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Jim Moore Predicts: Seahawks will handle 8-3 Vikings in MNF rematch

Shaquill Griffin and the Seahawks beat the Vikings 21-7 on a Monday night in 2018. (AP)

The Seahawks are 9-2 and have a sparkling record in primetime games, particularly ones played on Monday night. Kirk Cousins typically struggles against winning teams, and I’m also thinking: “Didn’t we see these two teams play in primetime last year, and didn’t the Seahawks win 21-7?”

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I mention all of these things because I’m surprised that the Seahawks are favored by only three points in another Monday night matchup against the Vikings at CenturyLink Field. I don’t think much has changed from last year. At 8-3, the Vikings are certainly capable of beating the Seahawks, especially with offensive weapons such as Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs and the expected return of Adam Thielen.

You can’t dismiss Cousins, either. He leads the NFL with a passer rating of 114.8, and don’t forget that two years ago he led the Redskins to a 17-14 victory in Seattle after engineering a four-play, game-winning drive in the last two minutes.

Defensively the Vikings offer concerns as well with a a pass rush featuring a combined 15.5 sacks from Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen. And their coach, Mike Zimmer, is one of the NFL’s best. For whatever this is worth, since becoming Minnesota’s head coach six years ago, the Vikings have had the best record against the spread according to the RJ Bell Dream Podcast.

But I’m also seeing a Vikings team that has beaten only one opponent with a winning record – that’s Oakland, and the Raiders are barely a winning team at 6-5. They did have a nice Sunday night win at Dallas earlier this month, but that victory doesn’t look as great as it did at the time with the Cowboys sporting a 6-6 record now after being handled by the Bills on Thanksgiving Day.

The last time we saw the Vikings – two weeks ago before their bye – they had to fight off a last-second challenge by the struggling Broncos. Denver was inside the Minnesota 10-yard line looking for the game-winning TD before a pass fell incomplete on the last play of the game.

Meanwhile, the Seahawks have been soaring as you know. Their only two losses came to two of the best teams in the league, the 10-2 Saints and 9-2 Ravens. Seattle has also defeated the 10-1 49ers and now features an improving defense. It still isn’t close to being as good as the Seattle offense, but at least it’s heading in the right direction and is expected to get Jadeveon Clowney back this week. After torturing the 49ers all night long, Clowney missed the Eagles’ game with a hip injury.

In a weird way, you have to wonder a little bit about the Seahawks at home. Typically they have a huge advantage over visiting teams at CenturyLink Field, but they’re only 3-2 at home. All three of their victories could have been losses – they beat the Bengals and Rams by one point and needed overtime to beat the Bucs.

Expect a return to the norm against the Vikings. If things fall the right way with a Ravens’ victory over San Francisco on Sunday, the Seahawks could come out of Monday night’s game in first place in the NFC West.

Prediction: Seahawks 27, Vikings 17.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jim Moore on Twitter.

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