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Game at a glance: Seahawks 41, Vikings 20

Posted Nov 17, 2013

Several players made big plays in the Seahawks’ latest big victory that ran their best-in-the-NFC record to 10-1. But no one was a more consistent playmaker than second-year QB Russell Wilson.

A recap of the Seahawks’ 41-20 victory over the Minnesota Vikings before a crowd of 68,235 at CenturyLink Field on Sunday:

PLAYER OF THE GAME: RUSSELL WILSON

There were players who made more splashy plays (Percy Harvin). There were players who made more productive plays (Marshawn Lynch). There were players who did both (Walter Thurmond).

But Wilson, the second-year quarterback, proved to be an efficient playmaker once again.

He completed 13 passes, to nine different receivers, in 18 attempts and one incompletion was as spiked ball. He threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin and got off what he called “a shortstop flip” to Lynch for a 6-yard TD. He did not throw an interception. He was sacked only once, on what he labeled a “coverage sack.” He ran twice for 14 yards.

Put it all together and you get a passer rating of 151.4, the highest of his career.

“I think he’s right where we want him,” Carroll said when asked about the point-guard aspect of Wilson’s game. “He scrambled at the right times. He ducked out of there when he had to. He made the plays on the scrambles, throwing the ball around. He did everything we want.”

Wilson also did what’s most important to Wilson: Win. He’s now 13-0 at CenturyLink Field and has won 21 games, which ties him for the second most by a QB in his first two seasons with the Dolphins’ Dan Marino – one behind the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger.

“That was a huge win for us,” Wilson said. “Winning in that fashion against a solid football team, and the way we did it – offensively and defensively and special teams. That’s how we want to play. That 1-and-0 mentality is alive for us.

“We need to keep that going. I think the way we practice and the way we prepare really separates us from everybody else and we have to make sure that we keep doing that.”

The Seahawks will, as long as they continue to follow their leader.

UNSUNG HEROES: THE RUN DEFENSE

In Week 9 last season, the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson shredded the Seahawks for 182 rushing yards at CenturyLink Field en route to 2,097-yard season. Sunday, he had 65 yards on 21 carries for a 3.1-yard average before sitting out much of the fourth quarter with a sore knee.

“I thought the defense did a fantastic job against Adrian,” Carroll said. “He’s a fantastic football player. He can do it all. And the guys just kept him down all day long. That’s really what we wanted to do on the defense.”

By containing Peterson, and taking the lead, the Seahawks forced the Vikings to throw – and got interceptions on back-to-back-to-back series in the fourth quarter from middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, setting up a TD pass; Thurmond, who returned his for a TD; and defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, off a tipped pass by Chris Clemons, to set up a field goal.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: Facing a second-and-1 from the Vikings’ 19-yard line with 16 seconds left in the first half, Wilson went to Doug Baldwin in the right side of the end zone – and Baldwin went up to grab the pass, despite safety Andrew Sendejo hitting him just has got his hands on the ball. Touchdown Seahawks, and a 24-13 lead.

“To be honest with you, it was a coverage that we don’t normally throw it to that spot,” Baldwin said. “But I got a good release and the safety was not as far over as he should’ve been and Russell threw one heck of a ball. He threw it in a perfect spot. I actually didn’t believe it was going to get there. I thought No. 20 (cornerback Chris Cook) was going to be able to tip it up, but it hit right in my hands.”

Defense: Thurmond’s pick-six. He was starting at right cornerback because Brandon Browner injured his groin in last week’s game against the Falcons in Atlanta. He made the most of the opportunity by making that play.

“The (defensive) call got in kind of late,” Thurmond said. “We were scrambling around. They’re kind of hurried up and they ran double slants. The ball came right to me, fell in my lap, and I just capitalized on the opportunity.”

And then celebrated with a little dance. “I mean it was Rick Flair, then followed up by the Hulk Hogan, you know,” Thurmond said.

Special teams: Harvin’s kickoff return, a 58-yarder to set up the Wilson-to-Baldwin TD pass to close the first half.

“I really didn’t know,” Harvin said when asked if he thought he was going to score. “I saw the kicker, and I was trying to contemplate whether I wanted to run him over or run around him. So I just tried to make the best play I could. He made a great play my making me hesitate. So hat’s off to him.”

INJURY REPORT

Wide receiver and kickoff returner Jermaine Kearse got a concussion while returning the kickoff after the Vikings’ field goal in the first quarter and did not return.

“Other than that, we came out fine,” Carroll said.

WORTH NOTING

Sunday’s win was the Seahawks’ 13 in a row at home, breaking the franchise record of 12 that was set in 2004-06.

The Seahawks also improved to 19-6 in games the week before their bye, which ties for the best pre-bye winning percentage in the league (.760) with the New York Giants.

YOU DON'T SAY

“I see why they didn’t bring it up. I didn’t know he had that many yards.”

A wide-eyed Cliff Avril, the defensive end who’s in his first season with the Seahawks, when asked if there was much talk during the week of Peterson running for 182 yards in last year’s game at CenturyLink Field

They call them explosive plays, and in their past three games the Seahawks have exploded for 13 passes of 20 or more yards and 20 runs of 10 or more yards.

Steven Hauschka already was leading the league in scoring before Sunday’s game. He now has 104 points after scoring 11 against the Vikings. The Packers’ Mason Crosby is second with 96.

Wagner and K.J. Wright each had nine tackles to lead the Seahawks. Wagner also had a sack to go with his tackles and interception.

The interceptions by Thurmond and McDonald were the first of their careers.

Tight end Zach Miller had a team-high four catches, so the Seahawks have had six players lead the team or share the lead in receptions this season – Golden Tate (six times), Baldwin (four), Lynch (two), Miller (two) and Sidney Rice and Luke Wilson (one each).

Game Rewind: Seattle Seahawks