matchup for the Seahawks. They led the NFL in points allowed for the fourth straight season -- the first club to do that since the 1953-57 Cleveland Browns -- but have been vulnerable to prolific aerial attacks. Three quarterbacks (Ben Roethlisberger, Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton) passed for more than 330 yards versus the Legion of Boom, equaling the number of guys that did that in the previous three seasons combined.

The Vikings, however, are hardly a threat to do damage through the air. They attempted the fewest passes in the league and threw for the second-fewest yards. Instead, they rely on a bruising and efficient running game that ranked fourth in both yards gained and yards per carry. The Vikings amassed 43 percent of their total offensive yardage on the ground, the highest rate among all teams.

The Seahawks counter with the NFL's top-ranked rush defense (81.5 yards per game) while allowing just 3.6 yards per rush, the fourth-best mark in the league. They shut down the rushing champ, Adrian Peterson, in their first meeting, holding him to just 18 yards on eight carries. Like they did in that victory, the Seahawks will look to establish an early lead and force the Vikings to abandon their bread-and-butter run game.

The Vikings, on the other hand, want to control the clock with their ground-and-pound offense. Because of the limitations in their passing game and the frigid temperatures expected in Minneapolis, the biggest key for the Vikings on Sunday is the health and effectiveness of Peterson.

There is no question he is a crucial part of the team's success. The Vikings are 11-1 when he gets at least 18 carries in a game, and 0-4 when he doesn't. Though he has been tremendous all season, he's slowed a bit in the past few weeks. Peterson averaged just 64.5 yards per game and 3.6 yards per rush over his last five games; in his first 11 contests, those numbers were 105.8 and 4.9.

If Seattle is able to contain Peterson and force the Vikings to move the ball via Teddy Bridgewater's arm, Minnesota could be staring at an early exit from the playoffs and Seattle could be one step closer to a third consecutive Super Bowl trip.

Who to Watch

The battle for field position is often a pivotal and deciding factor in playoff games, where teams are typically more evenly matched on offense and defense. Both the Seahawks and Vikings feature strong special teams play, and whichever club can execute better in the third phase of the game could have a significant advantage.

They rank third and fourth, respectively, in Football Outsiders' unit ratings, and each is led by a dynamic return specialist. The Vikings' Cordarrelle Patterson led the NFL in kick return average (31.8), and was the only player in the league to bring back two kickoffs for touchdowns. The Seahawks' Tyler Lockett, meanwhile, was third in both kickoff return yardage and punt return yardage, and has scored both as a punt returner and a kickoff returner.

How to Watch

When: 1:05 p.m. ET Sunday

Where: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis

TV: NBC

Commentators: Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya

Online: NBC Sports Live Extra

Odds

The Seahawks are 5-point favorites and the over/under is 39.5, per OddsShark.com

Preliminary Judgment

The Seahawks are a near-unanimous pick among the experts to beat the Vikings. The entire ESPN panel favors the road team, while seven of the eight guys at CBS Sports have Seattle. All eight of our panelists at SB Nation also are going with Seattle.

SBnation.com

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fiestavike
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by fiestavike » Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:59 am

I'm really excited about this game. Its going to be a tough contest to win, but it will be so sweet if they pull it off!
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by vikeinmontana » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:19 am

can't wait for the game today! i just don't see it going like our last meeting. lots of talk about the weather and i'm sure it'll be a small factor but i think it will effect both teams. i think the bigger key is last time we had no smith, no barr, and in my opinion, most importantly no joseph. essentially we were without our three best defensive players, and making it more problematic, one each came from all three sections of our defense; front, middle and back. that is tough for any team to work through.

i don't think this is a team built for coming back from behind. i'd love to see us get momentum early, hopefully get a lead, and let the chips fall where they may.

here's to the vikes being the first team to take advantage of having home field!! :beerock:
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by PacificNorseWest » Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:55 am

Star Tribune beat writers except I think one guy and then whoever it is I'm listening to on KFAN right now all have Seattle winning.

This gon' be good when the Vikes win. I can't wait to see them come out tonight and Monday writing like they knew this would happen all a long. Suckers.
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by indianation65 » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:03 am

Simply put...

Vikes 27
Seahawks 17

...wisdom!!!!
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by Crax » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:15 am

KARE 11 ‏@kare11 5m5 minutes ago
Image
The #Vikings #Gjallarhorn is shattered from the cold temps before today's #SEAvsMIN game.
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by Purple bruise » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:18 am

That really sucks but a few rolls of duck tape and it will be ready to blow :rock:
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by mossbutt » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:22 am

Purple bruise wrote:That really sucks but a few rolls of duck tape and it will be ready to blow :rock:
Thats what she said.
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by Mothman » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:24 am

Crax wrote:
Oh no! Ellison was going to get to sound the horn today.
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by Mothman » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:34 am

Between the frigid temperature and two good defensive teams, I'll be surprised if this isn't a low scoring game. Gamblers, take the under.
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by dead_poet » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:46 am

Crax wrote:
I hope that's not an omen
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by CbusVikesFan » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:47 am

I hope at least the Vikings make it a good game. Not many give them a chance so they should win handily. :govikes:
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by dead_poet » Sun Jan 10, 2016 11:50 am

Vikings inactives vs. Seahawks: WR Charles Johnson, LB Brandon Watts, QB Taylor Heinicke, DT Kenrick Ellis, C Nick Easton, T Jeremiah Sirles, DE Zach Moore
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by Mothman » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:00 pm

dead_poet wrote:I hope that's not an omen
I had the same thought.
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Re: Seahawks @ Vikings Game Day Discussion Thread - Wild Car

Post by fiestavike » Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:02 pm

Mothman wrote: I had the same thought.
Maybe it is an omen of a break with the past. All the Vikings disappointments and disasters were in that horn, and smashed before this game! If we put it all together and wipe out the seahawks, maybe this will be our year. :confused:
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