The last time the Seattle Seahawks played the Minnesota Vikings on their home turf, they came away with a 38-7 victory. Heading into Wild Card weekend, the point spread is favoring the Seahawks at -6.0 to eliminate the Vikings from the post season and with the hot streak Seattle is riding, the only thing that may stop them from doing so are the predicted sub-zero temps they face playing in the Midwest.
2015/16 NFL Playoffs: Seattle Seahawks vs. Minnesota Vikings
Point Spread: Seahawks -6 Over/under: 39.5 Date: Sunday, January 10, 1:05pm ET Location: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
The second half of the season has been good to the -6 favored Seattle’s offense, with Russell Wilson posting the best passer rating in the league behind a patchwork offensive line and a struggling running game. Facing a Vikings defense that has given up an average of just 18 points seems worrisome, but the Seahawks scored more points on that same defense than any other of Minnesota’s opponents this year.
After an inconsistent start to the year on defense, the Seahawks have returned to form. The secondary will get Kam Chancellor back at safety and the front four are currently ranked first in the league in stuffing the run, a good stat when facing the league’s leading rusher in Adrian Peterson. If they can neutralize Peterson and put pressure on Teddy Bridgewater to carry the team, it could be another blowout win for Seattle.
The +6 underdog Vikings will have their hands full with Seattle’s offense and will need to find a way to get to the quarterback. Minnesota’s success on defense will hinge on the ability to both collapse the pocket and contain Wilson at the same time. They’ll also have to worry about the potential return of Marshawn Lynch, as the Vikings have had issues stopping big, punishing backs. For Minnesota to win this game, the defense is going to have to have their best game of the season.
Having the best running back in the league certainly helps the Vikings’ chances, but the lack of consistent play from Bridgewater could be their undoing. Bridgewater has yet to find good rapport with his receivers, forcing Minnesota to rely on Peterson for most of their offensive productivity. The offensive line will need to play well against a fast Seattle defense, or they may have trouble or this offense could be dead in the water.
Wild Card Playoff Prediction
It appears that the Seahawks are poised to go on yet another Super Bowl run, getting hot at the right time of the year. For Minnesota, winning in Week 17 is why their season ends in the first round of the playoffs.