The second installment of ‘wide left’ sent the Minnesota Vikings out of the playoffs and their fans reeling.
The Minnesota Vikings took a lead into the fourth quarter and kept the Seattle Seahawks scoreless to that point. Not many thought the Vikings would really stand a chance in the game nonetheless come this close to winning the contest.
Entering the fourth, the Vikings were leading thanks to a trio of field goals from Blair Walsh that were simply split the uprights beautifully. Walsh hit from 22 in the first and from 43 and 47 in the third quarter.
The Seahawks finally turned it on though in the fourth quarter. A few minutes into the quarter, quarterback Russell Wilson hit Doug Baldwin with a three-yard pass for a touchdown to make it 7-9. A couple minutes later, Steven Hauschka hit a 46-yard field goal to give Seattle the deciding 10-9 lead.
How did Seattle score so quickly? A fumble from Adrian Peterson. The Vikings hit their All-Pro running back twice in a row with passes in the fourth quarter, after not throwing to him all game, but the second catch turned into a fumble after cornerback Kam Chancellor made a beautiful play to force the ball loose. This turnover occurred right between Seattle’s touchdown and field goal.
The teams traded off a pair of punts and then the drive happened for the Vikings. The purple got the ball back with less than two minutes left and drove down the field. The Vikings got the ball to Seattle nine-yard line which set up Blair Walsh for a 27-yard field goal attempt. Emphasis on attempt.
Walsh shanked the punt. It went well to the left and Seattle left TCF with a ticket to the NFC Divisional Round.
Overall, the Vikings defense played phenomenally. Holding the explosive Seattle offense to only 10 points is more than anyone could have truly asked for. Wilson was held to going 13/26 for 142 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Bridgewater did what he was asked to do. The second year QB went 17/24 for 146 yards in the game. Adrian Peterson could never really get it going against the staunch Seattle defense. Peterson ended the game with only 45 rushing yards on 23 carries.
Sure, should have the Vikings offense scored a touchdown on one of their drives? Yep. Should Adrian Peterson hold on to the ball in critical situations? Yep. Should Walsh have made a chipshot field goal? Yep to that, too.
A lot of good things happened in the ballgame, but there was multiple things that happened that didn’t lead to the Vikings sitting at home for this coming weekend.
The Seahawks advance to the Divisional Round which results in a matchup with the #1 seed Carolina Panthers at noon on Sunday on FOX.