The Seahawks have a chance to win their first four games at CenturyLink Field for the first time since 2005, the year the Seahawks went 13-3 and reached Super Bowl XL.
GAME: Minnesota Vikings (5-3, 2nd, NFC North) at Seattle Seahawks (4-4, 3rd, NFC West). TYPE: Regular season. WEEK: 9. WHEN: Sunday, 1:05 p.m., PT, CenturyLink Field.MEETING: 12th (Seahawks lead 6-5). STREAKS: Seahawks L 2; Vikings L 1. HEAD COACHES: Leslie Frazier, Minnesota; Pete Carroll, Seattle. LINE: Seattle by 4 1/2. TV: FOX. RADIO: ESPN 710 AM, KIRO 97.3 FM.
The Seahawks, 3-0 at home for the second time in three years, haven’t opened 4-0 at CenturyLink Field since 2005 and haven’t won four consecutive home games at any point in a season since 2007. Seattle gets its chance for No. 4 Sunday when it hosts the Minnesota Vikings, coming off their worst beating of the season (37-16 by Tampa Bay).
The game will provide Seattle fans the opportunity to not only get their first live look at Minnesota’s All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson, but a matchup of the NFL’s top two rushers, Peterson (96.9 yards per game) and Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch (94.6). Both are coming off a second straight 100-yard rushing performance.
“He’s special. You make your block, and you know he’s going to do something with it,” Seattle receiver and former Viking Sidney Rice said of Peterson. “And if you don’t, he’s still going to do something with it.”
Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said of Lynch, “In my mind, he’s one of the best in our business so we better get our run (defense) fixed in a hurry.”
Lynch, who has four 100-yard rushing games and is coming off a 105-yard, one-TD showing against Detroit, will face a Minnesota defense that has allowed three consecutive 100-yard rushers. Lynch has averaged 6.7 yards per carry in his past two games.
Although the Seahawks sport one of the best run defenses in the league, allowing 84.9 yards per game, Peterson has amassed 276 yards with two TDs over the past two weeks, and he’s averaging 5.1 yards per carry to rank second among players with at least 80 attempts. The Seahawks are vulnerable when facing a marquee back, evidenced by Frank Gore’s 131 rushing yards two weeks ago.
The Seahawks will also face a Minnesota team with a struggling quarterback in Christian Ponder, who has thrown all seven of his interceptions in the last four games. The Vikings have 10 turnovers in those contests after having four in the first four.
“It’s going to be hard for us to achieve our goals if we’re not able to improve our passing game,” Frazier said.
Two defensive players bear watching Sunday, Minnesota’s Jared Allen and Seattle’s Chris Clemons. Both have seven sacks, and Allen, 30, has come to be regarded as one of the elite pass rushers in recent NFL history. His 22 sacks last year were just a half sack shy of Michael Strahan’s NFL record of 22.5 set in 2001.
“The biggest thing I take away from him (Allen) is that he just comes all the time,” said Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. “He finishes every play, he’s really a hard-working guy. I think sometimes a guy may do a pass rush move and it doesn’t work, so he keeps himself blocked. With Jared, he’s not going to stay blocked, he’s going to continue to fight and try to get there.”
Rookie Russell Wilson has been far better at CenturyLink Field (six TDs, no interceptions) than on the road (four TDs, eight INTs), and so have the Seahawks, who have turned turned the ball over 11 times on the road compared to twice at home.
“We didn’t play well enough on the road in the first half, is really what it comes down to,” coach Pete Carroll said this week. “We didn’t finish the games we were close in.”
The iffiest part of the Seahawks is their situation at wide receiver. Seattle this week placed Ben Obomanu on injured reserve and activated former Husky Jermaine Kearse from the practice squad. Doug Baldwin will return from an ankle injury, but Braylon Edwards didn’t practice at all.
Starting guard James Carpenter also will also not play, out with a concussion, meaning John Moffitt, out the past five games with a knee problem, will return to the starting lineup.
SERIES: Dates to Nov. 14, 1976, when the Vikings recorded a 27-21 victory at Metropolitan Stadium. Fran Tarkenton led Minnesota with 274 passing yards and two touchdowns. Jim Zorn threw a pair a TD passes for the Seahawks, 80 yards to Steve Raible and seven yards to Sam McCullum, and also ran 12 yards for a TD. The Vikings have won the last two meetings and three of the past four.
