The Seattle Seahawks entered Week 13 facing a challenging road contest against the Minnesota Vikings in their most important game of the season. A close game on paper quickly turned into a blowout, as Seattle made a huge statement.
Seattle dismantled the 8-3 Vikings in every facet of the game en route to a 38-7 blowout victory. With the win, the Seahawks gained another game on the 6-6 Atlanta Falcons in the wild card race and are hot on the heels of the Vikings for the No. 5 seed in the NFC.
There’s no denying that this was Seattle’s most well-played game of the season on both sides of the ball. The offense moved down the field at will, while Seattle’d defense shut out the Vikings, as their only score came on a kickoff return.
If the Seahawks continue to play like this, they can beat any team in the NFC and make a third Super Bowl run.
The Seahawks are finding new ways to get Tyler Lockett involved
Coming into the season, Lockett figured to line up all over the field for the Seattle passing game. Lockett struggled to get involved offensively early in the season as most of his value came on special teams, but that has changed over the past few weeks.
On Sunday, Lockett proved that he is going to be more than just a deep threat. The Seahawks tried to get the ball to Lockett as much as possible, using him on a number of screens and short passes.
Lockett responded by setting season highs with seven catches and 90 receiving yards. Getting the ball to Lockett in space should be a core part of Seattle’s offense moving forward, as he has the potential to break any play open.
Having a player who can space the field so well will have a positive impact on other in the Seahawks’ offense. Doug Baldwin is also on a roll over the past two games, totaling 239 yards and five touchdowns.
The defensive line proved it can take over a game
Seattle’s defensive issues have been largely due to poor play in the secondary, while the front seven has been mostly solid. On Sunday, the unit turned in its best effort of the season, particularly along the defensive line.
The big key to the game was shutting down Adrian Peterson and the Vikings’ top-ranked rushing offense. Seattle had little trouble in that endeavor, holding Peterson to 18 yards in one of the least productive games of his career.
With a large defecit early in the game, the Vikings were forced to rely on throwing the ball. Seattle’s pass rush simply teed off on Teddy Bridgewater as Michael Bennett and company completely took over the game.
If the Seahawks get more performances like that out of the defensive line, they will continue to turn in defensive efforts reminiscent of the past two Super Bowl runs.
Seattle is a very dangerous team once again
Despite all the struggles early in the season, the Seahawks now sit at 7-5 and are in good shape to make the playoffs. If they do hang on to a spot, nobody will want to see Seattle in the postseason if it continues its form from the past three weeks.
The Seahawks went on the road and dominated one of the best teams in the NFC both offensively and defensively. Offensive, the Seahawks are finally clicking, as the offensive line has improved and Russell Wilson is playing some of the best football of his career.
On the defensive side of things, Seattle will need to show more consistency, but this week was certainly a promising step. The schedule gets a little easier until Week 17, so the Seahawks have a great chance to claim the No. 5 seed and face the winner of the weak NFC East in the first round of the playoffs.
The Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers are still the class of the NFC, but the Seahawks are right behind them and looked poised to make another late-season run.
Latest posts by Nathaniel Reeves (see all)
- Seahawks vs. Panthers: 3 lessons learned from Seattle’s Divisional Round loss - January 19, 2016
- 5 keys to a successful Seahawks playoff run - January 5, 2016
- Browns vs. Seahawks: 3 lessons learned from Seattle’s win vs. Cleveland - December 22, 2015