Seahawks defensive grades against Vikings: Not great but good enough

The Seahawks defeated the Vikings 37-30 on Monday but the defense gave up just 23 of those points and did enough to win the game.

The Seahawks had to overcome to beat the Vikings on Monday: Minnesota themselves, inconsistent play and the flu. But overcome those things Seattle did and defeated the Vikings 37-30. The defense didn’t give up all 30 points, however, and mostly did a good job.

Here are the grades for Seattle’s defense and special teams from week 13.

Defensive line

Sacks were not going to be easy to get on Monday because the Vikings were throwing short passes and getting the ball out of Kirk Cousins‘ hand quickly. But the line did get pressure on Cousins and had seven quarterback hits, 6 from the line. Improving Ziggy Ansah had three of them, Jadeveon Clowney had one and Jarran Reed had two more. Plus, Rasheem Green, who has been very good over the last two weeks, forced another fumble.

And Dalvin Cook was averaging just 3.2 yards a carry before he left the game with an injury.

Grade: B+

Linebackers

Bobby Wagner had his best game in a few weeks with 10 tackles and K.J. Wright had 9. The third of the normal trio of linebackers, Mychal Kendricks, was clearly not 100 percent and missed stretches of the game. But Cody Barton did OK in Kendricks’ place and Shaquem Griffin is getting more and more run as a pass rusher.

Grade: B

Secondary

Tre Flowers is getting more comfortable each week. While he had a pass interference call go against him – it was the correct call and the only penalty the Seahawks had all game – he also had an interception of Cousins on great coverage and a better catch. Flowers now has three interceptions on the season with two of them coming in the last two games. Minnesota did not throw as Shaquill Griffin very much.

Seattle’s safeties were very good. Bradley McDougald had 6 tackles, a quarterback hit and recovered a fumble. Quandre Diggs had 4 tackles, including a massive hit on Vikings tight end Irv Smith. Is it just coincidence that McDougald has been playing his best football of the season since Diggs started playing in Seattle? I think not.

Grade: A-

Special teams

The biggest play for the Seahawks on special teams wasn’t a kick or punt but a fake field goal attempt after the Vikings had cut Seattle’s lead to 10 points. Travis Homer took the snap and rumbled 29 yards and changed the momentum of the game.

Next: Seahawks offensive grades versus Vikings in week 13

Jason Myers was 3 for 3 on field goal attempts, his third straight good game. And while it doesn’t appear Michael Dickson is punting as far in 2019, he is even more accurate possibly. All three of his punts were downed inside the Vikings 20. Over the last four games, Dickson is third in the NFL with 64.7 percent of his punts being downed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.

Grade: A

 

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