The Seattle Seahawks will host the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football in Week 13. Considering that both of these teams are the two Wild Card teams in the NFC right now, this game could have playoff implications.
The Seahawks are the fifth seed in the NFC and are second place in the NFC West with a 9-2 record. Seattle is amid a four-game winning streak as they are only a game behind the San Francisco 49ers for the division lead.
While the Seahawks have positioned themselves to be a contender in the NFC, Russell Wilson has played at an MVP level. The veteran quarterback is on track to have the best season of his career with 2,937 yards, 24 touchdowns, and three interceptions thus far.
On the other side, the Vikings are tied with the Green Bay Packers atop the NFC North. But technically speaking, the Packers own the tie-breaker over the Vikings and have possession of the lead to themselves.
Therefore, every game is important for Minnesota as they attempt to pry the division crown from Green Bay. With that in mind, here are four reasons why the Seahawks will defeat the Vikings in Week 13.
4. The Seahawks have the run defense to slow down Dalvin Cook
The Vikings’ offense is centered around getting Dalvin Cook running the ball effectively on the ground. Minnesota’s featured running back is third in the NFL with 1,017 rushing yards on 214 carries and 11 touchdowns.
While Cook has been phenomenal for the Vikings this year, Seattle’s run defense has been remarkable as well. Through the first 12 weeks, the Seahawks have held opposing teams to 101.5 rushing yards per game (10th in the NFL).
On top of that, the Seahawks are expected to get Jadeveon Clowney back on the defense for Monday night.
3. Seattle has the rushing attack to control the game
Yes, the Vikings have Cook, one of the best running backs in the NFL, but the Seahawks also have running backs of their own. Despite his fumbling woes, Chris Carson has rushed for 879 yards and four touchdowns for the Seahawks.
In addition, Rashaad Penny emerged in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The second-year running back exploded for 129 yards on 14 attempts and a score in Seattle’s backfield.
The Seahawks have a formidable rushing attack that can control the game and keep Minnesota’s offense off of the field.
2. Kirk Cousins struggles in primetime games and against winning teams
Before the Vikings faced the Dallas Cowboys in Week 10, Kirk Cousins has noticeably struggled in primetime games, going 5-13 in such tilts. The veteran signal-caller was able to defeat the Cowboys but this game will be another test.
Along with his struggles in primetime games, Cousins also has faltered in games against teams with winning records. Of course, Seattle boasts an impressive 9-2 record and will be a litmus test for the Vikings on the road.
Cousins’ inability to win in primetime games coupled with his shortcomings against winning teams point towards the Seahawks winning this game.
1. Russell Wilson will outplay Kirk Cousins
The game on Monday night will take place in Seattle and Wilson will have the edge over Cousins. While Wilson has been remarkable, Cousins has also played pretty well in 2019 with 2,756 yards, 21 touchdowns, and three interceptions.
Even considering that, Wilson is going to outperform the Vikings’ franchise quarterback on Monday night. The dual-threat quarterback should be able to have success against a Minnesota defense that has surprisingly been disappointing under Mike Zimmer.
The Vikings’ defense has surrendered an average of 244.5 passing yards per game (20th in the NFL). Provided that information, expect Wilson to spread the ball around to Tyler Lockett, D.K. Metcalf, and Josh Gordon with success on Monday night.