Check out which side the national media is predicting to win Monday night's game between the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field.
Courtney Cronin, **ESPN.com**: Seahawks 27, Vikings 23
Cronin: Six wins in 12 games isn't what many projected for this team, but the hardest part of Minnesota's season is almost over. If the Vikings can steal a game in Seattle, where they're underdogs, they're back in the playoff hunt. The Vikings will need to pound the ball with Dalvin Cook and have defensive discipline against Russell Wilson, who is having a career season. Kirk Cousins recently halted his prime-time woes with a win over Green Bay, and he'll look to do the same on Monday Night Football, in which he's 0-6 in his career.
Brady Henderson, **ESPN.com**: Seahawks 31, Vikings 24
Henderson: Minnesota ranks fifth in yards allowed per rush (3.7) and seventh in rushing yards allowed per game (99.2), which makes this a matchup of strengths. As much as the Seahawks are committed to running the ball, they showed two weeks ago in Charlotte that they can switch gears and win a game by throwing it when they have to, even when their defense has an off day. All six of the Vikings' wins (and their tie) came against teams currently .500 or worse. Sure, the Seahawks have beaten up on their share of bad opponents, but they're playing at home, where they're 15-2 in prime-time games under Pete Carroll.
Elliot Harrison, **NFL.com**: Seahawks 28, Vikings 22
Harrison: Hugely important game in the NFC wild-card race -- and an outcome that'll likely be decided by the quarterbacks. I know: What a swashbuckling take full of risk! Maybe not, but given that Kirk Cousins has never won on Monday night and Russell Wilson has dominated MNF, maybe talking QBs here is not overblown. Score one for the pertinent! The running games certainly could be relevant, but unless Mike Zimmer directs Dalvin Cook to get more carries, who cares? Cousins has to play well on the big stage. The Vikes rank 30th in the NFL in rushing and average a chilling 2 yards per carry in the red zone. With the crowd in Seattle acting like every game is the first Van Halen concert with Sammy Hagar and noise being a certifiable distraction, a stout ground attack is oft the great elixir -- it can mitigate the disruption. Nothing quiets a crowd like pushing the ball methodically down the field, 4-6 yards at a time. Problem is, Minnesota never does that. The running scene of Seattle does, to the tune of 148.8 per game (tops in the NFL), and that will be the difference Monday night. So, I guess it didn't come down to the QBs after all. Score one for the ground game!
Pete Prisco, **CBSSports.com**: Seahawks 21, Vikings 16
Prisco: "This is big game in terms of playoffs possibilities in the NFC. Both teams need it. The Vikings are playing consecutive road games, which is tough. But it's even tougher at Seattle. Kirk Cousins has struggled in prime-time games, and I think that plays out here. Seahawks take it."
Michael David Smith, **ProFootballTalk.com**: Seahawks 30, Vikings 17
MDS: "This is a big one in the NFC wild card race, and I'm expecting the Seahawks to win and show their "rebuilding" season is actually a playoff season, while the Vikings lose and suffer a big blow to their hopes of getting back to the playoffs."
David Steele, **Sporting News**: Seahawks 31, Vikings 19
Steele: "It's that time of year to throw out more Coach of the Year candidates than anyone should reasonably consider … but consider Pete Carroll anyway, with how the Seahawks overhauled virtually everything yet are right in the mix and are getting better as the season wears on. That defense, gutted in the offseason and without Earl Thomas since September, should get Mychal Kendricks back from suspension. They already have Bobby Wagner, having another All-Pro season. The Vikings offense had better come back from wherever they seem to go every other week."
Jim Moore, **710Sports.com**: Seahawks 23, Vikings 17
Moore: "Most of us have figured out that the Seahawks are better than we thought they'd be. I predicted 8-8 and out of the playoffs during a transitional year with so many new players and coaches. The heck of it is, though it's not likely, 8-8 could still turn out to be the case. But the way the 7-5 Seahawks are playing, winners of three in a row, there's a better chance for 11-5 or 10-6 than 8-8."
Bob Condotta, **Seattle Times**: Seahawks 23, Vikings 19
Condotta: "This may be the last real hurdle to getting into the playoffs for Seattle, which has already defeated Green Bay and Carolina in games with heavy postseason implications over the last three weeks. So why stop there? The Vikings have one of the best defenses in the NFL and a quarterback who won at CenturyLink last season (Kirk Cousins with Washington). But the Seahawks just keep seeming to find a way and here's thinking they will again."
Mike Vorel, **Seattle Times**: Seahawks 23, Vikings 20
Vorel: "Everything seems to be going right for the Seahawks (besides the fact that they've allowed an average of 330 passing yards and 70.7 percent completions in their last four games). The Vikings will move the ball, but the Seahawks will take it away, too. The Seattle offense also seems to be hitting on all cylinders at just the right time. The Seahawks will take another step towards a playoff berth with a hard-fought home win."
Larry Stone, **Seattle Times**: Seahawks 24, Vikings 20
Stone: "If Seattle wins this game, its playoff outlook move into the realm of virtual lock. But it won't be easy, because the Vikings are also fighting for their playoff lives. Minnesota has lost its last two road games, while Seattle seems to be finding its groove with three straight victories. It won't be easy against a stout defense, but the Seahawks should sneak by the Vikings."
Matt Calkins, **Seattle Times**: Seahawks 21, Vikings 17
Calkins: "Seattle's running game continues to flourish and will again Monday vs. Minnesota. Look for the Seahawks to control the clock and all but seal their playoff hopes."
Sarah Colonna, **Seattle Times Celebrity Guesser**, Comedian & Wife Of Former Seahawks Punter Jon Ryan: Seahawks 34, Vikings 28
Colonna: "It's going to be 34-28, a real nail biter with the final score coming in the last minute when Jon Ryan parachutes in and throws a TD pass."