coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
On 11/11/2013 05:48 PM in NFL

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks: Preview and Pick

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks: Preview and Pick

The Seattle Seahawks are one of the best teams in the league and after beating the Atlanta Falcons soundly, they are back on the winning track. This week they will welcome the Minnesota Vikings to town along with one of the best players in the entire National football league in Adrian Peterson. The Vikings should be an easy team to beat, but Seattle cannot take this game lightly.

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks Odds

The opening NFL point spread for this game have the home team listed as double digit favorites. The Seahawks are currently giving up (-13.5) points to anyone that is willing to back the Vikings in this game. Early wagering on this game has been split as 53 percent of the public is backing the Seahawks, but that is subject to change as they are clearly the better team. To see if this line goes over the key number of 14, check the top rated online sportsbooks.

The Seahawks got back on track by doing well in the passing game. Golden Tate had six catches and a touchdown Sunday, posting career highs with 106 receiving yards and five first downs. Tate caught 4-of-5 passes for 56 yards and a touchdown when the Falcons sent at least five rushers after Russell Wilson. Wilson finished the day 9-of-12 for 164 yards and two touchdowns against the Atlanta blitz, posting the second-best completion percentage of his career against the blitz (minimum 10 attempts).
After getting pummeled in the first half of last year's divisional playoff game against the Falcons, the Seahawks came to play in the first half and set the tone for the game and perhaps the rest of the season. The Vikings are playing tough football, but they may not be able to get this tough road win.

The latest football betting trends for this game reveal some very interesting trends in this game. The total has gone over in 7 of Minnesota's last 9 games overall and the total has gone over in 5 of Minnesota's last 5 games when playing on the road against Seattle. Minnesota is 1-4 straight in its last 5 games and 0-5 straight up in its last 5 games on the road. Minnesota is 2-4 straight up and against the spread (ATS) in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Seattle. Seattle is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games but 5-0 straight up in its last 5 games overall.

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks Pick

With plenty of time to go before the start of the regular season, I will wait to release my pick on this game until we get closer to game day.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/12/2013 03:34 PM

The Seattle Seahawks have officially added Percy Harvin to their active roster, bringing the wideout one step closer to debuting with his new team.

That could come Sunday against, who else, but his old team, the Minnesota Vikings.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Monday afternoon that Harvin will practice this week and be evaluated but said it wasn't a "pressure situation" to rush Harvin into his first game.

The Vikings traded Harvin to the Seahawks in March in exchange for multiple draft picks, including a first rounder. But Harvin has been unable to play this year after undergoing surgery on his hip on Aug. 1. He participated in his first post-surgery practice Oct. 21, but soreness in his hip prevented the Seahawks from activating him.

The Seahawks had to either activate Harvin off the physically unable to perform list this week or end his season.

Coincidentally, the last game Harvin played for the Vikings was in Seattle last November. He suffered an ankle injury in that game that eventually landed him on injured reserve.

If the Seahawks decide Harvin isn't ready to play this week, his debut would not come until December because of Seattle's Week 12 bye.

Seattle hosts the New Orleans Saints on Dec. 2, a contest that could determine home field in the NFC playoffs.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/12/2013 03:43 PM

The ex-Minnesota Vikings star was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in the off-season, but a hip injury has unfortunately kept the wide receiver out of action all year. However, after multiple weeks of practice Harvin is ready to give it a go against his former team in Week 11. Obviously, the return of an All-Pro like Harvin has been the talk of the town, yet Seahawks fans should actually be focused on something else.

Two of Seattle’s starting offensive tackles Russell Okung and Ben Giacomini are both unknowns compared to Harvin, but their health is actually more important than Harvin’s. Russell Wilson has been sent to the ground way more than the Seahawks would like as he currently ranks sixth in the NFL with 28 sacks on the season. That number needs to go down if the Seahawks want a shot at the Lombardi Trophy this postseason.

