Vikings seek first win vs. Seahawks in 11 years
The Minnesota Vikings finally climbed into the win column with a victory over a winless team last weekend, but getting that second would require knocking off an unbeaten team.
The Vikings (1-3) go on the road to try and beat the 4-0 Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night at CenturyLink Field. The Vikes earned a 31-23 win at Houston (0-4) in Week 4.
“You have to string wins together,” Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins said. “One game isn’t going to do anything for us. Certainly nice to get a win and get headed in the right direction. But each week is its own entity and we’ve got to be able to string some together for it to mean something and that’s what’s up ahead for us.”
The Vikings’ Dalvin Cook, the league’s leading rusher at 424 yards, had 130 yards and two touchdowns in the victory over the Texans.
“It definitely feels good to win a football game, to help the confidence of our team, to get us back in rhythm of knowing we can go out there and win the football game if we play as a whole in each phase of the game,” Cook said.
The Vikings also got 100-yard receiving games from both Adam Thielen (114 yards) and rookie Justin Jefferson (103).
The Cook-Thielen-Jefferson 100-yard trifecta gave the Vikings their first in a game since Nov. 19, 2000, with Cris Carter, Randy Moss and Robert Smith.
Jefferson, the 22nd pick in this year’s NFL draft, is third in the league with an average of 21.8 yards per catch.
“We don’t have that time or years banked. At some point, you’ve just got to play and believe he can do it,” Cousins said of Jefferson. “We’re going to build trust, but some of the things we’re doing, there is no trust. It’s just raw ability, and you’re putting the ball out there, hoping, believing that he’s going to be able to make it happen.”
Added Jefferson: “I guess you could say this is my preseason and I’m just getting started.”
The Seahawks are off to their best start since their Super Bowl-winning 2013 season and have won their past six meetings against Minnesota. The Vikings’ last win vs. Seattle came in 2009.
Seattle has been winning in a much different way than in 2013, when they relied on their “Legion of Boom” secondary for the only other 4-0 start in franchise history.
Seattle’s Russell Wilson has 16 touchdown passes, tying Peyton Manning (2013) for the most in NFL history through the first four games of a season.
“That was a while ago. … I guess it’s kind of been flipped,” Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright said of the difference between 2013 and 2020. “(Back then) the defense was really balling and shutting teams down. And now it’s just flipped and the offense is looking unstoppable. When we bring both of those together, offense and defense just balling, we’re going to be really hard to beat.”
Despite missing starting defensive backs Jamal Adams and Quinton Dunbar last week in Miami, the Seahawks forced the Dolphins into five field goals in a 31-23 victory. Wright had eight tackles, three pass breakups and a forced fumble, and Shaquill Griffin had a key interception in the fourth quarter, setting up Chris Carson’s second touchdown run.
“It was a huge step for us,” Griffin said. “I feel like (Sunday) we came in and we believed more in each other.”
The Seahawks, who have a bye next week, have already ruled Adams (groin) out for Sunday’s game, with rookie linebacker Jordyn Brooks (knee) doubtful to play. Dunbar (knee) is expected to return. Running back Carlos Hyde (shoulder) is questionable.
The Vikings will need a healthy defensive backfield to contend with Wilson.
Cornerback Mike Hughes returned to practice as a full participant this week after missing two games with a neck injury, while fellow DBs Holton Hill (foot) and Kris Boyd (hamstring) were limited.
All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks (foot), who leads the league in tackles (45), has missed practice time. Offensively, Thielen (shoulder) and tackle Olisaemeka Udoh (finger) were limited and rookie return specialist K.J. Osborn (hamstring) missed practice.
–Field Level Media