It took 11 weeks but the Seahawks finally put together back-to-back dominant wins against teams that they were supposed to beat. The Seahawks took care of business against the Vikings this week in dominant fashion as they were able to mostly play backups throughout the 4th quarter as they cruised to a 41-20 win. Seattle was dominant and in control from the beginning, and the Seahawks seemed to have an answer not only for everything that the Vikings tried to do but they seemed to have fixed all of their issues that had been killing them in the past month. It didn’t hurt that the Seahawks finally were able to play with their five starting lineman for the first time in nine weeks, not to mention Percy Harvin taking his first snaps wearing number 11 for the Seahawks.
Russell Wilson’s day could be summed up on one pass late in the 2nd quarter as he hit Doug Baldwin in double coverage in the near corner of the endzone right before the half. This pass was pure precision as he dropped it over the coverage and Baldwin jumped up snagged the ball and landed hard on the turf but holding on for the touchdown. Wilson was 13 of 18 for 230 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions, and also posted his highest Quarterback Rating of his career for a single game 151.4. Wilson had all the time in the world in the pocket and when he didn’t he was able to scramble around to create a play but those plays were few and far between. Wilson was able to avoid a sack, scramble around and then hit Marshawn Lynch on a shovel pass early in the 4th quarter for a touchdown. Wilson was able to have a great game and he may not have had his best overall numbers but this was possibly his best game of the season.
Running Backs: A
Marshawn Lynch didn’t light the world on fire as far as rushing yards are concerned; he only had 54 yards on 17 rushes with two touchdowns on the ground and a receiving touchdown. Lynch had a few Beastmode runs in this game and he made his presence felt each time he touched the ball. It wasn’t but a month ago when Lynch could be seen flipping off the Seahawks sidelines (he was probably playing around) but none the less he was disappointed as the Seahawks seemed to be keeping the ball away from him inside the 5-yard line. That was not the case again this week as Seattle is making a point to get Marshawn the ball any and nearly every time they have the ball inside the 5-yard line.
Wide Receivers: A
The Seahawks receivers had another solid game as Percy Harvin returned from injury and although he only had one catch for 17 yards, it was a one handed grab on third down that Wilson dropped right over the head of the defender as Harvin made the catch. Zach Miller was the leading Seahawks receiver this week as he pulled in four catches for 69 yards. Doug Baldwin (mentioned earlier) had the catch of the game as he pulled the late first half touchdown catch in as it dropped right behind two defenders in the corner of the endzone. Baldwin only had two catches totaling 63 yards, his first catch was a streak on the far sideline as the safety was pulled up by the fear that Percy Harvin brought to the field.
Offensive Line: A
The offensive line finally got to play as a whole group in Week 11 and it was obvious that the starters were back. Wilson was only sacked once when he tried to scramble, but other than a few roll outs Wilson was hardly touched. Lynch didn’t nearly have the holes to run through this week but he didn’t play the 4th quarter, which is when he normally has churned up the yards. The Seahawks were able to re-insert Russell Okung, Max Unger and Breno Giacomini into the starting lineup after struggling for nearly two months missing at least one of the three in each game since Week 2. The struggles on the offensive line have been glaringly obvious as the Seahawks have struggled but those concerns seemed to disappear as Wilson was able to sit in the pocket and pick apart the Vikings defense for over three quarters until he was pulled with a comfortable lead.
Defensive Line: A-
The Seahawks defensive line had a solid game as they faced off against Adrian Peterson who is considered the best running back in the NFL. The defensive line was able to stuff the holes and they limited Peterson to 65 yards on 21 rushes. Toby Gerhart also rushed for 67 yards on seven carries but that was primarily in the 4th quarter as the Seahawks were able to bring in backups all over the defense. Tony McDaniel had a solid game on the interior line as he had seven tackles. Cliff Avril had two tackles and a sack. Avril was all over the field and he also dropped an interception as he dropped into coverage one occasion. Clinton McDonald continues to show that he can be counted on to contribute when called upon; he had three tackles and an interception as he pulled in a late game interception on a tipped pass.
The trend has continued as Bobby Wagner was the Seahawks leading tackler as he had nine tackles, one sack and an interception. Wagner also dropped two possible interceptions. He is constantly flying all over the field and in his first year and a half, he is one of the most irreplaceable players on the Seahawks defense. KJ Wright also pulled down nine tackles in this game as he worked throughout the game to stuff whatever holes the Vikings running backs tried to run through. The Seahawks linebackers have struggled this season in pass coverage against tight ends. This week the Vikings leading receiver was Ex-Seahawk John Carlson who had five catches for 69 yards.
The Seahawks secondary had another great game this week as they were able to limit the Vikings quarterbacks to a combined 204 yards passing. Kam Chancellor led the secondary in tackles as he was able to get nine tackles in this game as he made his way up to the line throughout the game to stuff Peterson at the line. Walter Thurmond and Byron Maxwell filled in for Brandon Browner against the Vikings. The quarterbacks tried throughout the game to pick on the Seahawks corners with less experience but they regularly came up empty. Thurmond had three tackles, and an interception which he returned for a touchdown. Richard Sherman was beaten on a double move for a touchdown in the 1st half but other than that one mishap he was nearly flawless the rest of the game.
Special Teams: A
The Seahawks special teams continued to be an important part of the Seahawks game. Steven Hauschka again had a great game as he hit field goals from 50 and 26 yards. He has still only missed one field goal in 2013 and that was a blocked field goal. Jon Ryan punted the ball five times pinning one deep inside the 20-yard line. Jermaine Kearse was injured early in the game as he sustained a concussion. After nearly two full quarters of begging, Percy Harvin finally convinced Coach Carroll to let him return a kick and he made the Vikings pay for kicking it to him as he returned the ball 58 yards to spark the late Seahawks touchdown drive.
This was a solid game for the Seahawks from start to finish, four important pieces of the starting lineups returned this week and it was obvious from the first kick off. The Seahawks dominated the Vikings and showed the league that the best is yet to come. The Seahawks still need to get to the quarterback more often but the Vikings prefer to put the ball in their star running backs hands vice the inconsistent play of their quarterbacks thus not allowing the Seahawks to get their hands on the Vikings quarterbacks. The Seahawks now move into their bye week with the majority of their players back from injury and they are looking to build on this solid performance with the New Orleans Saints coming to town in Week 13.