Wilson’s protection has been spotty this year, but that should change once Okung and Giacomini return to action. Not to mention, the run game should also improve as Marshawn Lynch has been running behind an injured front five nearly all season long. So, while Harvin’s return might mean a lot for fantasy football owners, the return of two starting offensive linemen is the bigger story for Pete Carroll‘s bunch here in Week 11.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/13/2013 02:57 PM

1. Ponder progressing, could start Sunday
The starting quarterback position has been a bit of a revolving door for the Vikings this season, with three different passers logging starts so far. But one of them – Christian Ponder – has put together consecutive solid outings. Unfortunately, Ponder wasn’t able to finish the second of those two performances because of a shoulder injury. His availability for Sunday is still in question, but Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier said on Monday that he had made progress since the injury Thursday. Frazier also said this Thursday would be a big day in determining whether Ponder would make it to Sunday.

2. Percy Harvin expected to return to face former team; Seattle getting healthy
It’s not a certainty as of Wednesday morning, but it’s widely expected that Seahawks receiver Percy Harvin will make his debut with the club this weekend, with his former team coming to town. Harvin had a tremendous four seasons with the Vikings, winning rookie of the year honors in 2009 while helping the Vikings get to the NFC title game and then developing into one of the NFL’s most dynamic offensive weapons over the next few years. His addition to Seattle’s offense could be a profound one, but hopefully not in time for Sunday’s game against the Vikings.

The Seahawks could see the return of a few other important players, including right tackle Breno Giacomini, left tackle Russell Okung and center Max Unger.

3. Big challenge: Handling Seattle’s home-field advantage
As mentioned above, Seattle hasn’t lost at home since the end of 2011. This means quarterback Russell Wilson, in his third season right now, has never lost on his home field. The crowd noise is as loud at CenturyLink Field as it is anywhere in the NFL, rivaling Mall of America Field when the Vikings home stadium is rocking and rolling. The best way to neutralize a noisy atmosphere is to run the ball and take a lead early. That’s obviously easier said (or written) than done, of course, so the Vikings have quite the challenge in front of them. Here’s the good news: Seattle is middle of the road when it comes to defending the run, and they are tied with the Dallas Cowboys for most runs of 10 yards allowed this season (39).

4. MVP vs. Beast Mode
Speaking of the running game, this week’s matchup features two of the best running backs in the NFL. Seattle boasts Marshawn Lynch, a tough runner with a combination of size, strength and speed that is rare even in the NFL. He can burst through a hole as quickly as anyone not named Adrian Peterson and he’s also one of the League’s best at breaking tackles, getting to the second level and then running away from a defense. Lynch is second in the NFL through 10 weeks with 871 rushing yards.

As for the Vikings, they feature the reigning NFL MVP in the backfield. Peterson is fourth in the NFL with 786 rushing yards and he leads the League with nine rushing touchdowns. In last year’s matchup, Peterson was dominant. He had a 74-yard run early in the game and continually pounded Seattle’s talented defense throughout the contest, keeping the Vikings in it despite shaky play in other areas of the offense that day.

5. Familiar foes
From Carl Eller and Bob Lurtsema through John Randle and Steve Hutchinson and all the way to Heath Farwell and Percy Harvin, the connections between the Vikings and Seahawks franchise run long and deep throughout history. Harvin and Farwell are joined by head coach Pete Carroll, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, kicker Steven Hauschka and receiver Sidney Rice (on Reserve/Injured list) as current Seahawks players/coaches with direct ties to the Vikings. Also, Seattle General Manager John Schneider, Assistant Director of Pro Personnel Trent Kirchner and Director of Player Health and Performance Sam Ramsden all have Minnesota ties. On the Vikings side, John Carlson spent his first four NFL seasons with the Seahawks and quarterback Matt Cassel, tight end Rhett Ellison, defensive end Everson Griffen and left tackle Matt Kalil were all coached by Carroll at USC.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/14/2013 01:09 PM

While the NFC-leading Seattle Seahawks have proven nearly unbeatable, they figure to become all the more formidable when Percy Harvin is able to contribute.

Facing his former team could provide extra motivation to finally take the field.

The Seahawks are hoping to have Harvin available for the first time when they go for a sixth consecutive win Sunday against the visiting Minnesota Vikings.

Seattle (9-1) has established itself as one of the NFL's most complete teams, ranking third in total defense with 289.0 yards allowed per game and scoring 26.5 per contest to rank sixth.

The Seahawks climbed 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place San Francisco in the West with last Sunday's 33-10 rout at Atlanta. Russell Wilson completed 19 of 26 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns while Marshawn Lynch ran for a season-high 145 yards and a score.

