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Recap: Seahawks fall 21-20 to Vikings in Week 3 of preseason

Brandon Marshall had a big catch in a Seahawks touchdown drive in the second quarter. (AP)

The Minnesota Vikings are a pretty good team coming off a trip to the NFC championship round. The Seattle Seahawks are coming off an offseason full of turnover and have the lowest expectations going into a season in years.

O’Neil: Pass rush still a concernRost’s takeaways | Photos | Stats

They had a pretty competitive game in the third week of the preseason, however, the game that starters always see the most playing time. And while Minnesota won 21-20, there was plenty to like from the Seahawks’ point of view.

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at the Seahawks’ loss.

First quarter

No score

Rookie punter Michael Dickson already won the job over veteran Jon Ryan, who is now a member of the Buffalo Bills, but he continues to wow with his incredible knack for the role. At the end of the Seahawks’ lone drive of the quarter, the Australian booted a 57-yard punt that took a Seahawks-friendly bounce out of bounds at the Minnesota 3. If only fantasy football leagues utilized punting stats.

On defense, second-year cornerback Shaquill Griffin was in quite the battle with Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Both made nice plays against the other in the first quarter, but it was Griffin’s breakup of a pass on third down during Minnesota’s first drive that forced the Vikings to attempt a field goal, which was no good.

Free safety Tedric Thompson gave Seattle a scare, making a tackle but immediately running to the sideline but obviously experiencing pain in either his arm or hand. With All-Pro Earl Thomas holding out, the Seahawks can’t afford to lose Thompson, and luckily he was back in the game on the next series.

Second quarter

Seahawks 10, Vikings 6

After defense dominated the first quarter, it was a welcome sight for Seahawks fans to see some production out of the first-string offense in the second. Especially in the run game.

The Seahawks had a pair of nice drives, and running backs Mike Davis and Chris Carson were equally as effective. Davis had 25 yards on five carries in the first half, while Carson had 24 yards, also on five carries, with one of those runs being a 6-yard score. Davis came off the field due to injury, however, something the Seahawks can ill afford with Rashaad Penny (finger) and J.D. McKissic (foot) already absent from the running back corps.

It wasn’t all about the ground attack in the first half for Seattle. Early in the second quarter, veteran receiver Brandon Marshall made a great grab on a 20-yard reception that put Seattle in the red zone, and Carson punched it in on the next play. Sebastian Janikowski tacked on the extra point to give the Seahawks a 7-6 advantage with 7:36 left in the first half, and he added a 35-yard field goal on the next series.

The Seahawks covered 75 yards over 12 plays on the touchdown drive, with Russell Wilson completing 5 of 7 passes for 52 of those yards.

It was Minnesota that struck first, though, as quarterback Kirk Cousins led the Vikings on a 13-play, 97-yard touchdown drive that started with 6 minutes left in the first quarter and didn’t end until 1:18 into the second. Minnesota converted three third downs on the drive, but their pass on the 2-point conversion fell incomplete.

While the Seahawks’ defense didn’t look strong on that series, it looked about as get as it gets on the next opportunity, forcing Minnesota into a 3-and-out. The Vikings got themselves into field-goal position inside the final minute, but rookie Daniel Carlson missed again, making him 0 for 2 on the day.

MIN – Latavius Murray 1 run (pass failed), 13:42
SEA – Chris Carson 6 run (Sebastian Janikowski kick), 7:36
SEA – Janikowski 35 FG, 2:44

Third quarter

Seahawks 13, Vikings 6

The defense continued to hold the Vikings to just six points, while the Seahawks added to their lead. And they did so in a most welcome way considering their troubles in the kicking game last year with Blair Walsh.

New kicker Sebastian Janikowski, already a legend after 17 years with the Raiders, proved he can still hit from long distance, just sneaking a 55-yarder inside the uprights.

Of course, we can’t talk about the Seahawks’ special teams without mentioning Dickson, who is an absolute phenom. For the second time in the game, he got Seahawks radio play-by-play man Steve Raible to use his Touchdown Voice for a punt, this time because he boomed a 56-yarder that landed on the 2 and magically directed itself right out of bounds. Now we know why Dickson’s college coach, Texas’ Tom Herman, described him as a weapon.

Russell Wilson’s day was done after Seattle’s second series of the third quarter. He finished 11 of 21 for 118 yards and no interceptions. He added five yards on one rush.

SEA – Janikowski 55 FG, 10:14

Fourth quarter

Vikings 21, Seahawks 20

The fourth quarter belonged to David Moore.

Already one of the stars of the preseason for Seattle, the second-year receiver twice found the end zone in the fourth, even though one of those trips was called back due to penalty.

First was the more conventional touchdown (and the one that stood up). Rookie quarterback Alex McGough targeted Moore downfield and near the sideline, Moore went to the air to make the catch, and as soon as he landed he was able to pivot back towards the end zone. Just like that he was gone for a 36-yard TD, and the Seahawks were back in the lead after losing an earlier 7-point advantage.

After the defense forced a Minnesota punt on the next drive, Moore tried his hand at returning. It worked out pretty well, as he went 73 yards for a score, though a holding penalty brought it back.

The Seahawks could have used that punt return, too. The Vikings, who had tied the score with 9:13 left in the game with an eight-play, 32-yard touchdown drive, weren’t done after Seattle took the lead back. Kyle Sloter found Chad Beebe for a 25-yard TD with 47 seconds left, then hit Jake Wieneke for a 2-pointer that was the decisive blow.

Oh, and you know Dickson is going to get one more mention. His final punt of the night went a whopping 61 yards, and while he might have out-kicked his coverage a bit, Dickson himself was there to make the tackle – because of course he was.

MIN – Jake Wieneke 1 pass from Kyle Sloter (Daniel Carlson kick), 9:09
SEA – David Moore 36 pass from Alex McGough (Janikowski kick), 4:10
MIN – Chad Beebe 25 pass from Sloter (Wieneke pass from Sloter), :47