Seahawks’ returns will boost offense against Vikings
By Jim Moore
This is the Seahawks’ fifth home game. They won and covered the spread in their first two games at CenturyLink Field against San Francisco and Jacksonville.
They won but did not cover the spread in their last two games against Tennessee and Tampa Bay.
They’ve won 13 games in a row at home, and Russell Wilson has never lost here.
For the fourth straight home game, the Seahawks are double-digit favorites, this time at 11.5 over Minnesota.
I’m trying to find reasons why the 2-7 Vikings will be competitive and maybe even win the game. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
• Any team with Adrian Peterson – one of the best running backs of all time – has a chance, particularly since he ran for 182 yards last year in a 30-20 Minnesota loss at CenturyLink Field. If the Seahawks can give up 158 rushing yards to Tampa Bay’s Mike James, they can certainly cough up 182 again to Peterson.
Even though the Seahawks are heavily favored, you can never count out the Vikings with reigning MVP Adrian Peterson on their side, as Jim Moore writes. (AP)
• The Vikings have played better in their last two games, losing in the final minute at Dallas 27-23 two weeks ago and beating Washington 34-27 in a Thursday night game.
• Since they played on Thursday, that gave them 10 days to prepare for the Seahawks. This is a reach of a reason to think that this will make them more competitive.
• It’s the NFL, and on any given day, the worst team in the league can win – as Jacksonville proved in Tennessee last Sunday – and double-digit underdogs can win, too – as St. Louis proved in Indianapolis last Sunday.
• Jared Allen and Kevin Williams are pass rushers who could give Wilson problems in the pocket.
• They have the NFL’s No. 1 kickoff and punt returners in Cordarrelle Patterson and Marcus Sherels. Patterson averages 35.2 yards on kickoff returns, and Sherels averages 16.3 yards on punt returns.
But that’s where the reasons end. There must be others, but I can’t think of any that outweigh the reasons why the Seahawks will throttle the Vikings.
Minnesota is equally terrible on both sides of the ball, ranking 28th in total offense and 30th in total defense. They allow 114 rushing yards, 286 passing yards and 31 points a game.
When you look at those numbers, you’d guess that Marshawn Lynch will run for more than 100 yards for the third game in a row – he needs 129 to get to 1,000 for the season.
You’d also like to think that Wilson might throw for 300 yards for the second time this year and third time in his career.
He should have more time to throw with the return of starting tackles Breno Giacomini and Russell Okung.
Plus the Seahawks should be more explosive than ever with Percy Harvin making his Seattle debut against his former team. Though most think Harvin will be eased into the offense in his first game of the season, I’m guessing he’ll do something so spectacular to warrant headlines Monday morning.
Defensively, the Seahawks should have their way with an erratic Christian Ponder, who is playing after separating his left shoulder against the Redskins.
And I’m thinking it’s a good thing that Adrian Peterson is Adrian Peterson and not Mike James or Zac Stacy, the Rams’ tailback who ran all over the Seahawks a few Monday nights ago.
When you’re Adrian Peterson, you get the full attention of an opponent. The Seahawks will be completely geared up to stop him.
I took the Titans and the points against the Seahawks and the Bucs and the points, but I can’t make a good case for taking the Vikings this week. The Seahawks should roll into their bye week at 10-1.
Prediction: Seahawks 31, Vikings 13.
Season record against the spread: 6-4.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for his website, jimmoorethego2guy.com, and kitsapsun.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.