By Matthew Asher
After a 33-10 shellacking of the Atlanta Falcons, the now 9-1 Seattle Seahawks return home to CenturyLink Field where they will host the 2-7 Minnesota Vikings.
On offense, nothing the Vikings do is that special, at least statistically speaking. The high point for the Vikings is the only statistic that matters: points scored. Averaging 24.4 each game, Minnesota has the 13th best scoring offense in the league.
With Minnesota using three different quarterbacks this season, they’ve had trouble moving the football. Averaging just 315.7 yards of total offense each game, Minnesota ranks in the bottom five of the league. The 206.4 passing yards the Vikings get each game rank in the bottom 10 of the league. Although there is no clear number one at quarterback, Christian Ponder leads the team in most of the offensive categories. He’s completed 115 of his 179 passing attempts for 1246 yards, only five touchdowns and seven interceptions for a quarterback rating of 77.6.
Off-the-field Issues for Vikings Receivers
Three different Vikings have caught at least 30 passes for more than 300 yards. Each of those wide receivers leads the team in one receiving category. Greg Jennings leads the team with 34 receptions, and has 410 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Jerome Simpson, who was arrested for DUI last week, leads the team in receiving yards with 491. He has 34 receptions but no touchdowns. Kyle Rudolph leads the team with three touchdown receptions and has caught 30 passes for 313 yards.
It’s not 2012 anymore
What’s surprising about the Vikings offense is that even with Adrian Peterson as their main running back, the team’s 109.2 rushing yards per game is right in the middle of the league at 16th place. It would be unfair to expect Peterson to duplicate his near record-breaking performance from last year, but even with lowered expectations, he hasn’t been that effective.
Peterson has run the ball 173 times for 786 yards and nine touchdowns. The only other Viking to rush for more than 100 yards this season is Ponder, who has 156 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
On the defensive side of the ball, Minnesota is one of the worst in the league. The 31 points, 399.3 total yards of offense and 285.7 passing yards allowed each game are all in the bottom five of the league, ranking third, third and fourth worst, respectively. The one “bright spot” for the Vikings defense is on the ground. Giving up 113.7 rushing yards each game still ranks them in the bottom half of the league.
Yet again, this seems like another walk in the park for Seattle at least on paper. If they can play the way they did against Atlanta, there’s a very good chance that Seattle would be one of the first two teams in the league this season with double-digit wins. Kickoff is Kickoff is scheduled for 1:25 pm PDT.
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Matthew Asher is a freelance journalist. From an early age, sports have played a major role in his life. He graduated from Emory University with a B.A. in Journalism. After college he spent 2 years working with CNN Sports and still occasionally writes sports articles for several publications both in the United States and Canada. His work can be found on Examiner.com.