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Week 13 Game Recap: Seattle Seahawks 38, Minnesota Vikings 7


What you need to know

Seattle Seahawks

The Seattle Seahawks are playing like a playoff team, now capturing their third straight win over the Minnesota Vikings in Week 13. Russell Wilson has been dominant and threw for three touchdowns and also ran one in. Thomas Rawls has continued to be stellar stepping up for an injured Marshawn Lynch with 123 total yards and a rushing touchdown. Doug Baldwin is out to prove last week was not a fluke and added another two touchdowns and 94 yards to his ridiculous totals from the past two games. Rookie Tyler Lockett set career highs in both catches and yards with seven for 90 and Jermaine Kearse was held without a catch.

Minnesota Vikings

There is a fundamental difference in how some players see the offense compared to others. While Adrian Peterson felt he needed the ball more, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater felt differently about how things went. “We try to be a balanced offense, but each week the game turns out differently,” Bridgewater told the media, per the Vikings PR release and game notes. “We knew Seattle was going to prepare to defend the run, so they did a good job of that. We just have to be able to make adjustments and continue to play on the move.” The Vikings are focusing all their energy on getting Peterson the ball as it is, but when they have to get away from it, they struggle and Peterson is clearly unhappy. There are two issues at work here—one, that Peterson needs to come to grips that the offense is not just him anymore and two, that if this offense is to work, Norv Turner and Mike Zimmer have to use a shorter, quicker passing offense. Until then, Peterson is going to be the only consistent producer in the offense and as we saw on Sunday, even that is no sure thing against a great defense.

Seattle Seahawks

QB Russell Wilson, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 21 - 27 - 274 - 3 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 9 - 51 - 1
Russell Wilson had his third straight big game for the Seahawks in Week 13 against the Vikings. He went 21-of-27 passing for 274 yards and three touchdowns. He also had nine rush attempts for 51 yards and score on the ground as well. Wilson has been taking advantage of a few favorable matchups as of late and faced a Vikings team this week missing three of hits top players on defense. However, Wilson deserves a lot of credit, he has trusted his line and hung in the pocket well as he makes his reads. His accuracy has been unparalleled and has been his usual self-being elusive and avoiding sacks. Wilson has now passed for 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions on this three game winning streak and is on pace for a career best in both passing and rushing yards. His first touchdown came on the ground late in the first half on third down where he called his own number out of the shotgun. He made two nice cuts in the open field to make it passed a Vikings defender and made it in the end zone from 8 yards out. Seattle would get the ball back in time for another touchdown drive in the first half. With 1:08 remaining, in an empty backfield Wilson showed his accuracy as he threw an absolute dart in-between two Viking defenders for a 20-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin. In the third quarter the Seahawks faked the handoff to Fred Jackson but then threw a screen pass to the right side for the easy touchdown on 3rd and goal, Wilson’s second passing touchdown of the game. The game was very much in hand at this point and with the Seahawks ahead 28-0 Wilson had a 53-yard touchdown run called back by a holding penalty. No matter, he would just drop in a 53-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin on the very next play.

RB Thomas Rawls, 44 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 101 - 1, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (3 targets)
Rookie running back, Thomas Rawls, has continued to be a revelation for this offense stepping up for an injured Marshawn Lynch. After fumbling on the first drive of the game Rawls rebounded for another big game against the Vikings in Week 13. He totaled 101 yards on 19 rush attempts and also had a rushing touchdown. He was involved in the passing game catching all three of his targets for 22 yards through the air. His touchdown was impressive and came with 3:45 left in the first quarter on first and goal where he made a nice cut right behind the line and broke two tackles to spin and barrel his way into the end zone. The un-drafted free agent from Central Michigan’s power and quickness has been on full displace and will continue to be a center point of this Seahawks offense going forward.

