Seahawks stun Vikings on final drive to win 27-26, improve to 5-0

Oct 11, 2020, 6:35 PM | Updated: Oct 12, 2020, 12:21 pm

For one glorious quarter, the Seattle Seahawks played like the best version of themselves.

It almost didn’t matter, but their MVP-caliber quarterback made sure it did on their final drive of the game.

Thrilling win has shades of ’19 finale | Instant Reaction | Box score

The Seahawks roared back from a 13-point deficit with 21 points in the third quarter, and Russell Wilson led them on a 13-play, 94-yard game-winning drive in the final moments of the fourth quarter to beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-26.

The win makes the Seahawks 5-0 for the first time in team history (full story here) as they go into a bye next week.

DK Metcalf had two huge catches on fourth down during Seattle’s game-winning drive. The first allowed the Seahawks to really get going after Wilson threw three straight incompletions, giving Seattle a 39-yard gain that crossed the team into Vikings territory. The second was when the Seahawks were out of options, down to their last play needing a touchdown to win. He was there, crossing in front of Wilson in the end zone to make a spectacular catch to steal the victory from a Minnesota team that had dominated much of the game.

The Seahawks had to shake off an utterly dismal first half, and even that wording may be kind to their performance. The Vikings took a 13-0 lead into halftime as they kept the ball out of Wilson and the offense’s hands for much of the first two quarters and wore out Seattle’s defense with long drives.

When superstar Vikings running back Dalvin Cook suffered a groin injury early in the third quarter, however, the Seahawks seemed to wake up. They reeled off three quick TD drives in a matter of minutes, and in whiplash-like fashion they had turned their 13-point deficit into an eight-point lead.

The Vikings weren’t done, though, as backup running back Alexander Mattison (112 rushing yards) and wide receiver Adam Thielen (nine receptions, 80 yards, two TDs) came up huge to get Minnesota back into the lead 26-21 in the fourth quarter – though quarterback Kirk Cousins was stopped trying to run in a two-point conversion try that proved to be big in the end.

It looked dire for Seattle as Wilson was picked off on the ensuing drive, but the Seahawks’ defense had maybe the play of the game on the Vikings’ next series. Minnesota reached the red zone but opted to go for it on fourth down, and Seattle stuffed Mattison on a fourth-and-inches run attempt to give the ball back to the offense inside the final two minutes at the Vikings’ 6 yard line.

Wilson had a big run on the first play of the drive, then hit Metcalf and Lockett on passes to get the Seahawks set up for Metcalf’s winning score.

Wilson adds a 20-for-32 passing performance for 217 yards, three touchdowns and a pick on a rainy night to his MVP campaign. He also led Seattle with 58 rushing yards on five attempts, while Chris Carson had 52 yards on eight carries, including a 29-yard TD that was the only play of a scoring drive in the third quarter.

Metcalf led Seattle’s receivers with 93 yards and two TDs on six receptions. Tight end Will Dissly added a 19-yard TD catch.

Linebacker K.J. Wright had another big game on defense with an interception, fumble recovery and two passes defensed.

The Seahawks take a break from play until Sunday, Oct. 25 when they head to Arizona to play the Cardinals in their first game against an NFC West opponent this year.

Here’s a quarter-by-quarter look at Seattle’s win.

First quarter

Vikings 7, Seahawks 0

In a battle of teams with struggling defenses, the Vikings got the upper hand early.

Minnesota converted on third-and-11 and fourth-and-2 plays to keep its opening drive alive, and the Vikings ate up 6:12 on a 12-play, 77-yard series. Dalvin Cook plunged in for an 8-yard touchdown to get the Vikings on the board as the Seahawks looked pretty ineffective on defense.

Seattle’s offense didn’t fare any better. The Seahawks reached Minnesota’s 28 on an eight-play drive, but Russell Wilson took a sack for a loss of 9 yards on second-and-13 and they settled for a 5-yard Travis Homer run on third-and-22, opting to hand the ball over to their strong special teams unit. All-Pro punter Michael Dickson at least gave his team a perfect kick that was downed at the 2, but the Vikings went right back to work on offense, reaching their own 41 by the end of the quarter.

MIN – Dalvin Cook 8 run (Dan Bailey kick), 8:48

Second quarter

Vikings 13, Seahawks 0

It’s safe to say this was the worst showing in a half for the Seahawks thus far in 2020.

By the time Minnesota pushed its lead to 10-0 with 8:33 to go before halftime, the Seahawks had run just eight whole plays on offense. The Vikings clearly came into CenturyLink Field with a game plan, and it was working.

On Seattle’s second drive of the game – which, yes, didn’t start until midway through the second quarter – a second sack of Wilson took the wind out of the offense’s sails, and after just five plays they had to turn to Dickson once again.

That at least gave the Seahawks’ defense somewhat of a breather, and it came up with a three-and-out as Benson Mayowa and Jarran Reed teamed up to stop Cook on a third-and-1 rushing attempt.

Sacks definitively became a problem on the ensuing Seahawks drive, however, as Wilson was brought down not just a third time but a fourth as well. The last one, which was by Yannick Ngakoue, a pass rusher whose name was brought up as a potential trade target for Seattle all offseason, came on a third-and-24 play as Seattle’s offense was having zero luck against the Vikings. The good news: That was the last time the Vikings would bring Wilson down for a sack all night.

