The Seattle Seahawks beat the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football to improve to 10-2 and take first place in the NFC West heading into Week 14.
A highly competitive game throughout, Minnesota took a 17-10 lead into halftime thanks to one of the wildest pick-sixes we’ve seen all year.
The second half featured more of the same between these closely-matched NFC powerhouses. Ultimately, the Seahawks were able to capitalize on some big mistakes and finished the game with a narrow 37-30 victory.
These are the biggest winners and losers from the Seahawk’s huge win at home over the Vikings on Monday Night Football.
Winner: The Penny/Carson monster is scary
The Seahawks proved they can win on a night when MVP candidate Russell Wilson wasn’t playing his best. They did so by employing one of the scariest two-headed rushing attacks in the NFL, featuring Rashaad Penny and Chris Carson prominently.
With Penny coming on as a reliable playmaker in recent weeks, he garnered almost as much action as Carson did. The two of them kept each other rested and churned out 216 yards with three touchdowns from scrimmage to spark Seattle’s big win.
Loser: Kirk Cousins still can’t win on Monday night
It wasn’t the worst game we’ve seen Kirk Cousins play this year. But this is a quarterback who came into this Monday Night Football game on an absolute red-hot tear. And when it was time for him to step up in a huge road game in the national spotlight, he couldn’t do it.
Dalvin Cook was injured in the third quarter on the play in which the Seahawks recovered his fumble. With the star running back out of commission, Minnesota’s offense struggled.
Already having a tough time early in the fourth quarter, Cousins committed an error throwing a bit late and behind Stefon Diggs on the right sideline. Tre Flowers picked off the pass, and the Seahawks piled on with another touchdown to go up by 17 points.
Cousins did battle back and threw a beautiful 58-yard touchdown to Laquon Treadwell, and the Vikings nearly came back to win it. However, it was too little, too late. And now, Cousins is 0-8 for his career on Monday Night Football.
Winner: Seahawks poised to take control of the loaded NFC
With the win Monday night, the Seahawks moved into a three-way tie with the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers atop the NFC. Having lost to the Saints and beaten the 49ers already this year, technically Seattle is the No. 2 seed heading into the final four weeks of the regular season.
The 49ers and Saints will face off next week — a huge game on a league-wide scale.
Meanwhile, Seattle will finish the season with road games against the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers before coming back home to close out the campaign at home against the Arizona Cardinals, and finally facing the 49ers again in Week 17.
Loser: Vikings’ run defense full of holes
Foreshadowing big trouble down the line if the Vikings do get into the playoffs, their defense could not stop the run game of Seattle on Monday night.
Seattle piled up positive yards on a consistent basis as Minnesota’s front seven parted like the Red Sea in ancient times. With most of the NFC heavyweights this year featuring strong rushing attacks, this was a bad look for Mike Zimmer’s defense.
Winner: D.K. Metcalf continues to impress
This second-round rookie was responsible for a big negative swing for the Seahawks when he fumbled the ball away in the fourth quarter, negating a sweet special teams play and leading to a Vikings touchdown.
The big picture, however, tells us a different tale. Metcalf was Russell Wilson’s most reliable receiver on Monday night going against a good Vikings secondary. He hauled in 6-of-7 targets for 75 yards, which was key on a night that saw star Tyler Lockett come up empty.
Loser: Xavier Rhodes was burnt toast
The Seahawks didn’t have a ton of success through the air against the Vikings on Monday Night Football. But when Russell Wilson targeted Xavier Rhodes, they sure did.
Following that wide-open touchdown by David Moore at the end of the fourth quarter, Wilson had completed 4-of-4 passes for 99 yards and that touchdown when targeting receivers covered by Rhodes.