Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings overcame an early 10-point deficit, scoring 23 unanswered points to take down Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks for the first time since 2009, 30-17.
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Cousins lit up the Seattle defense in the first half, completing 16 of 20 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns. He tallied an 82.0 passing grade over the first 30 minutes of play, averaging 9.3 yards per attempt with an adjusted completion percentage of 94.4%. His success carried into the second half when he posted a 72.0 passing grade and 142 yards.
Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook was ruled out prior to Sunday’s matchup, so Minnesota was forced to lean on Alexander Mattison. One of the premiere fantasy football handcuffs, Mattison handled 75% percent of the carries and bullied the Seahawks, racking up 57 yards after contact.
|Rushing Grade||Carries||Yards||Yards after contact||YPC|
Justin Jefferson dominated every statistical category for Minnesota Sunday afternoon, tallying nine receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown.
Adam Thielen salvaged his fantasy day with a touchdown and finished with five catches on seven targets. KJ Osborn operated as the third receiver in the offense, totaling 31 snaps, while Tyler Conklin paced the tight end room with 70 yards.
The Vikings offensive line held up fairly well in pass protection, posting a 76.9 pass-blocking grade as a unit. It allowed three sacks and 10 QB pressures on the afternoon. Tackle Brian O’Neill led the way, posting an 83.8 pass-blocking grade and a clean sheet on 39 pass-blocking snaps. He didn’t allow a single pressure on Cousins.
The unit struggled a bit in run protection, though, posting an average 53.4 run-blocking grade.
While Minnesota’s defensive line wasn’t exactly the Purple People Eaters Sunday, it was still effective, notching a 78.7 pass-rushing grade and 66.7 run-defense grade. Edge rusher Danielle Hunter paced the unit with an 85.0 pass-rushing grade, tallying eight QB hurries on 35 pass-rushing snaps.
It was the Eric Kendricks show in the Vikings' linebacker room. Kendricks boasted an elite pass-rushing grade of 90.0, getting home for a sack on Wilson on one of his three pass-rushing snaps. He totaled 10 tackles (zero missed tackles) on the afternoon — four more tackles than the next-best linebacker, Nick Vigil.
As usual, Harrison Smith led a below-average secondary. The former Golden Domer posted a 77.1 coverage grade on 36 coverage snaps and didn’t allow a catch. The same cannot be said for cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Bashaud Breeland, though. Peterson finished with a 51.7 coverage grade, allowing four receptions for 70 yards and five first downs on six targets. Breeland didn’t fare any better, as he gave up nine catches on nine targets for 102 yards, a touchdown and seven first downs.
Russell Wilson finished the afternoon with 297 yards through the air and one touchdown. He earned a mediocre 67.6 passing grade and had an air yards percentage of just 35%. Wilson could get nothing going with his legs, either. He had just three rushing attempts for seven yards in the loss.
Chris Carson scampered for a 30-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, and that was the extent of Seattle’s running game. He was spelled occasionally by Alex Collins and Travis Homer, but Homer didn’t register a carry.
|RB||Rushing Grade||Carries||YDS||Yards after contact||TD||Missed tackles forced||YPC|
After back-to-back 100-plus yard performances, Tyler Lockett crashed back to Earth, coming up with just four catches for 31 yards. D.K. Metcalf posted an 85.3 receiving grade and grabbed six catches, all for first downs. He also embarrassed the ghost of Patrick Peterson.
|WR||Receiving Grade||Receiving Snaps||Targets||Receptions||YDS||TD||aDOT|
Gerald Everett and Homer actually finished second and third on the team in receiving yards with 54 and 48, respectively.
Seattle’s offensive line was mediocre in run blocking, posting a 60.3 run-blocking grade while racking up 66 yards before contact. The pass-blocking, however, was less than ideal. The unit collectively finished with a 35.9 pass-blocking grade, allowing 17 pressures, 12 hurries and three sacks on 38 pass-blocking snaps.
Darrell Taylor topped a defensive line unit that posted a 68.7 pass-rush grade and an 82.2 run defense grade. Taylor finished the afternoon with a 91.2 pass-rush grade on 18 pass-rush snaps, tallying one sack and an 11.1% win percentage. Poona Ford also made his presence felt with an 86.5 run-defense grade.
Bobby Wagner finished the afternoon with a measly (for him) eight tackles and a 78.4 overall defensive grade. The next-highest-graded linebacker was Jordyn Brooks, who posted a 64.3 overall grade.
The back line of defense for Seattle was lit up by Cousins to the tune of 323 yards and three touchdowns, and the stats back up that notion. The highest-graded player in coverage, Quandre Diggs, finished with a 66.8 coverage grade after not being targeted on 40 coverage snaps. Cornerback Tre Flowers was exposed all afternoon, posting a 50.5 coverage grade on 40 coverage snaps. He was targeted seven times and allowed seven receptions for 78 yards and four first downs.