A Seahawks defense inspired by the criticism it received following a shoot-out win over Pittsburgh, limited Adrian Peterson to just 18 rushing yards and, frankly, embarrassed the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, winning 38-7 in a game that wasn't even that close.
Minnesota's only score of the game came on a 101-yard kickoff return by Cordarrelle Patterson late in the third quarter after Seattle had taken a 35-0 lead. The Seahawks more than tripled Minnesota's Total Yardage, winning it 433 yards to just 125 for the Vikings.
Fresh off of a five touchdown performance against the Steelers, Russell Wilson completed 21 of 27 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another to lead Seattle's offense. Wilson spread the wealth, completing early passes to tight ends Cooper Helfet and Luke Willson before focusing on Tyler Lockett and Doug Baldwin as Seattle built a dominant 21-0 lead heading into halftime.
How good was Wilson?
One play after a 53-yard touchdown jaunt off of read-option was called back for a highly questionable holding call on Willson, Seattle's quarterback lofted a perfect pass to Baldwin for another score. Wilson, still likely breathing hard following the long run in which he blew past two Vikings with angles on him, caught the Minnesota on a blitz and took a hit on the throw.
The touchdown, which gave Seattle a 35-0 lead, was the second touchdown reception of the game for Baldwin, giving him an NFL-best five over the past two games.
Seattle was also paced on offense by running back Thomas Rawls, who shook off a lost fumble to abruptly halt Seattle's first drive of the game, to run for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Seattle's splashy offense nearly stole the show from its defense, which limited Peterson, Teddy Bridgewater and the Vikings to just a season-low in totalal yardage, with pressure on the quarterback a constant theme of the day.
The Seahawks' flight home will no doubt have a celebratory feel to it but it is important to note that the Vikings were without star defenders Anthony Barr, Harrison Smith and Linval Joseph - each of whom could be back in time for any possible rematch in the playoffs.
The Vikings were without their best defenders and the impact was obvious. Just as obvious for the Seahawks, however, was that Frank Clark needs more playing time.
Asked to play more with Jordan Hill and Demarcus Dobbs among Seattle's inactives, Clark enjoyed his return to Big Ten country, terrorizing Bridgewater with multiple hits and setting early career-bests with two sacks and two passes broken up. The Seahawks recorded four sacks in all with Michael Bennett and Bruce Irvin each contributing a hit.
Perhaps the best news of the day, came after the game, when Pete Carroll confirmed that the Seahawks had no new injuries sustained in the big win.
The Seahawks, now 7-5, and winners of five of their past six games, will be back on the road next week to face the Baltimore Ravens.