Guess who’s back, back again
Shady’s back, tell a friend
Guess who’s back, guess who’s back?
In this case, Shady is the Seattle Seahawks and they are back in another game preview as an undefeated team. The Hawks took care of business on Sunday afternoon in South Beach, holding off the Miami Dolphins in a game that seemed much closer than it maybe should have been. Nonetheless, the Hawks are in first place in the NFC West and picked up a massive win as opponent foes, the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers picked up head-scratching losses to the Carolina Panthers and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively.
The defense allowed a ton of yards to the Dolphins in the air and on the ground but it was their elevated play in the red-zone that made the difference on Sunday. Miami was able to rack up over 410 total yards of offense, but they had to settle for five field goals off the foot of Jason Sanders. That’s a great day for a kicker but a terrible sign for the team’s offense. That defensive effort combined with a pair of takeaways was a major key in the Seahawks improving to 4-0.
Here are a couple of other things that Seattle did well:
- ZERO penalties: That’s right. Absolutely no penalties for the Seahawks. If you’re wondering how often that happens, the answer is: NOT OFTEN. The last time that Seattle did not commit a single foul in a game was way back in 2007 against the Baltimore Ravens. To put that into perspective, Russell Wilson was a redshirt freshman at North Carolina State. Matt Hasselback, Nate Burelson and Shaun Alexander were the top performers for the Seahawks and Barack Obama hadn’t served a year as the President of the United States yet.
- Chris Carson: The Seahawks running back went down with a concerning leg injury in the final minutes against the Dallas Cowboys two weeks ago. He didn’t bring any of that pain with him to Miami as he rushed 16 times for 80 yards and two scores. He also added another three catches and 20 yards receiving.
- Seattle Kept the gas on the peddle: The Dolphins were never really out of this game until the last minute. Late in the 4th, the score was cut down to two points but Seattle didn’t fret. Wilson found Tyler Lockett for a 30-yard pickup and ended up marching 75-yards downfield for a score.
“The story of the day was being able to move the ball effectively, and not being able to do anything in the red zone, whether it was a penalty or poor execution or a bad read by me.” Ryan Fitzpatrick said. “I felt like there were a lot of guys on our team that played well enough to win. I unfortunately was not one of them.”
This Week against Minnesota
The Seahawks traveled all the way back to the northwest as they’ll be hosting to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5. It’s a primetime game that will be played on Sunday Night Football by NBC.
The Vikings enter this game just 1-3. They finally got a very tough road win against a Texans squad that fired their head coach, Bill O’Brien, on Monday. Kirk Cousins only passed the ball 22 times but was able to avoid turnovers and connected with Adam Thielen for a touchdown score. The big offensive star for the Vikings is running back Dalvin Cook. He leads the NFL in rushing this season with over 400 yards and went for 130 yards and two touchdowns against the Texans. Seattle has allowed just 75.8 yards a game to running backs, which ranks third in the NFL behind only the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That’s quite the turnaround after ranking in the bottom-half of the league in 2019.
Minnesota has seen good production from rookie Justin Jefferson and they’ve added Alexander Mattinson into the gameplan as well, so the Seahawks will have their hands full trying to lock down weapons.
But the Vikings will have to do the same. Wilson by no-means had a bad game but it wasn’t what we’ve been used to since the 2020 season started. In primetime, it will be interesting to see how Wilson will play and whether or not there will be a little bit of aggression there.
The last time these two teams played each other was less than a year ago in last December. The Hawks held out a 37-30 win on the backs of Chris Carson who rushed for 102 yards a score. Davin Cook was limited to just 29 yards and the Hawks picked up a massive win down the playoff-stretch.
Keys to the Game
Minnesota Vikings, Hold Onto The Ball: Coming into last week’s game, the Vikings had turned the ball over 7 times through three games. Sunday was the first time they didn’t turn the ball over and it resulted in a win. The Seahawks will need to manufacture some chaos for Kirk Cousins as the veteran signal-caller still seems as unsure as a rookie under center at times. If the Vikings can keep the ball in their hands, this game will stay close.
Seattle Seahawks, Get Lockett Involved: It was odd not to hear Tyler Lockett’s name called a ton during the Dolphins game. The Hawks only targeted him four times for 39 yards against Miami. Lockett has played an average of 62 percent of all offensive snaps for the Seahawks. It would be wise to draw up some plays that allow for some separation for the speedy receiver and have Russ get him the ball.
Wilson is an impressive 7-1 in games that are played “late” and he is 5-0 in his career against the Minnesota Vikings. Coming into this game, the Hawks are 7-point favorites. I’m not feeling overly confident in a Vikings team that was clearly playing a Texans team that had some major issues at the very top. Seattle is 11-4 in their last 15 games at home and 11-4 in their last 15 games against an opponent in the NFC. The history sides with the Hawks and I always play the hot hand.
Seahawks 31 Vikings 21