You are here
Five matchups to watch: Seahawks vs. Vikings
A look at the Seahawks’ Week 11 game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, including five matchups that could impact the outcome:
When: Sunday, 1:25 p.m., CenturyLink Field
Records: Seahawks 9-1 and first in the NFC West after Sunday’s 33-10 victory over the Falcons in Atlanta; Vikings 2-7 and last in the NFC North after their 34-27 victory over the Washington Redskins on Nov. 7
TV: FOX (Q13 in Seattle), with Chris Myers, Tim Ryan and Jennifer Hale
Radio: 710 ESPN and 97.3 KIRO FM, with Steve Raible, Warren Moon and Jen Mueller
Rest of the West: 49ers (6-3) at Saints; Cardinals (5-4) at Jaguars; Rams (4-6) have their bye
Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch vs. Vikings RB Adrian Peterson: This won’t be a one-on-one matchup, of course, but the back who emerges with the most carries and yards likely helps his team win the matchup – even though that wasn’t the case in Week 9 last season, when Peterson went for 182 yards and Lynch had 124. But the best thing about each offense continues to be the unrelenting efforts of their leading rushers. Lynch is second in the NFL is rushing yards (871); Peterson fourth (786). Peterson is first in the league in rushing touchdowns (nine); Lynch is tied for third (seven). Lynch is third in the NFL in total yards (1,084); Peterson seventh (949). Lynch is third in the NFL in first downs (55); Peterson eighth (45). You get the picture. The team that is allowed to pound away with its franchise back should have the inside track to a victory. And as Seahawks coach Pete Carroll put it, “This is a fantastic game for somebody to watch running backs and to compare the two.”
One to watch
Fun to watch
Seahawks WR Percy Harvin vs. his former team: Harvin’s last game was in Week 9 last season, when he was playing for the Vikings against the Seahawks. After being traded to the Seahawks in March and having hip surgery Aug. 1, Harvin likely will make his return as his new team is hosting his old team – although the final decision won’t be made until game day, Carroll said. Cue the theme from the old “Twilight Zone” series. Harvin would have been pumped to return against anyone, because he just wants to play again. But to make his Seahawks’ debut against Vikings, well, that’s beyond even off-the-charts emotionally. How will the Seahawks use him? How much will the Seahawks use him? How will the Vikings defend him? Keep your eye on No. 11 to find out.
One tough task
Vikings QB Christian Ponder vs. the Seahawks’ All-Pro duo of FS Earl Thomas and CB Richard Sherman: Ponder dislocated his left shoulder in the Vikings’ last game. Now, he gets the potentially painful task of facing the best safety and cornerback in the NFL in the din generated by the 12th Man. Thomas and Sherman each have four interceptions, while Thomas leads the Seahawks with 70 tackles and Sherman has a team-high 11 passes defensed even though opposing quarterbacks haven’t been throwing his way much lately. Even if Ponder decides it’s better to test Walter Thurmond on the other side, Thomas will be lurking and looking to take advantage of a passer who has thrown more interceptions (seven) than touchdown passes (five) and playing with a brace to protect his shoulder. Ponder was 11 of 22 for 63 yards in the Week 9 game against the Seahawks last season.
The Seahawks lead the series 7-5, including that Week 9 victory last season at CenturyLink Field that snapped the Vikings’ two-game winning streak. … The Seahawks have their bye next week and they are 18-6 in pre-bye games for the second-best percentage (.750) in the league. … Seahawks K Steven Hauschka leads the league in scoring with 93 points. … For the Seahawks, Pro Bowl LT Russell Okung returns for the first time since injuring a toe in Week 2; RT Breno Giacomini is back for the first time since damaging a knee in Week 3; and All-Pro C Max Unger returns after sitting out last week’s game with a concussion. … MLB E.J. Henderson leads the Vikings with 120 tackles, including 13 for loss.