Before we get into the numbers, I have a few quick thoughts. Sunday night’s game got off to one of the weirdest starts that I can remember. The Vikings got off to a 13-0 lead going into halftime, playing dominantly on both sides of the ball, but that isn’t even the weirdest part.
Normally throughout a Vikings game, the purpleTERRITORY Slack chat is buzzing with play-by-play reactions and thoughts on the game. Tonight, it was dead silence. I think we were all shocked to see how dominant the Vikes were in that first half, and we didn’t want to jinx it by saying anything. Turns out, we might have jinxed it by not saying anything.
I think everyone watching expected Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson to have adjustments going into the second half, but this was a masterful second half. The adjustments were made, and it led to the heartbreaking drive to end the game. Now, let’s get into some of the numbers.
The Vikings offense was on the field for twice as long as the Seahawks offense. In the first half especially, it seemed like the Vikings could do anything that they wanted. Dalvin Cook was great rushing the ball, and Kirk Cousins threw the ball with confidence. If only they could have held onto the ball for a minute longer.
Irv Smith Jr. was Minnesota’s surprise receiver tonight. He caught four passes for 64 yards, and it is the first time that Minnesota has made a true effort to get the tight end position involved in the passing game. It will be interesting if that remains a part of their strategy moving forward, but this was crucial in keeping the game close tonight, especially considering Justin Jefferson’s quiet outing.
After sacking Wilson four times in the first half, all in very timely situations, they could not get to the star a single time in the second half. The Seattle offensive line’s improved play resulted in Wilson going for 177 yards and three touchdowns, including the six yard game winning pass to DK Metcalf.
Dalvin Cook is set to make $63 million over the next five years. I’m not here to say the Vikings made a mistake because of a one game sample size, but tonight made me queasy while thinking about the recent extension.
Watching Alexander Mattison tear apart the Seattle run defense, which like I said in my last minute bets article, has allowed just 75 yards per game to opposing running backs on 3.4 yards a carry. That was incredible. Mattison ended up with 112 yards on 20 carries, and he did a lot of the same things we have seen Cook do throughout his career. Doing that with Cook hurt on the bench is not a great look for that contract.