How could anyone not think this team doesn’t have a soft and caring side? The evidential proof is abundant, from Russell Wilson and his wife visiting kids in the hospital on a weekly basis, Earl Thomas giving ‘free safety’ advice and multiple community programs supported by various Seahawk players. In fact, we are so nice that we wanted to invite our triple A affiliate, the Minnesota Vikings, over for a game…a sort of mi casa es su casa get together. I think it is nice to show them what we have done with the talent that they had started to develop. And just like any good host we expect to put our best foot forward; getting out the finest china and silverware, showing off ‘our house’ and running roughshod over their defense. I think they will be impressed!
It’s a good week to be part of the Seahawk faithful. We have weathered multiple storms this season and we sit on the verge of getting most of our team back this week. I was almost giddy reading the injury report…or lack thereof. It was a venerable who’s who on our team. The latest speculation has the whole starting offensive line ready to take the field, our complete defensive line healthy and raring to go and all of the major players on offense including Percy Harvin. The only blip on the radar screen at this point is Brandon Browner, who appears to be out an extended period of time. The good news here is that we have many people that can step up and take over. Next up.
So what do the Vikings bring to the table this weekend? Basically a team that is searching for an identity and looking to salvage some respect. CenturyLink is a tough place to achieve things. Here are a few take home points about this week’s game…
Adrian Peterson is the face of the team…I wouldn’t be surprised to see his face end up in the Viking logo at some point in the near future. If Seattle wants to win they can’t expect to stop him but merely contain him by avoiding the long, take-the-wind-out-of-your-sails, kind of runs that he is very capable of doing. This should be a great match-up of two elite running backs that have a way of carrying their respective teams to victory. The difference is the Vikings need Peterson to have a big game to win while Seattle just needs Marshawn Lynch to have a good game to win.
Minnesota’s passing game is an enigma, never knowing which kind of passing attack is going to show up. In fact, it is so much an enigma right now we have no idea who is even going to be the starting quarterback. The odds on favorite is Christian Ponder. I have scoured many online sites to ascertain who is going to start and all I can come up with is who they are leaning to but nothing definite. Ponder should be able to start as he injured his non-throwing arm last week which will leave him very serviceable.
The Viking’s wide receivers are lead by Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson. Simpson has had some recent off-field issues that may be at play in the back of his head this week. This, plus the recent emergence of Cordarelle Patterson, may be indicative of a changing of the guard in Minnesota. Patterson came out of Tennessee as a raw specimen with a lot of upside and he seems to be making positive strides lately. Also bad news for the Vikings will be the absence of Kyle Rudolph, their third leading receiver and starting tight end, that will be missing time due to a foot injury. This will give John Carlson a chance to showcase his skills in Seattle, where he has spent part of his career.
Bottom line, the Viking’s passing offense is ranked 25th and rushing offense is ranked 17th, which would lead you to believe that this is not a team that should overwhelm you offensively. The fly in the ointment is Adrian Peterson, if they get him loose on consistent 5+ yard runs then our defense may be in for a long day. Our stingy secondary, plus the 12th man effect should be sufficient to neutralize their ability to pass the ball which will force their hand to the run and then we should be able to stack the box and try to corral A.P.
Minnesota’s defense is middle of the road with their rushing defense 17th and passing defense 28th. They feature Jared Allen as the most prominent rusher, leading the team with 5 total sacks. The rest of the D-line are average rushers that will put moderate pressure up front. With our returning O-linemen we should have enough up front to handle their pass rushing schemes. The fact that they are 28th in defending the pass should make for another week that Wilson has good numbers. This is good news, the less he is under pressure, the less he has to run and the less chance he has of getting hurt. Just protect our quarterback and enter the bye week unscathed…please!
The Vikings run defense is average and unfortunately for them they are facing an elite running back, who will be hopped up on Skittles. I have a feeling that Minnesota’s defense will be walking out of CenturyLink field with a dazed look on their face, mumbling to themselves ‘taste the rainbow’.
I don’t even want to talk about Percy Harvin at this point. I don’t want to get excited about it only to be disappointed….but…but…could you imagine if he finally took the field for a couple of plays? Just let that sink in. Ah the excitement would be palpable in our stadium and it would serve notice to the rest of the league that we are now ready to make our run to the Super Bowl.
My friend recently took up tasseography, the art of reading tealeaves. He tells me to expect this to be a hard fought game on both sides of the ball, by both teams, but in the end the Seahawks will prevail 28-17…or maybe the leaves were telling me to clean out my gutters…it’s not an exact science. Go Hawks!