- CB Mike Hughes
- RB Ameer Abdullah
- DE Ade Aruna
- T Brian O’Neill
- T Aviante Collins
- TE David Morgan
- DE Tashawm Bower
- DT Shamar Stephen
- DT Linval Joseph
By: Sean Borman
A weekly look at how the Minnesota Vikings match up against their opponent by the numbers. See how the offensive and defensive units compare to the rest of the league while viewing the offensive leaders, defensive leaders, and noteworthy stats involving this week’s game.
- Minnesota’s home record in 2018 was 5-3
2018 offensive leaders
- Passing: QB Kirk Cousins: 4,298 yards with 30 TD’s and 10 INT’s
- Rushing yards: RB Dalvin Cook: 615
- Rushing TD’s: RB Latavius Murray: 6
- Receptions: WR Adam Thielen: 113
- Receiving yards: WR Adam Thielen: 1,373
- Receiving TD’s: WR A. Thielen & S. Diggs: 9
2018 team offense
- Total offense: 20th (345.6 YPG)
- Passing: 13th (252.2 YPG)
- Rushing: 30th (93.3 YPG)
- Scoring: 19th (22.5 PPG)
- Turnover ratio: 19th (+0)
- Third down conversions: 26th (36%)
2018 team defense
- Total defense: 4th (309.7 YPG)
- Passing: 3rd (196.2 YPG)
- Rushing: 15th (113.4 YPG)
- Scoring: 9th (21.3 PPG)
- Third-down conversions: 1st (30%)
2018 defensive leaders
- Tackles: LB Eric Kendricks: 108
- Sacks: DE Danielle Hunter: 14.5
- Interceptions: H. Smith & A. Harris: 3
- Seattle’s away record in 2018 was 4-4
2018 offensive leaders
- Passing: QB Russell Wilson: 3,448 yards with 35 TD’s & 7 INT
- Rushing yards: RB Chris Carson: 1,151
- Rushing TD’s: RB Chris Carson: 9
- Receptions: WR Tyler Lockett: 57
- Receiving yards: WR Tyler Lockett: 965
- Receiving TD’s: WR Tyler Lockett: 10
2018 team offense
- Total offense: 18th (353.3 YPG)
- Passing: 27th (193.3 YPG)
- Rushing: 1st (160.0 YPG)
- Scoring: 6th (26.8 PPG)
- Turnover ratio: 1st (+15)
- Third-down conversions: 17th (39%)
2018 team defense
- Total defense: 16th (353.3 YPG)
- Passing: 17th (240.1 YPG)
- Rushing: 13th (113.2 YPG)
- Scoring: 11th (21.7 PPG)
- Third-down conversions: 5th (35%)
2018 defensive leaders
- Tackles: LB Bobby Wagner: 138
- Sacks: DE Frank Clark: 13
- Interceptions: E. Thomas & B. McDougald: 2
Storylines to watch
By: Kirby O’Connor
- Special teams duties- The Vikings made headlines this week by trading a 5th round pick for Punter/Kicker Kaare Vedvik. The team also ended any long snapper competition by cutting Kevin McDermott in favor of rookie Austin Cutting. Vedvik is 12-13 on field goals in the preseason over the last two years in Baltimore. This maybe wouldn’t be news if it wasn’t for Vedvik’s versatility. There has been speculation that he could take over both punting and kicking duties while the team cuts both Dan Bailey and Matt Wile. In that case, wide receiver Chad Beebe would be the team’s full-time holder as well. However, what’s more likely is that Vedvik will take over either Bailey or Wile’s role and be available to cover in an emergency. The interesting thing to watch will be who the team trots out for every kick. Vedvik could be called on to show off his punting or kicking skills, Chad Beebe might get some looks at holder and Dan Bailey and Matt Wile will surely get another chance to show what they’ve got. All in all, it will make seemingly meaningless preseason kicks and punts that much more exciting.
