The Minnesota Vikings have the chance to, as a couple players put it, exact some ‘revenge’ Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. Earlier this season the Vikings suffered their worst loss of the season when the Seahawks came to Minnesota and beat them 38-7.
The Vikings played poorly in almost every aspect of the game, with the lone bright spot coming when Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff for a touchdown late in the game when it was already well out of reach.
This time around, the players know they have to do better.
“How do we beat Seattle?” running back Adrian Peterson contemplated after being asked the question. “Um, go out, execute, run the ball well, Teddy (Bridgewater) playing a good game – getting the receivers involved – and be sound on defense and special teams making big plays, for four quarters and we will win.”
If a team does all those things on any given Sunday they will more than likely come out on top. However, it is often easier said than done.
The Vikings were saying a lot of the same types of things the week leading up to their first matchup with the Seahawks, and they weren’t able to do any of them. But this time around things seem to be a little different, at least the players seem to think so.
“It’s a new day,” Peterson said. “We learned a lot. I’m not going to say we were high on ourselves, but those guys did a lot of things well and we didn’t do a lot of things well during that game. It’s a physical defense; it’s a talented defense. Offensively they’re good as well. We’re going to put our best foot forward at home to get this W, but I can tell you this: We will be ready.”
One big hurdle the Vikings are going to have to get over is the fact that they achieved one of their primary goals for the season on Sunday night. They were able to head into Green Bay and beat the Packers for the division title.
That is something that head coach Mike Zimmer had been preaching about doing since training camp and now that it has happened the team needs to keep the drive and the hunger they showed the last few weeks.
After achieving a goal they have had in mind for so long it is possible that their concentration could waver, but players such as cornerback Captain Munnerlyn seem to be determined to not let that happen.
“Like I told the guys when we came in the locker room, ‘These hats and t-shirts, they’re all fine, but at the same time we’re not done yet.’ The big picture, the big goal is a head of us,” Munnerlyn said. “We know now that in order to get to the Super Bowl you got to beat the champions. Those guys have been to the Super Bowl the past two years, so we’ll get a crack at them first and see how that goes.”
Even the young players on the team are buying into what veterans like Munnerlyn are preaching and are talking about getting revenge on the team that embarrassed them earlier in the season.
“It’s a revenge game for us,” said second-year linebacker Anthony Barr, “a playoff game for us. You call it what you want. We’re ready.”
No matter how badly they want to exact revenge on the Seahawks or how badly they want the win, the team appears to realize that the most important part is to focus on themselves first.
Even though the were able to beat the Packers and earn the NFC North title, the Vikings still made a lot of mistakes, and those mistakes could really come back to hurt them in the playoffs. They are playing the best teams the NFL has to offer now, which means there will be less room for errors.
But regardless of who they play, the Vikings believe that if they do their jobs and play the game the way they know how to play it that they can beat anyone they face.
“We have another game next week,” said defensive end Brian Robison. “We got a team that, lack of a better way of saying it, kicked our tail the last time they came to our house. We’ve got a little bit of revenge on our minds and it’s going to boil down to us just doing our job, like usual.”