The Seahawks made Minnesota settle for a second field goal just before the break as Shaquill Griffin knocked away a long pass from Kirk Cousins intended for Adam Thielen near the end zone.

Here’s how much the sacks hurt the Seahawks – Wilson was a perfect 7 for 7 passing in the first two quarters but had no points and just 40 yards to show for it.

MIN – Dan Bailey 52 FG, 8:39
MIN – Bailey 46 FG, :15

Third quarter

Seahawks 21, Vikings 19

The thing about the Seahawks is even when they play their absolute worst, they never let themselves get so far behind that a comeback is out of reach. And a comeback was very much in reach after halftime.

So even though Seattle opened the third quarter with yet another three-and-out, something breathed life into them. That very well may have been the fact that Cook came out of the game with a groin injury, which was quickly followed up by a Vikings punt as the Seahawks’ defense forced them into a three-and-out.

Whatever it was, the Seahawks’ offense sure woke up when it got the ball back. Wilson hit a couple of big passes to his tight ends – the first a 20-yard strike to Greg Olsen (which immediately followed a 13-yard run by Chris Carson), the second coming two plays later with a 19-yard pass to Will Dissly for his first touchdown of the season – to get Seattle on the board. Just like that, the Seahawks were another TD and extra point away from taking the lead.

They wouldn’t have to wait long, as Cousins was hit as he threw and K.J. Wright recovered the fumble (after a replay review), gifting Seattle the ball at Minnesota’s 15. It took just two plays for Seattle to find the end zone again, this time a 13-yard pass from Wilson to DK Metcalf to give the Seahawks a 14-13 advantage after going into halftime scoreless.

The offense wouldn’t have to wait long to add on to that lead, either. After getting his hands on three passes in Week 4 and another in the first half, Wright finally came up with his first interception of the year, a beauty of a one-handed snag.

With the ball back in their possession, Seattle handed the ball off to Carson, who had an angry 29-yard run to paydirt to make it 21-13. All of 10 seconds of clock ticked off from the time of the snap on Metcalf’s TD to the snap of the ball on Carson’s score.

As for Cook, he was deemed questionable to return. It’s worth noting that he also had to leave Seattle’s 2019 win over Minnesota with a shoulder injury.

The Vikings weren’t out of it yet, though.

Minnesota’s offense responded by reeling off an 11-play, 77-yard touchdown drive – without Cook – that ended on a 3-yard pass from Cousins to Thielen. That connection did most of the work on the series with Thielen catching four passes for 36 yards along the way.

Seattle was able to preserve a two-point lead as Cousins’ QB sneak attempt didn’t pan out on a two-point conversion.

The Seahawks punted after seven plays on their next series, allowing Minnesota a chance to challenge Seattle’s lead as the fourth quarter began.

SEA – Will Dissly 19 pass from Russell Wilson (Jason Myers kick), 9:55
SEA – DK Metcalf 13 pass from Wilson (Myers kick), 8:19
SEA – Chris Carson 29 run (Myers kick), 8:09
MIN – Adam Thielen 3 pass from Kirk Cousins (Bailey kick), 3:44

Fourth quarter

Seahawks 27, Vikings 26

For as good as the Seahawks looked in the third quarter, issues reappeared in a rough final frame.

The main one was an inability to get off the field on defense, and Minnesota did again something Seattle’s offense struggled all game to do, which was put together a long touchdown drive. Cousins and company went an entire 97 yards on 15 plays to take the lead and tick 8:11 off the clock to start the fourth. Thielen caught his second touchdown pass in as many drives, this one a 6-yarder, to give the Vikings a 26-21 advantage.

It went from bad to worse for the Seahawks as Wilson was picked off by Eric Wilson just four plays into the following series, and the Vikings went right back to work trying to put the game out of reach. Backup running back Alexander Mattison was a huge part of the strategy for Minnesota, and he eclipsed the 100-yard mark to get the Vikings in the red zone with the two-minute warning approaching. But with Minnesota needing just inches on a fourth down at the Seattle 4, the Seahawks stuffed Mattison to give the offense the ball needing to go 94 yards with less than two minutes to go to score a game-winning touchdown.

Wilson immediately got the Seahawks out of the shadow of their end zone with a scramble for 17 yards on the first play, but he needed a big play as he had three incompletions in a row to set up fourth-and-10. He found Metcalf, though, for a huge 39-yard gain to get Seattle into Minnesota territory. He followed up with a 17-yarder to Tyler Lockett, who stopped the clock by getting out bounds. Metcalf’s number was called again two plays later for another first down, this one a 15-yard catch that put Seattle at the 6.

Metcalf was Wilson’s choice to score the game-winner, too – three times. He caught one on second down but didn’t have possession long enough as the ball came out as he was tackled. Wilson tried him again on a fade on third down but Metcalf was held up and the ball flew over his head. But with no more options on fourth down, Metcalf came across the end zone and Wilson hit him for a 6-yard touchdown pass, giving Seattle the one-point lead that stood up after the Vikings had just a few more offensive plays.

MIN – Thielen 6 pass from Cousins (Bailey kick), 7:08
SEA – Metcalf 6 pass from Wilson (pass failed), :15

The closer: Russell Wilson delivers a most improbable Seahawks win

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