3 Up, 3 Down: Winners, Losers From Seahawks Week 13 Win vs. Vikings
Following a 37-30 victory over the Vikings on Monday Night Football, the Seahawks have now taken sole possession of first place in the NFC West and currently sit as the No. 2 seed in the conference with a 10-2 record.
After a dominating third quarter where Seattle scored 24 straight points after halftime, the game had appeared to be on the verge of becoming a prime time blowout. However, the Seahawks nearly gave the lead back to the Vikings after a pair of mistakes in the fourth quarter allowed them to score back-to-back touchdowns.
Thankfully, Seattle’s defense, which has now performed exceptionally well in three straight games, was able to force a turnover on downs with just over two minutes remaining in the game. Clinching the game on a last-second fumble, the Seahawks just barely earned their 10th win of the season.
Let's dive into our three big winners and three losers from Week 13.
While his production may not have jumped out on the stat sheet during the first half, McDougald played a major role in this victory over the Vikings. During Minnesota’s second drive of the game, the veteran strong safety made a fantastic tackle on receiver Bisi Johnson, preventing the Vikings from converting for a first down and forcing them to punt.
Along with his six tackles, the seventh-year pro recovered the fumble from running back Dalvin Cook, which positioned Seattle’s offense just outside the red zone and allowed them to extend their lead to 20-17 with a short Jason Myers field goal. Despite his communication issue with corner Shaquill Griffin, which lead to a 58-yard touchdown by Laquon Treadwell in the fourth quarter, this was certainly one of McDougald's best performances of the season at the perfect time.
Throughout this game, the Seahawks received outstanding blocking from their offensive line on rushing plays. The impressive performance from the unit as a whole allowed running backs Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny to combine for 176 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Specifically, left tackle Duane Brown led the way for Seattle’s impressive run-blocking performance. Not only did Brown’s blocking create one of the easiest touchdown rushes Carson has ever had during the second quarter, but it also helped create a 13-yard rush for Penny, ultimately setting up Seattle for a 29-yard field goal by Myers prior to halftime.
Despite entering the game off the bench once again, the second-year running back played a major role for the Seahawks’ offense for the second straight week. Penny rushed 15 times for a total of 74 yards, including his game-tying rushing touchdown early in the third quarter.
The San Diego State product also caught four passes for 33 yards along with a 13-yard catch and run which led to Penny’s second touchdown of the day. Prior to last week’s game against the Eagles, Penny had barely factored into much of the Seahawks’ rushing attack. Over the last two games, Penny has rushed for over 200 yards and scored three combined touchdowns, becoming a focal point on offense.
This will likely be one of the only times you’ll see Wilson portrayed as a negative player during a game, especially during a victory. However, this was definitely not a perfect performance from Seattle’s star quarterback. Despite completing 21 of his 31 passes for 240 yards along with a pair of touchdowns, the eighth-year quarterback faltered at critical times, which could have altered the outcome of this game for the Seahawks.
During the second quarter, Wilson attempted to swat his own tipped pass down to the ground, but actually pushed the ball back up, allowing safety Anthony Harris to pick off the deflection and return it for a score. Following McDougald's fumble recovery in the third quarter, he led Seattle's offense down to Minnesota’s 11-yard line, only to miss receiver David Moore in the end zone for the touchdown that could have extended the lead to 24-17.
4th Quarter Miscues
With the Seahawks leading comfortably 34-17 early in the fourth quarter, this game was seemingly finished. However, a pair of mistakes by Seattle’s defense and offense allowed Minnesota to crawl back into the game. After the Seahawks extended their lead to 34-17, a miscommunication between Griffin and McDougald allowed Treadwell to find himself wide-open against broken coverage for a 58-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 34-24.
Then just seven plays after Treadwell’s touchdown, receiver DK Metcalf had the ball punched out by cornerback Xavier Rhodes' helmet after an eight-yard catch, which allowed Minnesota to ultimately further cut the Seahawks lead to just 34-30.
It appears the Seahawks may have a very serious concern when it comes to Lockett. Since the fifth-year pro sustained a leg bruise that kept him in the hospital for a few days after Seattle’s victory in Santa Clara in Week 10, Lockett just hasn’t looked the same out on the field.
Lockett has been targeted just five times over the last two games and has made just a single reception. During Monday's victory over the Vikings, Lockett was barely noticeable and didn't make a single catch, which could mean he’s still not 100 percent recovered from his injury as coach Pete Carroll mentioned after the game. Seattle needs the dynamic receiver to return to form if it plans on making a deep playoff run.