The Seahawks couldn’t do a thing with Minnesota’s marquee running back Adrian Peterson, who ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns Sunday, but Seattle had more than enough to handle the Vikings otherwise, scoring a 30-20 victory at CenturyLink Field behind Russell Wilson’s three touchdown passes and another 100-yard rushing performance by Marshawn Lynch.
The Seahawks improved to 5-4 and snapped a two-game losing streak. Minnesota fell to 5-4.
The Seahawks have won their first four home games for the first time since 2009 and four consecutive games at any point in a season at home for the first time since 2007.
Seattle’s defense entered the game allowing 3.7 rushing yards per play, but couldn’t handle Peterson, the NFL’s leading rusher, who averaged 10.7 yards and scored twice. Peterson popped a 74-yard run on Minnesota’s first possession and the Seahawks were pretty much at his mercy the rest of the way.
“He’s a heckuva running back, everybody can see that. I’m just glad we could shut them down in the second half,” said Seahawks WR Sidney Rice. “It was a huge win for us. I’m look forward to coming back next week and doing it again.”
“He’s a big time player,” said CB Marcus Trufant. “Overall, he’s been doing it for a long time. He makes plays a lot of guys can’t make. He put on a show today, Fortunately, we were able to slow him down in the second half.”
Peterson had 144 of his 182 rushing yards in the first two quarters, but Minnesota was forced into a passing game in the second half.
“He’s a great player, but we didn’t have to give him that much,” said head coach Pete Carroll.
Fortunately for Seattle, which has scored on its last six trips to the red zone, including five touchdowns,Minnesota had no passing game, holding Christian Ponder to just 63 yards, 2.9 yards per pass attempt. The Seahawks sacked Ponder three times.
Wilson didn’t have whopping numbers — he completed 16 of 24 for 173 yards — but threw two touchdown passes to Golden Tate, another to Sidney Rice, didn’t throw an interception and finished with a passer rating of 127.3, his best single-game mark of the season. That 127.3 would have been better, but his receivers dropped four passes.
“Russell did a fantastic job,” said coach Pete Carroll. “All in all, it was a great day. It was the kind of day we needed to start the second half. Hopefully, we can continue as the second half continues.”
“It was huge win for us today. We finished the game with the football, which was key,” said Wilson. “The key for us now is to go 1-0 every week and look at every week like it’s a championship week.”
Lynch, the league’s No. 2 rusher entering the game, didn’t have a big run (long of 23 yards), but he mashed out 124 yards and scored a touchdown. It was Lynch’s third consecutive 100-yard game, helping the Seahawks to a 385-287 advantage in total yards.
The game started out looking like a Minnesota romp. The game wasn’t a minute old when Peterson, shaking off Alan Branch in the backfield, ripped off a 74-yarder to the Seattle one-yard line. Two plays later, Peterson scored his fifth touchdown of the season.
On Minnesota’s next possession, the Seahawks knocked the ball loose from Percy Harvin and Marcus Trufant recovered on the Vikings’ 17-yard line. After Lynch ran to the 11, Wilson threw a six-yard TD pass to Tate, his fourth of the season, to tie it at 7.
Wilson threw his second TD, to Rice, with 3:15 to play, after Rice, taking a pass from Wilson, threw 25 yards to TE Zach Miller to the Minnesota 11. That set up the Wilson-to-Rice touchdown that gave Seattle a 14-7 lead.
Peterson finished off Minnesota’s subsequent 80-yard drive by scoring his second touchdown at 11:46 of the second quarter to tie it at 14. That run pushed Peterson over the 100-yard mark at 105.
Minnesota went up 17-14 on Blair Walsh’s 36-yard field goal following a drive in which Peterson shredded Seattle, his long gain of 24 giving the Vikings a first down on the Seahawks’ 44 and his 15-yard run taking it to the 29.
Wilson had a 22-yard completion to Miller with less than a minute to play in the half, setting up his third touchdown pass and Tate’s second. But Kevin Williams blocked Steven Hauschka’s extra point and Seattle took a 20-17 lead at halftime.
The Seahawks mounted an impressive, nine-play, 72-yard drive in the third quarter, highlighted by a leaping, first-down catch by Tate, and a 23-yard run by Lynch that gave Seattle a first down on the Minnesota 10-yard line. After an offsides penalty on the Vikings, Lynch scored his fourth TD of the season, giving Seattle a 27-17 lead.
Immediately after Seattle took a 27-17 lead, Peterson had a 28-yard run that set up Walsh’s 55-yard field goal, cutting Seattle’s lead to 27-20.
The Seahawks reached Minnesota’s 16-yard line midway through the fourth quarter, but a loss by Lynch and a sack of Wilson gave the Seahawks a third-and222. Hauschka kicked a 40-yard field goal for a 30-20 lead.
The Seahawks remain at CenturyLink Field next week to host the New York Jets. The Seahawks have a bye the following week.
Art Thiel of Sportspress Northwest will have a column coming up shortly.