- How the first team offense looks, especially the line– I think by this time most people have realized that Kirk Cousins and the receivers will look pretty good against preseason, vanilla defenses. The real interest is on the offensive line and how they can open holes for the running backs. As a bonus to this point, keep an eye out for Dalvin Cook if he plays. We should see the first team offense for a full quarter, so it’ll also be fun to see who gets looks at wide receiver three or four.
- What receivers get to play– Continuing with the receivers, keep an eye out for who gets to play quarters two through four. Laquon Treadwell, Chad Bebe, and Jordan Taylor are all preseason favorites to win roster spots, but Olabisi Johnson made a strong case last week by catching two passes for 35 yards and a touchdown. We didn’t see a ton from any other receiver last week, but we should see a few more looks to help clear up the picture of the third to sixth receiver spots. Jeff Badet and Dillon Mitchell are the two that I will be watching most closely tonight.
- Defensive back and defensive tackle depth being tested– The Vikings defensive back depth will be called upon immediately to start the season. Mike Hughes will not be back to full strength by week one and Holton Hill is suspended for the first eight weeks of the season. That leaves the team with Rhodes, Waynes, and Alexander as the top three corners to start the season. Since the NFL is a league where you consistently run four or five corners, keep an eye on the defensive backs who make up the second and third teams. Kris Boyd should make his Vikings debut, Craig James will be in the mix, and Nate Meadors will look to build on his opportunistic performance last week.
- Rebuilding the Legion of Boom- It wasn’t too long ago that the Seahawks had the most feared secondary in the NFL. Earl Thomas is now in Baltimore, Richard Sherman plays for the rival 49ers, and Kam Chancellor was released by the organization after being unable to play all of last season. As a result, the Seahawks pass defense has slipped. In 2018 they were 17th-best at defending the pass. That’s not a terrible rank, but it’s a far cry from when the team was consistently in the top five. The Seahawks drafted safety Marquies Blair in the second round and selected safety Ugo Amadi in the fourth round of April’s draft. Keep an eye on any Seattle defensive back who plays after the starters are pulled.
- Russel Wilson and the first string offensive line- Russell Wilson is one of the most exciting players in the NFL right now. He’s been pretty much the sole reason for Seattle’s offensive success the past few seasons. Seattle’s offensive line has been on a level similar to the Vikings, and the mobility and skill of Wilson has hidden a lot of the poor play. The Seahawks signed Guard Mike Iupati to give them some veteran leadership, but he is currently dealing with a calf injury after missing significant time in training camp with a foot injury.
Vikings vs Seahawks: Matchup analysis.
By Deshawn Vaughan
The Vikings and Seahawks play for the fourth consecutive time in the preseason. Russell Wilson is expected to play about one drive against the Vikings first-team defense if everything goes according to head coach Pete Carroll. The Vikings are expected to play all starters except OT Brian O’Neil and DT Linval Joseph.
- Vikings first team defense vs Seahawks first team offense.
The Seattle Seahawks are an extremely well-coached team, which makes up for the lack of talent on the roster. QB Russell Wilson plays at an elite level, and is always difficult to contain. The most important aspect is their run game. The Seahawks put up 151 yards rushing last week and the Vikings gave up 141 yards on the ground. DT’s Jalyn Holmes and Jaleel Johnson struggled noticeably against the run last week and will be looking to perform much better this week.
- Vikings second team secondary vs Paxton Lynch.
Paxton Lynch did not have a good start to his career. He was booted out of Denver within three years, and has been looking to revitalize it in Seattle. Last week Lynch went 11/15 for 104 yards and 1 TD against his former team. The Vikings faced the Saints’ QB’s last week and did quite well. The QB’s threw a combined 22/33 for 241 yards with 2 TD’s and 1 INT. The Vikings defense held them to 2 touchdowns in 6 red zone trips, and will be looking to do the same this week.
