Seahawks vs Vikings Game Preview
The sixth year’s the charm? Minnesota hosts the Seahawks looking to finally one-up the franchise they haven’t been able to beat whether it’s the preseason, regular season, or the playoffs. The Vikings have yet to avenge their embarrassing 2016 wild card loss.
Now is their time as they are entering the season with one of their best teams while the Seahawks are regrouping following an exodus of star players including half of their infamous “Legion of Boom”.
It’s the end of an era for Seattle. Following the departures of star cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor, the Seahawks’ once-legendary secondary is no more. And the only remaining member, Earl Thomas (S) wants out.
Seattle will still have Russell Wilson at quarterback and Pete Carroll calling the shots but not only is half the defence a mess but the offence is also missing critical pieces. 2018 might be the team’s first losing season in seven years.
They were the NFC’s most-feared defence yet that didn’t matter in the playoffs. The Vikings needed a miracle to advance to the NFC Championship where they got handled by the Philadelphia Eagles. Changes were swiftly made beginning at quarterback where the team took a big chance with Kirk Cousins.
Minnesota also added pieces to the defence and will enter 2018 as one of the favourites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. It all depends on how well their “upgrades” pan out
The Vikings could finally get the monkey off their backs and beat the Seahawks. Both teams are adjusting to new offensive coordinators but the Vikings’ stacked defence should keep Seattle grounded all game long.
Seahawks vs Vikings Head-to-Head Records
Seattle has historically controlled this forty-plus year rivalry with the Vikings. They lead 10-5 overall although they lost their first game back in 1976. The Seahawks initially played in the AFC hence why they’ve only met 15 times despite both being in the NFC today. They’ve met four times in the last six seasons.
A trend for this series is how lopsided most of the games are. Since 1987, nine of their last 12 games were decided by double-digits with at least seven being decided by 14 points or more. Seattle has a four-game winning streak currently going with their last win coming in the playoffs.
Had it not been for the Falcons epic Super Bowl meltdown, the Vikings’ blown field goal would’ve been the season’s biggest goof. But this defeat was the closest the Vikings came to beating Seattle. They’ve lost by an average of 21 points in their previous three meetings.
The Seahawks are trending down and Minnesota is trending up. Their next few meetings will swing towards Minnesota’s favour and they’ll finally snap the losing skid.
Seattle Seahawks Recent History
They started in the NFC but moved to the AFC the following season. Seattle’s 25-year stay in the conference was mostly marked by futility. Save for a period in the ’80s where they made an AFC Championship appearance, Seattle has struggled to make a lasting impression on the league.
The franchise’s fortunes would begin to change following the hiring of Mike Holmgren in 1999. The team would also return to the NFC and win four consecutive division crowns plus make their first trip to the Super Bowl in 2005. In 2010, they would hire Carroll.
The former USC coach would lead Seattle to their first Super Bowl championship in back-to-back appearances including four division titles and at least a win in each playoff appearance. As long as he’s on the sidelines, the Seahawks will continue being relevant in the conference.
Minnesota Vikings Recent History
Minnesota’s early history is similar to the Buffalo Bills of the ’90s. While the Vikings didn’t lose four consecutive Super Bowls, they still lost all four of their Super Bowl appearances. From 1968 to 1978, the Vikings were a powerhouse team and dominated the NFC Central winning 11 division titles.
They would win at least 11 of 14 games in seven of nine seasons. But it was all for nought as they would lose three Super Bowls in the span of four seasons. Each Super Bowl defeat also saw the Vikings score no more than 14 points. These championship struggles would continue to haunt the franchise as they would continue losing big games for the next 40 seasons.
While usually competitive, the Vikings haven’t made consecutive playoff appearances in almost a decade. They’ve consistently won in the playoffs but have lost their last six Conference Championship appearances. They’ll have to get over the hump at some point.
Seattle Seahawks Outlook
Much like the weather in Seattle, it’s a cloudy forecast with heavy chance of rain. The Seahawks are entering a new phase. Gone is their dominant defence. They accumulated losses in both their d-line and secondary. The strength of their team now lies with the linebackers.
Bobby Wagner is one of the best linebackers and K.J. Wright is solid. They bolstered the line adding Shaquem Griffin in case Wagner gets hurt. As for their offence, it’s even worse. While Seattle patched the o-line, they are still porous on the inside. They have no reliable running back, not even their first-round pick Rashaad Penny.
Wilson is an elite quarterback but he’ll be under siege for most of the season. He might set new career-highs in passing categories because he’ll be forced to do more as he is leading the worst version of the Seahawks since he became the starter. Seattle has plenty of rebuilding to do.
Minnesota Vikings Outlook
At first glance, Minnesota appears to be building one of the NFC’s most powerful teams. Their defensive line is the best in the conference. Inside tackles Linval Joseph and newly-acquired Sheldon Richardson are ferocious. Everson Griffen is a budding edge rusher and their secondary also has All-Pro safety Harrison Smith.
Their linebackers could be the defence’s chink in the armour but their issues here pale in comparison to their offence. While Minnesota has some of the most talented players in quarterback Cousins, receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, and running back Dalvin Cook, their offensive line is falling apart.
Minnesota invested a second-round pick to draft tackle Brian O’Neill but he’s not enough to solidify the line, which could get bullied around for most of the season. Cousins is still adjusting to the new offence and he’ll have defenders constantly attacking him. It could be a night-and-day season for the Vikings but so long as their defence remains intact, they’ll be a contender.
Despite being a thinner team on paper, the Seahawks are still the better-coached team. Their defence is nowhere where it once was. Their offence is in shambles and Wilson will be depended upon to do all the work thanks to the poor condition of the offensive line. Pair that with the Vikings’ unstoppable d-line and it’s lights out.
The concern for Minnesota is also their offence. Cousins will also be playing behind a pedestrian line and isn’t as mobile as his predecessor. He has better receivers and Cook helping him out but if he can’t make move the chains, it’ll be a close game with both defences dominating.
Trevor Siemian is alright as a backup but he’s more experienced than whoever Seattle will throw out. While Seattle could still pull this one off, Minnesota’s deeper team is just too hard to ignore. They should finally exact some measure of revenge on Seattle by winning this games.