Brett Favre received a standing ovation, set an NFL record and had a personal best. The Vikings run defense played one of the best games in franchise history. Four receivers caught at least five passes. Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe had a career-high eight receptions. And the special teams caused and recovered a fumble.
The Vikings had just about everything going their way in a 35-9 win against the Seattle Seahawks, especially after a scoreless first quarter.
Favre finished completing 22 of 25 passes – an incredible 88 percent of his passes – and four touchdowns, no interceptions and a 141.7 rating. Favre played so well against Seattle that Tarvaris Jackson was in the game late in the third quarter.
"He's been playing for so long it's almost like he has a third eye." said Seattle defensive end Lawrence Jackson. "He knows where the rush is supposed to be coming from and where his protection is, so sometimes you have to just give it up to a great guy like that."
Eight different Vikings receivers caught passes, with Shiancoe leading the way at eight receptions. Sidney Rice led the group in receiving yardage with 89 and touchdowns with two. With 82 yards from Adrian Peterson, it was a complete offensive effort.
But the defensive performance might have been even better. The Minnesota defense limited the Seahawks to 4 yards rushing – the second-best total for a Vikings defense in franchise history. Justin Forsett, coming off a 123-yard performance last week, was held to nine yards rushing.
The Vikings defense did its job in the first half, allowing only one first down on three Seahawks possessions. The offense had three penalties in the first quarter, including two on a drive in which they were moving the ball but ended in a punt nonetheless.
In the second quarter, the penalties were cleaned up, resulting in touchdown drives. On their third possession, Favre was accurate, hitting intermediate passes. He picked up first downs with passes of 8 yards to Chester Taylor and 14 yards to Visanthe Shiancoe before Peterson ripped off an 11-yard run. Taylor picked up another first down with a 14-yard run, but the biggest play of the drive was also the money play. Favre had plenty of time in the pocket and found Percy Harvin in the middle of the field for a 23-yard pass play and a 7-0 lead with 10:05 to play in the first half.
While the defense continued to play stout, the offense started catching fire and the Seahawks added to their own misery as they started piling on the penalties. The Vikings picked up the initial first down of their fourth drive on a facemask penalty before Favre found Rice for an explosive 24-yard play, which had more yardage tacked on with a tripping penalty at the conclusion of it. Once inside the 10-yard line, Favre fired an 8-yard touchdown pass to Shiancoe and the Vikings took a 14-0 lead with 4:57 left in the half.
But they weren't done yet. When Ben Obomanu fumbled the ensuing kick return, the Vikings were in scoring position once again on the Seattle 34-yard line. On third-and-2, Favre went for his third-down favorite, Harvin, for 11 yards. Inside the red zone, Peterson ran 10 yards to the 5-yard line. And after a 2-yard run by Taylor, Favre pumped to the middle of the field to Shiancoe in triple coverage and came back to the left side to hit Bernard Berrian for a 3-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead with 1:12 to play, a lead they took to halftime.
After a scoreless first quarter in which the Vikings committed three penalties, they quickly took a 21-0 lead on a second quarter that saw seven Seahawks penalties and none against the Vikings.
It didn't take the Vikings long to catch their offensive stride again in the second half. On their second possession of the half, they went on an 89-yard touchdown drive. Harvin started moving the sticks with a 25-yard pass play and Peterson followed with a 13-yard run. Shiancoe converted another two more third-down plays with receptions of 13 and 9 yards, but Rice made the play of the drive, going up high in the corner of the end zone to come down with a 7-yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead with 4:08 left in the third quarter.
Former Vikings WR Nate Burleson put the Seahawks in position for their first score of the game with catches of 11 yards and 36 yards. E.J. Henderson made sure those gains didn't result in a touchdown when he came through with a 9-yard sack, but Olindo Mare put Seattle on the board with a 40-yard field goal.
With the game in hand already, Tarvaris Jackson continued to keep the offense rolling when he entered the game late in the third quarter. He connected with Rice on completions of 9 and 8 yards early in his first drive, then found Shiancoe for 10 yards at midfield. He also got Harvin involved, hitting him for 16 yards. But, once again, it was Rice with the big play. He caught an intermediate pass and stiff-armed his way past a tackle before sprinting to the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown, giving Minnesota a 35-3 lead with 10:21 to play in the game.
Thanks to a snaking 47-yard pass play by Forsett, the Seahawks drove into the red zone, and they were inside the 10-yard line after a facemask penalty on Jimmy Kennedy. One play later, Forsett got a 1-yard touchdown for the final score of the game when the two-point pass attempt failed.
The Vikings' complete domination of the Seahawks in a 35-9 win moved Minnesota to 9-1 on the season, but they weren't able to make up any ground on the undefeated New Orleans Saints. They did, however, maintain a three-game lead in the division and a two-game lead over Dallas for second place in the conference.
It's all thanks to a complete effort from all three phases of the game from what appears to be a team that is still ascending.
Vikings fire on all cylinders, win 35-9
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