- Vikings Quarterbacks vs Seattle’s defense
As stated earlier the Seahawks are an extremely well-coached team. All three (or four) QB’s should face difficulty when throwing the ball. This may be the best test in terms of evaluation for the quarterbacks this preseason. The Seahawks forced sixteen incompletions last week and recorded an INT while only giving up one TD. The Vikings completed seventy percent of their passes and recorded three touchdowns with zero interceptions.
- Vikings defensive line vs Seahawks offensive line.
It’s well known that the Seahawks have struggled to secure solid offensive linemen. The Vikings defensive line had an up and down performance last week, recording two sacks and four TFL’s. The defensive line should have the upper hand in this weekend’s matchup, and will look to be more dominant and consistent against the Seattle Seahawks.
A Bitter History
By: Joe Johnson
Since the start of the new millenium, there have been few teams that have stuck in the Vikings’ craw more than the Seattle Seahawks. Before the poison pill heard ’round the… Pacific Northwest and Mid-West, the two teams rarely interacted with one another, namely because the Seahawks only made the leap to the NFC (from the AFC) after the 2001 season. But because of all the drama and player-sniping betwixt these two teams you’d think that they’ve met much more often than they really have (which, according to my internet abilities shows that the Vikings have played the ‘Hawks 16 times, including the NFC Wildcard game in 2015).
The drama between the two teams started back in the off-season after the 2005 season, which also happened to be the season that the Seahawks made an appearance in Super Bowl XL. Steve Hutchinson was the best left guard in all of football (and one of the best interior lineman in the history of the NFL) and was a huge reason that the Seahawks’ Shaun Alexander was the regular season MVP (and that the Seahawks made it to the Super Bowl in the first place). Hutchinson signed an offer sheet from the Vikings that included a “poison pill” that dictated that Hutchinson was guaranteed the entire $49 million in his contract if he wasn’t the highest paid lineman on his own team, Wikipedia explains:
“At the time, NFL rules required that if a team signed a player with the transition tag to an offer sheet, the original team had to either match the offer sheet exactly or relinquish their rights to that player. While the tag was not triggered during his time with the Vikings—he was released by the Vikings in March 2012—the Seahawks had recently given tackle Walter Jones a contract richer than the one offered to Hutchinson. Thus, the team would have triggered the “poison pill” clause immediately and would have been forced, by NFL rules, to immediately guarantee Hutchinson’s entire salary. Since doing so would have destroyed their salary cap, they could not match the offer. Moreover, since they only used their transition tag, rather than naming Hutchinson a franchise player, they received no compensation from Minnesota for their loss.”
Seattle was immediately as salty as the Puget sound, and retaliated by signing receiver Nate Burleson to a similar offer sheet which lead to the NFL banning the use of poison pills during their next collective bargaining agreement. Seattle and Minnesota continued to exchange players, both figuratively and literally, over the subsequent years. Some players of note were Percy Harvin, Sidney Rice, Koren Robinson and Chris Kluwe.
The Vikings and Seahawks have only faced one another 16 times over the years. The overall regular-season record is 10-5 in favor of the Seahawks and 1-0 in the post-season, also in favor of the Seahawks. Barf. The Seahawks have won the last five match-ups against the Vikings.
Overall, the Vikings have scored 340 points against the Seahawks (for an average of 21.5 points per game). The Seahawks have scored 405 points against the Vikings (for an average of 25.3125 points per game). The most recent win for the Seahawks was last season on December 10th (with a score of 21-7). The most recent win for the Vikings (in Seattle) was October 22nd, 2006 (with a final score of 31-13). The most recent home win for the Vikings was led by Brett Favre on November 22nd, 2009 (35-9). Here are some highlights from that game:
The longest win-streak for the Seahawks, 5 games, is right now (November 4th, 2012 to current). The longest win-streak for the Vikings was 2 games (October 22nd, 2006 to November 22nd, 2009). The most recent Seahawks’ win in Seattle was November 17th, 2013.
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