Seattle Seahawks: Winners and Losers from NFL Week 9

Todd Pheifer@tpheiferAnalyst IIINovember 5, 2012

Seattle Seahawks: Winners and Losers from NFL Week 9

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    The Seattle Seahawks needed a big win against the Minnesota Vikings and they got it as Russell Wilson led a balanced offensive attack for a 30-20 victory.

    Adrian Peterson had an incredibly productive game, but he did not get much help from his teammates, as Seattle was able to more than contain Christian Ponder and the Viking receivers.

    It was a back-and-forth game, but in the end Seattle was able to outlast the Vikings and snap a two-game losing streak.

    The Seahawks are now 5-4 and will host the New York Jets next week.

    When you win, there are obviously going to be more winners than losers. Here is the full list from the Vikings versus Seahawks game.

Winner: Russell Wilson

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    Again, the yardage was not huge for Russell Wilson.

    When you go 16-of-24 for 173 yards, few people are going to rush to add you to their fantasy team. However, those were not the key statistics for Wilson in this game.

    Three touchdown passes. No picks. That is what you want from your quarterback.

    Putting the ball in the end zone after the fumble recovery in the first quarter and throwing three TDs in the first half was huge for Wilson. In addition, give him props for a gutsy fourth-down QB sneak toward the end of the first half.

    After a three-and-out to start the second half, give Wilson credit for leading the Seahawks down the field on the next drive to go up 10 points on Minnesota.

    Wilson still needs to be careful that he does not get popped when he takes off on a run, but overall he looked very comfortable in this game. 

Loser: Seahawks' First-Half Run Defense

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    So much for containing the run and stopping Adrian Peterson.

    Giving up a 74-yard run on the first drive of the game is not a way to establish your defensive prowess.

    Neither is giving up 144 yards and two rushing touchdowns to AP in the first half.

    Granted, we are talking about Adrian Peterson, but Seattle had to know that Minnesota was going to run the ball early and often.

    I admit that it is hard to know how much the defense should be critiqued given the talent of Peterson.

    Still, big-time defenses are theoretically supposed to at least slow down elite backs. This did not happen in the first half, as Peterson was seemingly able to run at will.

    As a team, the Vikings ran for 197 yards in the first half and averaged a blistering 10.9 yards per carry.

    The run defense did tighten up a bit in the second half, as Peterson only ran for 38 yards after the break.

Winner: Golden Tate

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    Golden Tate only had four catches for 28 yards in this game, but he certainly made the most of his grabs.

    Tate scored two touchdowns in the first half, including an acrobatic leap into the end zone that could have ended in disaster.

    While in the air, Golden did lose the ball. Thankfully, it was quickly ruled a TD and Tate avoided involvement in yet another end-zone replay controversy.

    Golden had another athletic first-down catch on third down in the third quarter to keep the Seahawks moving.

    His totals for the season are still not stellar, but Tate has certainly made some interesting catches this season.

Loser: Matt Flynn

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    Sorry, Matt.

    I suppose you could put Matt Flynn on the loser list every time Russell Wilson has a good game this season.

    However, it bears repeating that we are not going to see the backup quarterback when the starter throws three touchdown passes and leads the team to victory.

    For a moment I thought we might see Flynn late in the game. Wilson was slow to get up after being sacked.

    But Wilson recovered, and Flynn remains on the sideline…indefinitely.

Winner: Sidney Rice

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    Sidney Rice was a dual threat against his former team.

    Rice finished with four catches for 53 yards and a touchdown. Wilson found the speedy receiver in the end zone to cap off a nine-play, 78-yard drive.

    In addition, Rice also threw a very nice pass to Zach Miller to help set up that touchdown.

    Passing numbers for Rice: 1-of-1 for 25 yards. Passer rating of 118.8 for the game. Nice stat line.

    Of course, Wilson had a passer rating of 127.3, but you would hope your QB would have a higher rating than your wide receiver.

Loser: Doug Baldwin

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    Perhaps Doug Baldwin was not really ready to go in this game.

    Baldwin’s status was in doubt this week, but all signs pointed to him being healthy enough to play against the Vikings.

    However, Doug was not a factor in the game, as he was targeted three times and only caught one ball for six yards.

    To be fair, Baldwin really was not needed in this game as Rice, Miller and Tate took care of business against the Viking secondary.

    Wilson hit eight different receivers in this game, so there was certainly some balance.

    Hopefully, Baldwin will get more into the mix against the Jets.

Winner: Seattle Pass Defense

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    Final line for Christian Ponder: 11-of-22, 63 yards, 2.9 yards per throw. One pick. Passer rating of 37.3 for the game.

    Stopping a quarterback is a group effort, but you have to give some credit to the Seattle secondary. Perhaps the reputation preceded them, but the defense really shut down the Minnesota air attack.

    Ponder just could not get anything going through the air. Granted, Adrian Peterson was running wild in the first half so all Christian had to do is hand the ball to his bruising back.

    However, when Seattle tightened up the run defense in the second half, Ponder was stuck trying to move the ball through the air attack.

    The leading receiver was Peterson, with three catches. Minnesota only completed two passes for over 10 yards (14, 13).

Loser: Chris Clemons

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    Seattle did come up with some sacks in this game, as the defense finished with four takedowns for the game. The defense also hit the quarterback seven times.

    Bruce Irvin got back on the board after a three-game drought, even if he has to split the sack with Leroy Hill.

    No sacks for Chris Clemons…again.

    Clemons has seven sacks for the season, but he has not had a sack in the last three games.

    If the Seahawks are going to make the playoffs, Clemons will need to get at the quarterback a few more times.

Winner: Seattle Third-Down Defense

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    Against the Detroit Lions, the Seahawks defense could not get a stop on third down, which was arguably a major factor in the loss.

    The Vikings did not have the same level of success.

    At halftime, the Vikings had converted two of five third downs. Not bad.

    In the second half, they only succeeded on one out of five third downs. Better.

    Stopping the Vikings on third down was a big part of stifling key drives and keeping Seattle in control of the game.

    This was a major concern after last week, and the defense showed that they still know how to get stops.

Winner: Marshawn Lynch

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    The effectiveness of Adrian Peterson was obvious, particularly in the first half.

    However, Beast Mode had a nice game of his own. AP had the yards, but Marshawn Lynch got the win.

    Lynch ran 26 times for 124 yards and a touchdown.

    Marshawn was consistent throughout the game, and he allowed Russell Wilson to pick and choose his passes carefully.

    Seattle ran for 195 yards as a team, and though the offensive line did get a few more false start penalties, the running game led the way to the win.