Mike Zimmer’s three-week bird hunting retreat continues, as the Minnesota Vikings (8-3) play host to the Seattle Seahawks (6-5) this Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium. After their convincing 20-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 12, the Vikings will look to make a statement against the Seahawks, who fell just short of winning Super Bowl XLIX last February.
Despite their superior record, the Vikings are home underdogs to the suddenly-hot Seahawks. Pete Carrol’s football team has gone 4-1 since a disappointing 2-4 start and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in a shootout last week behind Russel Wilson’s five touchdown passes. On defense, they rank in the top 10 in points allowed, yards allowed, passing defense and rushing defense. It’s the start of a difficult set of games for Minnesota, but it may be coming at the perfect time.
Why? The Seahawks have a legitimate problem in the secondary — containing tight ends. And Minnesota’s oft-injured tight end, Kyle Rudolph, is finally emerging as one of the Vikings’ most valuable receiving weapons. When the teams do meet Sunday, look for Rudolph to make an impact in the middle of the field.