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Seahawks romp to 41-20 victory over Vikings
Marshawn Lynch scored three times. The defense intercepted three passes, including a pick-six by Walter Thurmond. The Seahawks scored 17 points during a three-minute span of the fourth quarter.
The sum of all those numbers was 10 – as in the Seahawks’ 10th victory, as they slapped a 41-20 loss on the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field on Sunday before a crowd of 68,235.
The victory extended the Seahawks’ winning streak to six, and improved their NFC-leading record to 10-1. The Seahawks also remained unbeaten at CenturyLink Field this season, and ran their home-field winning streak to a franchise-record 13 in a row.
And, the Seahawks have won 10 games for only the seventh time in franchise history – and it’s the first time they’ve done it in back-to-back seasons.
The Vikings got the ball first, but the Seahawks got on the board first. On the third play of the game, Cliff Avril had a fumble-forcing sack on Christian Ponder and Clinton McDonald recovered at the Vikings’ 33 to set up a 50-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka.
But the Vikings then drove 66 yards in 13 plays to a 32-yard field goal by Blair Walsh with 4:40 left in the quarter. The Vikings converted on third-and-7 and third-and-4, and then got a dreadful pass interference penalty call on Richard Sherman on a third-and-19 play – on a pass that was incomplete by 15 yards. Adrian Peterson carried four times, but was held to 6 yards.
The Seahawks then scored on the final play of the quarter, a 4-yard run by Marshawn Lynch. Russell Wilson’s 44-yard pass to Doug Baldwin to the Vikings’ 31-yard line setup Lynch’s TD run. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes stumbled as Baldwin came off the line, leaving Baldwin wide open up the sideline.
The second quarter began the same way the first quarter had – with the Vikings taking a kickoff, following Lynch’s TD run on the final play of the opening quarter. But this time the Vikings drove 80 yards in six plays to a game-tying TD, as Jarius Wright beat Richard Sherman to take a 38-yard pass from Christian Ponder in the end zone. The Vikings’ QB was 4 of 4 on the drive for 72 yards.
Then the Seahawks drove 79 yards in nine plays to a 1-yard TD run by Lynch. Wilson passed to Percy Harvin for 17 yards on third-and-10 and Lynch also had a 23-yard run during the drive. It was Harvin’s first catch as a Seahawk, in his first game as a Seahawk. And it came with ample style points. Harvin, who was in the slot, tipped the ball with his right hand and then controlled it as he was falling against tight coverage from Chris Cook. It gave the Seahawks a first down at the Vikings’ 39.
But the Vikings then drove to a 45-yard field goal by Walsh with 48 seconds left in the half.
That’s when Harvin broke a 58-yard kickoff return, setting up Doug Baldwin’s nice grab in the end zone of a 19-yard pass from Wilson to make it 24-13. Baldwin made the leaping grab despite being hit by Andrew Sendejo at the same time the ball arrived.
Wagner, the Seahawks’ middle linebacker, had at least three tackles; while Wright, on a third-and-1 play, made a nice play to drop tight end John Carlson for a 1-yard loss to end the Vikings’ first possession. Wagner and Wright led the way all day, finishing with nine tackles apiece.
Thurmond then one-upped Wagner by picking off Ponder’s pass that was intended for Cordarrelle Patterson and returned it 29 yards for a TD to make it 38-13 with 12:30 to play.
The Vikings then switched to QB Matt Cassel. But his third-down pass was tipped by Chris Clemons and intercepted by Clinton McDonald. That setup a 26-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka to make it 41-13 with 10:12 left, as the Seahawks used turnovers to setup 17 points in a three-minute span.
The Vikings then used a 32-yard run by Toby Gerhart and a 30-yard pass from Cassell to John Carlson to get to the Seahawks’ 9-yard line, but linebacker Malcolm Smith broke up Cassel’s fourth-down pass. The Vikings scored with 2:18 left against the Seahawks’ backups on Cassel’s TD pass to Jarius Wright.