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Week 3 Game Recap: Seattle Seahawks 20, Minnesota Vikings 21


What you need to know

Seattle Seahawks

Sitting out with injury were starting receivers Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett, and top draft pick Rashaad Penny. Russell Wilson’s stats were slightly underwhelming, mainly due to the downgraded receiving corps. Chris Carson seemingly sealed the deal on the starting RB job, but Mike Davis and C.J. Prosise also showed that they can step up when needed. The offensive line showed that they can indeed open up holes against a top defense – something that could not be said last season.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings may have a 2-1 record during the preseason, but there still appears to be a lot of rust that needs to be shaken off. Kirk Cousins continues to crumble in the red zone and the Vikings kicking game faltered with two missed field goals. The Vikings recently cut veteran kicker Kai Forbath in favor of Daniel Carlson and he rewards them with two missed field goals today. Both kicks were from 42-yards and missed wide left. Dalvin Cook returned to action but was only given two carries and one pass attempt that fell incomplete. Cook is not expected to play next week, and the coaches were apparently happy with the 4 snaps he saw this week. While the Vikings did attempt two 2-point conversions today, they played a mostly vanilla scheme and appeared to not want to give away too much about their upcoming game plan for the season. Backup Kevin Sloter played very well behind Kirk Cousins and has put himself ahead of Trevor Siemian on the depth chart going into the season.

Seattle Seahawks

QB Brett Hundley
Starting in Aaron Rodgers place, Brett Hundley completed eight of 14 passes for 78 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Hundley also added five yards on the ground on two carries. Hundley has been Rodgers back up for the last three seasons, so it was no surprise that he hooked up with fellow practice squad wide receiver, Geronimo Allison. On the first drive of the game, Hundley found Allison on third and nine on a short out-route where Allison was able to pick up just enough for the first down. On second and seven, Hundley went back to Allison, this time for a long throw deep down the right side of the field. Allison was able to get separation from his defender and Hundley threw a nice ball with touch hit Allison in stride. The throw was right on the money and went between the defender covering Allison and the safety that was coming over to help. Aside from that play, Hundley wasn't able to get much going and it was clear that he was still getting used to the different receivers that Green Bay was throwing out on the field, specifically rookies Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scalding.

QB Russell Wilson
The numbers may say differently, but Wilson was in fine form making snap decisions against an elite defense. Working without key receivers Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett, Wilson made Brandon Marshall a top target, and went deep successfully to Marcus Johnson. He rolled out on misdirection plays a couple of times, but the Vikings defense caught on quickly, forcing Wilson to throw the ball away. Overall, the leader of this offense looked poised and showed excellent vision in the pocket.

RB Chris Carson
Carson also found the end zone after spelling Mike Davis at the end of a long drive. On that play, a 6 yard scamper, Carson had some room and showed patience and good vision as a hole opened up for him. He has earned himself the starting job entering the regular season, but the Seahawks have other options in their game plan, including top draft pick Rashaad Penny, who is recovering from injury.

RB Mike Davis
Davis ran well, especially between the tackles, demonstrating good power and vision. He was also targeted on a deep pass but was very, very covered. If Carson should falter, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see Davis fill in on early downs and take goal line duties.

RB C.J. Prosise
Prosise is in line to be the Seahawks 3rd down back, partly due to J.D. McKissic’s injury. Prosise’s versatility was on display as he looked equally proficient running up the middle, outside, and catching the ball. Injuries have been the only real complaint about Prosise in the past; if he remains healthy, he’s now got the opportunity to carve out a role for himself.

WR Jaron Brown
Brown failed to impress in this one, and did not seem to be on the same page with Wilson on any of his three targets. If Brandon Marshall carves out a significant role for himself, that would push Brown to 4th on the depth chart – or at best, “3-A”.

WR Brandon Marshall
Don’t write Marshall off just yet. He did not look at all out of place on his three catches, and that was up against the talented Minnesota DB Xavier Rhodes. He showed that he is still capable of winning the jump ball, as he did on his first catch. On the other two, Marshall looked hungry – like he really wants the ball – and with the departure of Paul Richardson and Jimmy Graham, it’s not hard to see Marshall in a significant role, especially in the red zone.


Minnesota Vikings

QB Kirk Cousins
One of the biggest knocks against Cousins coming out of Washington was his inability to convert red zone plays into touchdowns and how he crumbles in the biggest moments. He has not clicked with the incumbent Viking receivers like Case Keenum did last season, but he still has more weapons than he has ever had in his career. Cousins got his best taste of these weapons on the first drive of the game when he handed the ball to Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray as well as completed passes to Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, and Kyle Rudolph. These are going to be his top weapons all season long and he managed to get the Vikings in position for a field goal try. The play calling was very conservative on this drive and they never really pushed the ball down the field. The only shot Cousins took was a third and three play from the Seattle 24 deep down the right sideline to Stefon Diggs. The ball was just out of his reach and Daniel Carlson missed the field goal on the next play. Cousins does not have anything to worry about with competition behind him, especially with his off-season contract, but he will need to start putting the ball in the end zone for the Vikings to be successful this season.