The Seahawks haven't won six straight in a season since a franchise-record 11-game winning streak in 2005. They are 12-0 at home since the start of last year.

"We've got more games we have to win and we have a lot of work to finish it out," coach Pete Carroll said. "We have a chance to do something special in this division, we need to take advantage of every opportunity and win every game going down the stretch."

Seattle has to be feeling good about its chances of doing just that with Harvin at its disposal. The former Pro Bowl wideout, who was acquired from Minnesota in March in exchange for a package of draft picks, had been on the physically unable to perform list since the start of training camp with a serious hip injury but was added to the 53-man roster Monday.

Harvin had 62 receptions for 677 yards and five total TDs - including a 105-yard kick return - last season before missing the Vikings' final seven games with an ankle injury.

"He just has to practice every day and show that what he's done in the rehab has paid off and that he can sustain through each day," Carroll said. "It's really the next day that we always look at. ... We'll just see how it goes. To us it's not a pressure decision."

The Seahawks, who head into their bye following Sunday's game, also have decisions to make on offensive linemen Max Unger (concussion), Russell Okung (toe) and Breno Giacomini (knee) and defensive end Red Bryant (concussion).

"It's two weeks that we could buy. We have that in mind," Carroll said. "We're going to take the information and evaluate each guy and figure out what it means, knowing that we're OK. We're OK where we are, so we're not pressed into making a decision hastily."

While the Vikings (2-7) snapped a four-game losing streak with last Thursday's 34-27 win over Washington, that result may have come at a cost. Christian Ponder was 17 of 21 for 174 yards and two scores before dislocating his non-throwing shoulder trying to dive for a touchdown, leaving his status unclear.

"When they see that tape and see that he extended his body the way he did, it's going to increase their appreciation for who he is as a person and what he means to our team as a quarterback," coach Leslie Frazier said.

Minnesota could turn to Matt Cassel or Josh Freeman if Ponder can't go.

Whoever lines up under center faces a tough challenge against a Seahawks defense giving up just 178.0 passing yards per game, the league's second-best mark. Although Seattle is all but certain to be without star cornerback Brandon Browner due to a groin injury, Carroll doesn't expect his team to miss a beat.

"We're in good shape at the position," Carroll said. "If we're going to miss Brandon, it's going to be significant because he's a terrific player for us, but we do have really capable guys to step in."

Ponder went 11 for 22 for 63 yards and was picked off by Browner in a 30-20 loss at Seattle last November. Adrian Peterson, though, ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.

Peterson, who also scored twice against the Redskins, leads the NFL with nine rushing TDs. His 87.3 rushing yards per game rank third in the league.

Vikings wideout Jerome Simpson is likely to play despite his arrest on suspicion of drunken driving last weekend. Simpson has compiled a team-leading 491 receiving yards.

Former Seahawks tight end John Carlson, who had seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown versus Washington, faces his former team for the first time.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/15/2013 12:46 PM

The 9-1 Seattle Seahawks have proven to be football's most formidable home team, and adding Percy Harvin to the mix will only strengthen the top team in the NFC.

The dynamic receiver and return man was activated from the physically unable to perform list earlier this week and could suit up for the first time this season when the Seahawks entertain his old team, the Minnesota Vikings.

Seattle has won five straight overall after a 33-10 drubbing of Atlanta in Dixie last Sunday, and have taken 12 consecutive in front of the 12th man in the Pacific Northwest.

Russell Wilson passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns in Atlanta, while Marshawn Lynch rushed for 145 yards and a score.

Wilson had a 43-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse on a flea-flicker and a 6-yarder that Golden Tate caught with one hand in the corner of the end zone as Seattle remained unbeaten since a Week 5 loss at Indianapolis Oct. 6.

The Seahawks quarterback completed 19 of his 26 passes in the first meeting between the teams since Atlanta won their divisional round playoff game in January.

Lynch carried 24 times and Steven Hauschka, who broke into the NFL as a rookie free agent with Minnesota, kicked four field goals for the Seahawks, who outgained the Falcons 490-226 yards and held the ball for 35 1/2 minutes on offense.

"Wow. What a game," said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. "I think it was our most complete game of the year. We couldn't wait to get out on the football field."

The Vikings, meanwhile, halted an ugly four-game skid in Week 10 when their embattled defense came up with a goal-line stand in the final minute to secure the team's 34-27 victory over the Washington Redskins.

