It’s the second Monday Night Football game of the season for the Seattle Seahawks but it will be the first for this week’s opponent, the Minnesota Vikings.
Before we watch the Vikings and Seahawks go at it, here’s five things you need to know about the Vikings.
Vikings fading in NFC wild card race
The 7-5 Seahawks have a stranglehold on one of the two NFC wild card spots while the Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1) are currently holding on right behind the Seahawks. Until recent weeks, the Vikings were the ones almost guaranteed to reach the playoffs, but now they’re hanging on for dear life.
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The Vikings sit in the sixth spot, and are in the middle of a difficult stretch. They’ve lost two of their last three games, including last weekend’s 24-10 loss at New England. It’s why this week’s game is so vital to them because they finish against three opponents (Miami, Detroit, Chicago in the finale that might not matter that much to the NFC North leading Bears) they should be able to handle. A win over the Seahawks and then three more to close out the season gets them to 10 wins, which is almost ensures a playoff berth.
But lose to Seattle ... and the math gets harder for a 9-win team getting into the playoffs.
Vikings weapon... Adam Thielen
He’s not Randy Moss, Cris Carter or even Stefon Diggs. Still, receiver Adam Thielen (98 catches, 1,166 yards, 9 TDs) is having one heck of a season.
Ranking in the top five in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, the Seahawks will have a lot on their hands come Monday night. In 12 games this season, he’s surpassed 100 yards receiving but he’s coming off his worse game of the season. Last week the Patriots held him to a season-low 28 receiving yards.
Minnesota’s defense vs. Seattle’s run game
You know the old term, whoever wins at the line of scrimmage wins the ballgame. That’s said from high school all the way up to the NFL. This game is no different, the Vikings have one of the league’s best rushing defenses by holding opponents to just under an average of 100 yards per game.
The challenge they’re presented with is containing the Seahawks who boast one of the best rushing attacks in the league with 148 yards on the ground per game.
Vikings: No wins vs. teams with a winning record in 2018
It’s a hard to believe stat, but the team that played in last year’s NFC championship game has yet to defeat a team this season, after 12 games, that currently owns a winning record.
Minnesota Monday Night Football History
Ever since Monday Night Football hit the airwaves in 1970, the Vikings have been a presence and they’ve been on the the wrong end of some of the greatest MNF moments. First, you’ve got Tony Dorsett’s 99-yard touchdown run, then there’s Antonio Freeman’s crazy touchdown as the Packers took down the Vikings in overtime.
Overall, the Vikings are 29-32 but the recent history has not been kind to the Vikings. In their last six Monday night games, they are 1-5 in that stretch.