LAST MEETING (Vikings 35, Seahawks 9, Nov. 22, 2009): Brett Favre threw four touchdown passes, including a pair to current Seahawk Sidney Rice, to lead the Vikings to an easy win. The Seahawks trailed 28-0 before they got on the board with a 40-yard Olindo Mare field goal and a Justin Forsett one-yard run.
Seahawks: 4-4-0, 3rd, NFC West; scored 140 points (17.5 per game), ranking 23rd; allowed 134 points (16.8 per game), 3rd; differential of +6 points ranks 16th. Vikings: 5-3-0, 2nd, NFC North; scored 184 points (23.0), ranked 16th; allowed 167 (20.9), 11th; differential of +17 points ranks 12th.
SEAHAWKS HEAD COACH: Pete Carroll (51-52-0 career, 18-21-0 Seattle) is in his third season. In 2010, he directed Seattle to the NFC West title, the Seahawks becoming the first team in NFL history to win a division with a losing (7-9) record. Prior to joining the Seahawks, Carroll served as head coach at Southern California, where his Trojans won seven Pac-10 titles.
SEAHAWKS QUARTERBACKS: Russell Wilson — at Arizona — 18 of 34 for 153 yards, 1 TD, one INT, 62.5 passer rating; vs. Dallas — 15 of 20, 151 yards, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 112.7 rating; vs. Green Bay — 10 of 21 for 130 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 99.3 passer rating; at St. Louis — 17 of 25, 160 yards, 0 TDs, 3 INTs, 45.8 passer rating; at Carolina — 19 of 25, 221 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 82.2 passer rating; vs. New England, 16 of 27, 293 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs, 133.7 passer rating; at San Francisco, 9 of 23, 122 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 38.7 passer rating; at Detroit, 25 of 35 for 236 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 96.8 passer rating . . . Matt Flynn — DNP all games.
SEAHAWKS STATS / NOTES
TEAM OFFENSIVE RANKINGS
|Total Yards||2424||27||Total Yards||2719||9|
|Yards / Game||303.0||27||Yards / Game||339.9||9|
|Rush Yards||1055||6||Rush Yards||1066||5|
|Rush / Game||131.9||6||Rush / Game||133.3||5|
|Pass Yards||1369||T30||Pass Yards||1653||22|
|Pass / Game||171.1||T30||Pass / Game||206.6||22|
|Points / Game||17.5||23||Points / Game||23.0||T11|
TEAM DEFENSIVE RANKINGS
|Total Yards||2496||15||Total Yards||2654||19|
|Yards / Game||312.0||15||Yards / Game||331.8||19|
|Rush / Allw.||679||7||Rush / Allw.||861||19|
|Rush / Game||84.9||7||Rush / Game||107.6||19|
|Pass Allw.||1819||22||Pass Allw.||1793||20|
|Pass / Game||227.1||22||Pass / Game||224.1||20|
|Points Allw.||134||6||Points Allw.||167||16|
|Points / Game||16.8||6||Points / Game||20.9||16|
SEAHAWKS OFFENSIVE LEADERS
SEAHAWKS DEFENSIVE LEADERS
|Tackles||Wright 63, Wagner 62, Chancellor 57|
|Sacks||Clemons 7.0, Irvin 4.5, Jones, 2.5|
|Quarterback Hits||Clemons 15, Irvin 9, Branch 5|
|Interceptions||Sherman 3, Browner 2, Thomas 2|
|Passes Defensed||Sherman 11, Clemons, Thomas, Browner, 4|
|Forced Fumbles||Browner 2, 5 tied with 1|
|Fumbles Recovered||Mebane, Browner, Branch 1|
VIKINGS NOTES: The Vikings defeated Jacksonville (26-23), San Francisco (24-13), Detroit (20-13), Tennessee (30-7) and Arizona (21-14) and lost to Indianapolis (23-20), Washington (38-26) and Tampa Bay (36-17) . . . QB Christian Ponder’s 85.8 passer rating ranks 15th in the NFL . . . WR Percy Harvin is the NFL’s fifth-leading receiver, averaging 83.4 yards per game, but what makes him dangerous is yards after contact. He had 427, tops in the league . . . Jared Allen has seven sacks, which ranks T7 in the NFL. He’s had at least one sack in each of Minnesota’s last six games . . . TE John Carlson, a second-round pick by the Seahawks in 2008, has played in seven games this season, starting four. He’s caught three balls but will not play Sunday because of a concussion.