RB Fred Jackson, 11 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 2 - 13 - 1 (2 targets)
Fred Jackson continues to be largely irrelevant in the Seattle offense but he did have a touchdown reception in Week 13 against the Vikings. Off a play fake Russell Wilson threw him a screen pass on 3rd and goal where he walked in for the 8-yard score. He would finish the day with 18 total yards on three touches.

WR Tyler Lockett, 38 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 7 - 90 - 0 (7 targets)
Rookie Tyler Lockett put a nice game together in Week 13 against the Minnesota Vikings where he hauled in seven-of-seven targets for 90 yards. That is the most catches in a game Lockett has had in his career and also set a new career high in yards. He is averaging over four catches per game and nearly 60 yards in his past three games but has not been a consistent part of the offense this year, regardless of his apparent skill as a playmaker.

WR Doug Baldwin, 43 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 94 - 2 (7 targets)
With the loss of Jimmy Graham the Seattle Seahawks offense needed someone to step up. Doug Baldwin has been the answer totaling five touchdowns and 239 yards in the last two games. In Week 13 against the Vikings he would contribute a 5-94-2 stat line and the chemistry between him and Russell Wilson is blossoming at the right time. His first touchdown came on a great throw that Wilson put in a tight window from 20-yards out through the middle. His second touchdown came on a 53-yard bomb late in the third quarter a play after a long rushing touchdown from Wilson is taken off the board due to a holding penalty. Baldwin is on pace for career highs in receptions, yards, and touchdowns this season and should have no problem taking advantage of an unimpressive Ravens secondary in Week 14.

WR Jermaine Kearse, 44 offensive snaps (1 targets)
Jermaine Kearse had zero catches in Seattle’s Week 13 win over Minnesota and only registered one target. He has shown flashes of big play ability at times this year but with the emergence of both Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett in the passing game, quarterback Russell Wilson does not seem to be looking his way very often.

TE Luke Willson, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 36 - 0 (3 targets)
Luke Wilson would get the start at tight end in Week 13 with Jimmy Graham done for the year. He had two catches for 36 yards on three targets in this game but did not register a catch in the second half. His two catches were big plays to keep the offense moving and clearly has a nice rapport with Russell Wilson but volume will continue to be an issue down the stretch.


Minnesota Vikings

QB Teddy Bridgewater, 52 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 28 - 118 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 2 - 0
Things did not go well for Teddy Bridgewater and the passing offense of the Minnesota Vikings. Much is made of how bad the offensive line is and ESPN’s Ben Goessling tweeted that ESPN Stats & Info reported the Seahawks blitzed only 6.1 percent of the time but pressured him 39.4 percent of the time, meaning they could rush four and score hits on the quarterback. According to Pro Football Focus, Bridgewater is being pressured on 47.4 percent of his dropbacks this season and lead the league in that category. The Vikings also lead the league in 7-step drops. This is a terrible combination —you can’t have that and succeed through the air or on the ground. What’s baffling is offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s refusal to try and use quick, short passes to mitigate the pressure on his young quarterback. Instead, Turner’s solution appears to be to run Adrian Peterson into the ground which is fine when it works, which it didn’t against a stout Seattle run defense. With no run game and little help from the offensive line, how does Bridgewater complete passes? The solution, one would think, would be to take a page out of the Green Bay Packers playbook and use a lot of short passes, quick slants and moving screens. The Vikings do not do this though, continuing to force Bridgewater into 7-step drops which required time he didn’t have to set up and putting him under center, when he is more comfortable and effective from the pistol or shotgun. Right now, this offense is geared around Adrian Peterson, which is fine when it works but when it doesn’t, the offense is not set for success. When Peterson is stymied, it becomes about big plays. “Our system that we’re running here, it allows us to make big plays,” Bridgewater said after the game per the Vikings PR release and game notes. But teams know that this is a big play offense, so they try to take away those deep threats down the field and make us complete the ball underneath the coverage and things like that.” You can’t be a big play, deep threat team when you have no offensive line and the receivers struggle to gain separation. That leaves a situation for Bridgewater where he has to make lemonade out of bricks. Right now he is hamstrung by an offense he has to adapt to, rather than having it adapt to him, which means it is tough to know how good he really is. The focus on Peterson and the deep threat bleeds over into something even as simple as formation. Peterson cannot take a handoff from the shotgun so if Peterson is on the field, Bridgewater is under center. When Bridgewater is in shotgun, Jerrick McKinnon was often on the field, which tipped off the Seahawks that the play was a pass. Until the team starts using short, quick passes to stymie defenses who have little to prevent them from blowing through the offensive line, Bridgewater is going to struggle and his development will stagnate.

