Seahawks Insider Blog

What to know about Seahawks’ wild-card playoff foe, the Minnesota Vikings

The Seahawks and defensive end Michael Bennett had their way with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings in Minneapolis on Dec. 6. But Minnesota has changed since, especially on defense.
The Seahawks and defensive end Michael Bennett had their way with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings in Minneapolis on Dec. 6. But Minnesota has changed since, especially on defense. AP

SEAHAWKS’ NEXT OPPONENT

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (11-5)

10:05 a.m. Sunday, TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis

TV: NBC/Channel 5 Radio: 710-AM, 97.3 FM

Live game chat: www.thenewstribune.com/sports

Line: Seahawks by 5½.

Against the Seahawks: Seahawks lead the regular-season series 9-5, dating to the first meeting in Seattle’s inaugural season of 1976 at old Metropolitan Stadium in suburban Bloomington, Minnesota. This is the first meeting in the playoffs. The Seahawks beat the Vikings in Minneapolis 38-7 on Dec. 6 on an unseasonably mild (37-degree) day.

What to know: The Vikings are the NFC’s third seed. They won the NFC North, the franchise’s 19th division title, by winning last weekend at Green Bay. … The Vikings are 13-7 all-time in home playoff games. … This is their second postseason in six years. The other was in 2012, when they lost in the first round at the Packers as a sixth seed. … This is the first outdoor home playoff game for Minnesota since 1976 at old Metropolitan Stadium. … The current forecast for Sunday in Minneapolis: a high of zero degrees, low of minus-11 and a wind chill of minus-25. That would be the coldest Vikings home game since 1972, when it was zero at "The Met" with a minus-18 wind chill for a December game against Green Bay. … Adrian Peterson returned from a one-season suspension to win the NFL rushing title for the third time in his career. He had 1,485 yards with 11 touchdowns in the regular season. … Against Seattle last month Peterson gained just 18 yards, the third-lowest of the 30-year old’s career and second-lowest since his rookie season of 2007. … Seattle had 433 total yards Dec. 6 to just 125 for Minnesota. The Seahawks’ edge in yards rushing over what was then the NFL’s top-ranked running game was 173-31. Seattle’s bulge in first downs was 25-9. … Last time the Vikings ran into Seattle’s eight- and nine-man fronts until the game become lopsided, and Minnesota’s Teddy Bridgewater couldn’t throw the Vikings back into it with the Seahawks knowing he had to pass. … Bridgewater’s 118 yards in 28 passes against Seattle last month were his season low – until he had just 99 yards passing last week at Green Bay. The interception he threw against the Packers was a bad choice he threw left-handed. Before that relapse Bridgewater had completed 70 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and no interceptions in the three games after the one against the Seahawks. … WR Stefon Diggs’ 52 catches lead Minnesota. TE Kyle Rudolph has a team-high five touchdown receptions. … For the season Bridgewater has 14 TD passes – 20 fewer than Russell Wilson – and nine interceptions. … The Vikings had the 29th-ranked offense in the regular season, fourth in rushing and 31st in passing. They were 16th in points scored. … Minnesota’s defense was missing four starters last month against Seattle. DT Linval Joseph was out. Standout LB Anthony Barr and S Harrison Smith left injured in the first half. All are back healthy for this one. … DE Everson Griffen leads the Vikings with 10½ sacks and has 22½ the last two seasons. The first meeting with the Seahawks was one of his six this season without a sack. … Minnesota Cordarrelle Patterson averaged 32 yards per kickoff return and had Minnesota’s only score last month against the Seahawks. He celebrated the last 30 yards or so of his 101-yard return high-stepping with his arm behind his helmet – while down 35-0. … Minnesota was 13th in total defense in the regular season, 17th against the run and 12th against the pass. But the Vikings were fifth in scoring defense, allowing 18.9 points per game.

Quotable: ""Apparently, we just need to watch St. Louis play them and do what they do."

-- Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway on what his team needs to do to beat the Seahawks, to USA Today as he left Lambeau Field Sunday night.

gregg.bell@thenewstribune.com @gbellseattle

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