VIKINGS QUARTERBACKS: Christian Ponder has completed 171 of 262 passes (65.3 percent) for 1,743 yards, 10 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a passer rating of 85.8. Ponder passed for a season-high 352 yards and two touchdowns against the Redskins and is coming off a 251-yard, 1-TD effort against Tampa Bay.
VIKINGS HEAD COACH: Leslie Frazier is in his third season as head coach of the Vikings and has a record of 11-19. A graduate of Alcorn State, Frazier began his head coaching career in 1988 at Trinity College, where he stayed until 1996. He became an NFL assistant in 1999 with the Philadelphia Eagles, joined the Cincinnati Bengals in 2003 and coached the Indianapolis Colts from 2004-07. He was interviewed by Seattle to replace fired coach Jim Mora before Carroll was chosen.
KEY DATES: Nov. 18 — Seahawks bye week; Jan. 5-6, 2013 — Wild card weekend; Jan. 12-13 — Divisional playoffs; Jan. 19-20 — Conference championships; Jan. 27 — Pro Bowl (Honolulu); Feb. 3 — Super Bowl, New Orleans. Feb. 20-26 — NFL combine (Indianapolis); April 25-27 — NFL draft.
NFC West Standings
|S. Francisco||6-2||2-0||Nov. 11 vs. St. Louis|
|Arizona||4-4||1-2||Sunday at Green Bay|
|Seattle||4-4||0-3||Sunday vs. Minnesota|
|St. Louis||3-5||2-0||Nov. 11 at S. Francisco|
COMING UP: Seahawks host the New York Jets Sunday, and then will take their bye week.
2012 Seahawks Preseason Schedule
|8/11/12||vs. Tennessee||7 p.m.||Q13||W||27-17||1-0|
|8/18/12||at Denver||6 p.m.||Q13||W||30-10||2-0|
|8/24/12||at Kansas City||5 p.m.||Q13||W||44-14||3-0|
|8/30/12||vs. Oakland||7 p.m.||Q13||W||21-3||4-0|
2012 Seahawks Regular-Season Schedule
|9/9/12||at Arizona||1:25 p.m.||FOX||L||20-16||0-1|
|9/16/12||vs. Dallas||1:05 p.m.||FOX||W||27-7||1-1|
|9/24/12||vs. Green Bay||5:30 p.m.||ESPN||W||14-12||2-1|
|9/30/12||at St. Louis||10 a.m.||FOX||L||19-13||2-2|
|10/7/12||at Carolina||1:05 p.m.||FOX||W||16-12||3-2|
|10/14/12||vs. N. England||1:05 p.m.||CBS||W||24-23||4-2|
|10/18/12||at S. Francisco||5:20 p.m.||NFLN||L||13-6||4-3|
|10/28/12||at Detroit||10 a.m.||FOX||L||28-24||4-4|
|11/4/12||vs. Minnesota||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|11/11/11||vs. NY Jets||1:05 p.m.||CBS||—||—||—|
|11/25/12||at Miami||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/2/12||at Chicago||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/9/12||vs. Arizona||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/16/12||*at Buffalo||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/23/12||vs. San Francisco||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/30/12||vs. St. Louis||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
* in Toronto
2012 Seahawks Capsules
Aug. 11 Seahawks 27, Titans 17 (at Seattle) — Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson ran for a touchdown and passed for one, leading the Seahawks over a Tennessee Titans team featuring two quarterbacks with strong local ties, ex-Seahawk Matt Hasselbeck and ex-Husky Jake Locker. Hasselbeck threw two interceptions while Locker completed 7 of 13 for 80 yards.
Aug. 18: Seahawks 30, Broncos 10 (at Denver) — Starting his second straight exhibition game, QB Matt Flynn failed to seize control of the quarterback job, finishing 6 of 13 for 31 yards with no TDs or INTs. But Wilson made a case for himself by completing 10 of 17 for 155 yards, two TDs and a passer rating of 28.5. The Seahawks finished with 228 yards rushing, led by Sutton’s 48 yards on three carries.
