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12th Fan View - vs Minnesota Vikings
What a difference a year makes.
Last year in Week 9, the Seattle Seahawks hosted the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings entered the game 5-3 and tied for second place in the NFC North. The Seahawks were 4-4 and looking to turn the corner with rookie Russell Wilson at quarterback. A year later, and it seems as though the teams’ fortunes have turned one hundred and eighty degrees.
The Vikings finished second in their division, and qualified for the playoffs as a Wild Card. They exited in the first round of the postseason. This year Minnesota has had some struggles, trying to find some kind of consistency at quarterback. It is hard to imagine, but this team that has Adrian Peterson had a 2-7 record entering this game. Injuries riddled the lineup, and a year since the last meeting, this team is a shell of its former self.
But as head coach Pete Carroll stresses, the team hasn’t done anything yet. I’m pretty sure the team knows that, as well. At any level of competition, the goal is to be the best. To be champions. A nice regular season doesn’t get you anything. The objective must be championships, and this team certainly appears more than capable of winning one this season.
This week’s game featured the return of sixty percent of the offensive line when Russell Okung, Breno Giacomini and Max Unger returned to the lineup, marking the first time the starting offensive line has been together in a game since week two. The presence was noted immediately with improved protection of Wilson.
The game also saw the introduction of the Seahawks’ newest weapon, Percy Harvin. After spending the first 10 weeks of the season recovering from offseason hip surgery, Harvin made his Seahawks debut with a spectacular one-handed, juggling catch. He also let his presence be known on special teams with a 58-yard punt return that set up a touchdown to Doug Baldwin just before the half. Harvin was slated to be more limited in this game, but with regular kick returner Jermaine Kearse suffering a concussion, Harvin showed his “next man up” attitude and prodded Carroll into letting him return kicks.
Everything about this team is turning up bigger than life. It is certainly hard to grasp how good this team is capable of being, considering what was missing in their attack over their first ten games (during which they posted an incredible 9-1 record).
The team has certainly earned the rest afforded by the bye week. But the rest will be short-lived, as preparations must be made for the game of the year in the NFC. Monday, December 2nd, 2013, the New Orleans Saints and Seahawks square off at the scene of one of the most improbable playoff upsets in the history of the game.
I am certainly looking forward to this game. Night games in Seattle are electric.
But I can’t write about that game this week. What would I write about in two weeks?
What a difference a year makes, indeed. After being 5-4 after beating the Vikings last year to being 10-1 after repeating the act this year.
I’m liking this year-to-year trend.