Robert Griffin III and the Redskins took over from their own 20 with 3:36 to play. Despite having no timeouts, Washington was able to move the ball down the field. Jordan Reed's 17-yard catch moved the ball to the 8-yard line. Following a run by Roy Helu and two incomplete passes, Griffin lofted a fourth-down pass to Santana Moss. The wide receiver caught the ball but was out of bounds.

"It felt like we were in control, and when you walk off the field with a loss, it's very disheartening," Griffin said.

Much-maligned Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder completed 17-of-21 passes for 174 yards, two touchdowns and an interception before leaving late in the third quarter with a dislocated left shoulder. Matt Cassel connected on 4-of-6 passes for 47 yards in relief.

"I thought that Christian (Ponder) played outstanding, I mean he battled all night long and what a great effort by him," Cassel said. "Great effort by our team in the second half to comeback, fight through adversity and get a win tonight."

Adrian Peterson carried the ball 20 times for 75 yards and two touchdowns for the Vikings (2-7), who remain mired in last place in the tough NFC North. Former Seahawk John Carlson caught seven passes for 98 yards and a score for Minnesota while playing for injured Pro-Bowler Kyle Rudolph (fractured foot).

"Well, I'm sure, like our team and myself, you guys are happy that the Minnesota Vikings got a win at home," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "It's a lot more fun when you get wins in our league and they are hard to come by. So proud of our football team the way they prepared and fought tonight."

The Seahawks lead their all-time series with Minnesota by a 7-5 margin, including a 30-20 win in Seattle last season when Wilson threw for three touchdowns and Lynch rushed for 124 yards and another score.

coleryan Posts:21705 Followers:24
11/15/2013 12:47 PM

Ponder was limited in practice early in the week because of his left shoulder injury, but he is expected to play although Frazier has continued to hint that Cassel or Josh Freeman could get the start if Ponder isn't ready. It's an attempt to get some kind of competitive advantage against a dominant Seahawks team which has outscored its opposition 364-152 and forced 20 turnovers during its 12-game home winning streak.

Ponder played one of his best games against the Redskins before leaving but pump the brakes before assuming he's turned the corner. The Florida State product still has trouble getting the ball downfield and moving past his first read during any pass progression. Ponder's default settling also remains flushing out of the pocket instead of steeping up into it and this week he will be facing the NFL's best secondary (even without injured CB Brandon Browner) instead of one of the worst.

The Seahawks allow just 178.0 passing yards per game, second-best in the NFL, and Ponder was a dismal 11-of-22 for 63 yards and was picked off by Browner in Seattle last year.

That means the Vikings will lean heavily on Adrian Peterson, who ran for 182 yards and two touchdowns against the Seahawks last season. The reigning NFL MVP will see plenty of eight- and nine-man fronts designed to stop him, however.

Seattle, meanwhile, is 9-1 for the first time in franchise history and have won the 12 straight at home, which directly correlates with Wilson taking over as the team's quarterback.

The second-year star has completed 170-of-261 passes for 2,322 yards with 24 TDs versus six INTs in Seattle, including a 16- of-24 performance in the 30-20 win over the Vikings in 2012.

Defensively Minnesota struggles mightily on third downs especially against mobile quarterbacks like Wilson who can extend plays. The Vikings lack discipline on the pass rush and are a poor tackling bunch in the back seven.

To make matters worse for Minnesota, Harvin, who was acquired from the Vikings in March for draft picks and is one of the game's elite playmakers when healthy, could be champing at the bit to get at his old team.

"He just has to practice every day and show that what he's done in the rehab has paid off and that he can sustain through each day," Carroll said. "It's really the next day that we always look at. We'll just see how it goes. To us it's not a pressure decision."

Carroll may have foreshadowed the Vikings only chance here.

Seattle's bye week comes after this game and the team could decide to give Harvin, along with other key injured players like offensive linemen Max Unger (concussion), Russell Okung (toe) and Breno Giacomini (knee), another two full weeks to get healthy, thinking it doesn't need its full complement to top Minnesota.

"It's two weeks that we could buy. We have that in mind," Carroll said. "We're going to take the information and evaluate each guy and figure out what it means, knowing that we're OK. We're OK where we are, so we're not pressed into making a decision hastily."