By Matthew Asher
Seattle, along with the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, is on the verge of being one of the first two teams in the league this season with 10 wins. While 9-0 Kansas City will travel to Denver to take on the 8-1 Broncos, the 9-1 Seahawks have a much easier opponent, the 2-7 Minnesota Vikings.
If the ‘Hawks want to get to 10 wins before their bye week (Week 12 is the final week teams could have a bye), here are three key areas to making that happen.
3. See if Adrian Peterson really can go All Day
Last year Peterson was responsible for more than 2,300 yards of offense for Minnesota, about 44 percent of the total team offensive yards. It seems like he may be a little weary from all of that work last year.
Peterson is currently on pace for about 1,700 yards of offense, a drop off of more than 25 percent from last year’s near record-breaking season. The Vikings average 109 rushing yards each game. Seattle gives up 111 each time. If Seattle can hold the Vikings to their average, they have a very good chance of winning.
2. Force Minnesota to choose a primary receiver.
There are three Vikings with 30 or more catches but none of them have more than 500 receiving yards. Minnesota throws for about 85 more yards of offense than their running game gets them. Greg Jennings leads the team in receptions, Jerome Simpson leads the team in yards and average while Kyle Rudolph leads the team in touchdown catches.
Seattle is very good on defense, but their best statistical ranking is their ability to limit the pass. The Seahawks allow just 178 passing yards each game, the second best in the league. Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas are responsible for eight of Seattle 13 interceptions (both men have four apiece). If both Thomas and Sherman stick to one of the three primary weapons in Minnesota’s passing game, they will force the quarterback to target the third receiver most of the game.
1. Maintain ball control.
Seattle currently is plus-seven in the turnover department while Minnesota is a negative-four. The other part of ball control is winning the time of possession. It’s a little slanted because Seattle has played in several overtime games so the 31-plus minutes of possession time isn’t as outstanding at first glance.
What is amazing is Minnesota’s lack of ball control. Averaging 25:30 each game is second-worst only to the Philadelphia Eagles. The more Seattle holds onto the ball and prevents Peterson’s abilities, the better their chances to keep up this wonderful season they are having.
Kickoff is scheduled for 1:25 pm PDT.
For more Seahawks news and updates, visit Seahawks Central.
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.