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Seahawks To Take Stride Towards Playoffs

December 8, 2018

The Minnesota Vikings are a fierce battle to reach the playoffs ahead of their clash against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.

Mike Zimmer’s men dropped to 6-5-1 in their campaign after suffering a 24-10 defeat on the road at the hands of the New England Patriots. Their offense was stymied by the Patriots’ defense as Kirk Cousins failed to cope with the pressure applied by the pass-rush.

The Vikings’ defense was unable to hold up against Tom Brady and company, putting enough points on the board to secure the win at Gillette Stadium. Minnesota remain in the sixth seed, narrowly ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles and Carolina Panthers, but cannot afford another damaging defeat, especially at the hands of a playoff rival on the road.

Seattle have been one of the surprises of the season. Head coach Pete Carroll has done a fine job of keeping his team together amid key departures and a season-ending injury suffered by Earl Thomas.

The Seahawks have won their last three games and are hitting their stride at the right time of the campaign. At 7-5 they remain under a little bit of pressure to secure their spot, although three of their final four games are at CenturyLink Field.

Will Wilson down the Vikings?

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks lost their core of their secondary during the off-season. Richard Sherman was released, while Kam Chancellor was forced into retirement. Earl Thomas endured a contract dispute with the club and then on his return suffered a season-ending injury. Seattle’s defense was the foundation of their success in the 2013 season when they won the Super Bowl along with the 2014 campaign when they were denied a second crown on the goalline.

Without Sherman, Chancellor, Thomas and pass-rusher Michael Bennett many pundits expected Carroll’s men to be in line for a top-10 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. However, after a mediocre start they’ve rounded into form and are on course for a playoff place after missing out last term. Their defense has been solid enough, while Russell Wilson and the offense have managed to put points on the board with regularity.

Other than the Denver Broncos, the Seahawks only defeats have come against sides that have performed extremely well this term, including two losses to the Los Angeles Rams. Their two defeats at home have been to both Los Angeles’ teams – the Rams and the Chargers – highlighting their strength at CenturyLink Field. The running game has been a key component as Chris Carson has enjoyed a breakout campaign, while the same could be said of Tyler Lockett at wide receiver.

Bobby Wagner has held together the defense amid the departures and key injuries aided by the strong performances of the line. Frank Clark has 10 sacks on the season, while Jarran Reed has also been a force. The Seahawks have the experience to end the term on a strong note to take momentum into a potential surge in the playoffs.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings failed to rise to the occasion last week in their defeat to the Patriots. Cousins was unable to adjust to the pass-rush, throwing short of the sticks on several occasions. Zimmer criticised the play-calling of offensive coordinator John DeFilippo for abandoning the running game that had shown life with Dalvin Cook. Cousins was intercepted twice, while he was sacked three times, with the offense mustering only 10 points in the contest.

Adam Thielen produced one of his worst performances of the season, catching only five passes for 28 yards, although he did score his team’s only touchdown of the game. Every player on the Vikings’ offense played within themselves, with a response required on the road against the Seahawks. Cook has to become more involved on the ground to ease the pressure on Cousins. He is more than capable of taking on more responsibility and it’s up to the coaching staff to put more faith in the running game.

Minnesota have one of the best defenses statistically in the NFL, but came up short in critical moments against the Patriots for that matter throughout the term. They have the talent at all three levels of the defense, although their secondary has been ailing. The rest of the unit has to step up over the final month of the season, beginning with the pass-rush that did not lay a hand on Brady last week. The Vikings has the chance to be a disruptive force in the playoffs, but they have to get there first.

Head to Head

Games Played: 15 Seattle Seahawks: 10 Minnesota Vikings: 5

The Seahawks have edged the battle between the two teams, although they have not crossed paths a great deal over the years. Seattle were in the AFC Conference and only switched to the NFC in 2002 when the divisions were realigned. The last encounter between the two teams was one for the ages in the 2015 post-season. Minnesota and the Seahawks duelled it out in freezing conditions – one of the coldest games in recorded history.

The Vikings had the opportunity to advance to the Divisional Round of the playoffs when Blair Walsh lined up a field goal with seconds remaining. From 27 yards the effort was as close as possible, only for the kicker to shank his strike, allowing the Seahawks to progress at the expense of Zimmer’s men. Revenge will be in the minds of the Vikings’ players on Monday.

Betting Options

Seattle are a formidable outfit on home soil, while the Vikings are coming off a poor performance on the road last week against the Patriots. The Seahawks crushed the San Francisco 49ers last time out and will know that a win will take them to the brink of securing a post-season berth. Wilson and his offense have been playing well to put enough points on the board against a stout defense. Seattle’s defense does not have the star power of old, but as a unit they are playing above expectations.

Back the Seahawks to claim the win at -156  with BetOnline, while take the Vikings on the +2.5 spread as it could become another close contest at odds of 21/20  with 888Sport. Both teams have the quality to put points on the board, although the two defenses do have the ability to shut down the opposing offense. In today’s NFL it’s always best to take the over on total points with the line set at 45 by TopBet with odds of -110 .

Tips Summary

Seattle Seahawks To Beat Minnesota Vikings
Monday 10th December 2018 20:15 ET (Tuesday 11th December 2018 01:15 GMT)
Odds: -156

Minnesota Vikings +2.5 Spread
Monday 10th December 2018 20:15 ET (Tuesday 11th December 2018 01:15 GMT)
Odds: 21/20

Over 45 Total Points To Be Scored
Monday 10th December 2018 20:15 ET (Tuesday 11th December 2018 01:15 GMT)
Odds: -110

  • Kirk Cousins
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • NFL
  • Russell Wilson
  • Seattle Seahawks

    About the author

    Simon Sinclair
    Simon Sinclair

    Sports Writer

    Simon is a freelance sports writer from the UK. He passionately writes about all kinds of sports, sharing his predictions on everything from the latest cricket matches and golf tournaments to major horse racing events and popular American sports.