QB Trevor Siemian
Siemian will most likely start the season as the backup quarterback, but he will need to be looking over his shoulder all season long as Kyle Sloter as playing extremely well. Siemian came over in a trade with the Broncos and has not looked great during his drives. He completed only 4 of 8 passes today and managed a meager 3 yards through the air. Siemian took over for Cousins to start the second half and played the entire third quarter as well as finishing his last drive into the fourth. The conservative play call and lack of a running game made it difficult for Siemian, but that has been the theme for all three quarterbacks. Siemian was also sacked three times as he held onto the ball too long and lost 25 total yards. This preseason has not been a great showing and Siemian continues to show the type of play that drove him out of Denver.

QB Kyle Sloter
The best quarterback play of the preseason has come from Sloter, albeit against second and third string defenses. Seattle is far removed from the Legion of Boom they have been in recent seasons, but Sloter did one big thing that Cousins was not able to do, put the ball in the end zone. Sloter accounted for both Vikingsí touchdowns in the fourth quarter and the two-point conversion to give them the lead and eventual win. Sloter was the third quarterback in the game but continues to play himself ahead of Siemian. Sloter connected with Chad Beebe deep down the left sideline for a 25-yard touchdown as well as a 1-yard connection with Jake Wieneke and the game winning 2-point conversion. Wieneke scored on quick outs and Sloter laid the ball into his body where only he could make the play. Sloter has had more success than any other Viking quarterback this preseason and has been a great addition since coming over from the Broncos.

RB Dalvin Cook
After losing Cook for the season win week 4 last season, the Vikings are being very cautious with their young running back in the early stages. Cook only splayed 4 snaps in the first drive and carried the ball twice. The offensive line is very beat up and there was no running room for Cook. He was also given one pass attempt across the middle, but the ball fell incomplete. The coaching staff has said they are going to be cautious with Cook early in the year and ease him back into things. Cook is not expected to play at all in the fourth preseason game but looks to be the starter week one against the 49ers.

RB Latavius Murray
The Vikings let Jerick McKinnon walk in the off season and that was supposed to open things up for Murray. However, with his lack of success and similar skill set to both Cook and third string running back Mike Boone, Murray is finding himself replaceable. There has been speculation about Murray being a potential trade chip for a draft pick. This seems unlikely due to the health of Cook, and Murray should at least serve as the backup until Cook proves he is healthy enough to carry the workload. Murray punched the ball in from the 1-yard line on the Vikings second drive of the game but did not find much success otherwise. With 2.4 yards per carry it is hard to say if the issue is more with Murray or the offensive line he is running behind. No Viking running back averaged more than 3 yards per carry on the day, but at least Murray was able to find the end zone.

WR Stefon Diggs
The Vikings threw the ball more than twice the amount that they ran it today and Diggs received more targets than any other receiver today. He only connected on 4 of his 8 targets today but did tie Laquon Treadwell for the longest play of the game with a 27-yard catch and run to the Seattle 10-yard line. This helped setup and eventual Latavius Murray touchdown run. Diggs will play a major role in the Viking offense again this season as he looks to build on his breakout campaign last year. Diggs and Thielen present a two-headed monster that opposing defenses will have to figure out how to cover. When one is locked down it opens the field for the other. Look for Diggs to break free more this season as Cousins throws a better deep ball than Case Keenum did a year ago.

WR Adam Thielen
It was a rather quiet game for Thielen today as he ran his customary crossing routes to try and create looks for other plays. Thielen has made a living rubbing defenders across the middle and opening things up for Diggs and company. His biggest play of the game was an 11-yard sprint across the middle for a first down. Diggs and Thielen should feed off each other all season long as they try and build on their break out season last year. Expect an uptick in touchdowns this year if Thielen sees the same volume of catches from last year.

WR Laquon Treadwell
Treadwell is now in his third season with the Vikings and will need to finally show the promise of a first round pick if he wants to continue his career in Minnesota. The coaching staff has praised the strides he has made with his route running this off season and plan to feature him more in the passing game. He saw the field more today due to the lack of a running game and more 3 and 4 receiver sets than usual. Treadwell was the target of the Vikings’ first two-point conversion, but the ball was just out of his reach. Treadwell did manage to snare a 27-yard catch and run from Kirk Cousins on the last Viking drive of the first half, but Carlson missed his second field goal shortly after.

TE Kyle Rudolph
There is no position battle at tight end with Rudolph clearly entrenched as the starter. His unique basketball style skill set makes him a danger in the red zone and on third down. Rudolph only played with the starters today and saw one target come his way. Rudolph may pose the solution to Cousins struggles in the red zone this season, but he was not given the opportunity against the Seahawks.