Aug. 24: Seahawks 44, Chiefs 14 (at Kansas City) — Wilson completed 10 of 17 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. With Wilson playing into the second half, Seattle scored 21 points, overcoming a 10-9 halftime deficit. Earl Thomas made the big defensive play, returning an interception 75 yards for a touchdown. Flynn did not play due to injury.
Aug. 30: Seahawks 21, Raiders 3 (at Seattle): Flynn, getting most of the snaps, completed 11 of 13 passes for 102 yards. Seahawks outgained the Raiders 334 yards to 101.
Sept. 8: Cardinals 20, Seahawks 16 (at Phoenix): Despite seven tries inside Arizona’s red zone in final minute, the Seahawks could not score the game-winning touchdown. The Seahawks overcame a tepid first half offensively thanks to an 83-yard kickoff return and a 52-yard punt return by Leon Washington.
Sept. 15: Seahawks 27, Cowboys 7 (at Seattle): The Seahawks took a 10-0 lead in less than five minutes when Michael Robinson forced Felix Jones to fumble the opening kickoff, leading to a short field goal, and Malcolm Smith blocked Chris Jones’ punt and Jeron Johnson returned it for a touchdown. Marshawn Lynch ran for 122 yards and the defense allowed the Cowboys only 34 yards and three first downs in the second half.
Sept. 24: Seahawks 14, Packers 12 (at Seattle): Russell Wilson and Golden Tate hooked up on a wildly controversial 24-yard touchdown pass as the clock ran out, giving the Seahawks a dramatic victory. As Wilson’s pass reached the end zone, Tate committed a pushing penalty that wasn’t called. Green Bay’s M.D. Jennings intercepted the ball and Tate tried to wrestle it away. One official ruled no touchdown, another signaled TD. After review, Tate was awarded the touchdown. The Seahawks had eight sacks in the first half, a record-tying four by Chris Clemons.
Sept. 30: Rams 19, Seahawks 13 (at St. Louis): Rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein booted four field goals, including a club-record 58-yarder which he later topped with a 60-yarder, as the Rams handed Seattle its second NFC West loss. Zuerlein also was a perfect decoy on the biggest play of the day — a fake field goal that turned into a two-yard touchdown pass from punter Johnny Hekker to Danny Amendola. The score put the Rams (2-2) ahead 10-7 late in the first half. Marshawn Lynch ran for 118 yards and a touchdown,Seahawks, but Russell Wilson threw three interceptions.
Oct. 7: Seahawks 16, Panthers 12: (at Charlotte): The Seahawks used a series of big defensive plays, the best pass of Russell Wilson’s NFL career, and a planned safety in the final minute to edge Carolina. Cornerback Brandon Browner made two of the three biggest defensive stops. With Carolina at the Seattle 27-yard line in the third quarter, Browner stripped the ball from DeAngelo Williams, giving the Seahawks a chance to take the lead after they had fallen behind 10-6 on Wilson’s worst pass of the season. Less than three minutes into the second half, Wilson threw behind intended receiver Anthony McCoy, and Carolina’s Captain Munnerlyn snatched the ball and raced 33 yards for a touchdown that put the Panthers ahead 10-6. But after Browner stripped Williams. Wilson, on a third-and-eight from the Carolina 13, rocketed a slant pass to Golden Tate for a touchdown.
Oct. 14: Seahawks 24, Patriots 23: Russell Wilson threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice with 1:18 to play to give the Seahawks a come-from-behind victory. The Seahawks trailed 23-10 in the second half, but Wilson fired touchdown passes to Doug Baldwin and Braylon Edwards before finding Rice with the game-winning throw.
Oct. 18: 49ers 13, Seahawks 6: Alex Smith threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Delanie Walker late in the third quarter and San Francisco held off the Seahawks in a battle for first place in the NFC West. Frank Gore ran for 131 yards. The 49ers made just enough plays to win a defense-first game. Marshawn Lynch ran for 103 yards for Seattle, but Russell Wilson couldn’t generate a passing game, going 9 of 23 for 122 yards and a passer rating of 38.7.
Oct. 28: Lions 28, Seahawks 24: Titus Young caught his second touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford on a one-yard slant with 20 seconds left, lifting Detroit. Young needed to make the second TD catch after Zach Miller had a spectacular, 16-yard snag on a toss from Russell Wilson with 5:27 left that put the Seahawks ahead. But Seattle (4-4) couldn’t stop the Lions (3-4) on their last possession.