RB Adrian Peterson, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 18 - 0, Rec: 4 - 6 - 0 (4 targets)
The Seattle Seahawks came ready to shut Adrian Peterson down, and they did just that, hitting him at or behind the line of scrimmage constantly and swarming him to bring him down and limit his ability to gain yards. Peterson was more effective receiving as he could get the ball in space and gain some extra yards. For the most part though, he was stymied. He also spent much of the game on the sidelines as the Vikings fell behind early and had to throw the ball. After the game, Peterson was asked if it was just a bad day. “I felt like we were out of sync,” he responded per the Vikings PR release and game notes. “Definitely give credit to Seattle; they did a good job of coming in and forcing us to do things differently. They were just the better team. They were more aggressive, more physical, and they outcoached us as well.” Peterson, not comfortable out of the pistol or shotgun, was often on the sidelines when those formations were called for. That didn’t sit well with Peterson. “I felt like, as one of the leaders on the team, and seeing how the running game has been all season, you definitely want to be able to go out and establish the run and then let things feed off of that. I finished with eight carries, and it’s tough. I feel like we need to sit back and evaluate some things again and get back to where we need to be.”

RB Jerick McKinnon, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 18 - 0, Rec: 3 - 6 - 0 (6 targets)
McKinnon saw a few more snaps on Sunday as the Vikings fell behind and needed some pass-blocking help and a hand in disguising formations. Adrian Peterson struggles out of the pistol or shotgun, so McKinnon was in so that Bridgewater could be handing off. However many of those plays still resulted in passes, which tipped off the Seahawks. McKinnon looked fine in a few carries and on his receptions but like most of the Vikings, he made no headway against a tough Seattle defense.

RB Matt Asiata, 10 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - -1 - 0 (1 targets)
Asiata was brought into the game often as an extra blocker, for all the good it did the Vikings. He made a few nice catches, but for the most part it was all he could do to keep Teddy Bridgewater or himself upright.

WR Stefon Diggs, 45 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - -6 - 0, Rec: 2 - 22 - 0 (6 targets)
While they normally have great chemistry, Diggs and Teddy Bridgewater were not on the same page Sunday. Most of what Diggs did was run longer routes and Bridgewater overthrew him twice, once resulting in an interception. They were more successful on shorter and intermediate rkoutes, something the team should do more of going forward.

WR Jarius Wright, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 24 - 0 (2 targets)
Wright had a couple of nice catches along the sideline, but was otherwise unable to break free in time for Teddy Bridgwater to find him and deliver the ball.

WR Mike Wallace, 40 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 43 - 0 (3 targets)
Mike Wallace is a guy who stretches the field, which is hard to do when the quarterback is getting creamed behind a bad offensive line. Wallace did make a nice catch on a crossing pattern which he then turned upfield and took for about 20 extra yards. He also made a nice catch along the sideline where he was wide open, but fell down afterwards, preventing him from adding any yards.

TE Kyle Rudolph, 32 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 13 - 0 (4 targets)
As was the case with the entire offense, the lack of solid offensive line play along with tremendous coverage by Seattle kept Kyle Rudolph quiet. He made a couple of nice catches, but for the most part the plays were so slow in developing that he was often swamped by defenders before he could add more value yards.

TE Rhett Ellison, 26 offensive snaps (1 targets)
Ellison was targeted once on a pass which was deflected. He was on the field for 26 offensive snaps though (half of them), mostly as a blocker.