Monday cyber surfing: Seahawks control 2nd place in NFC West with win over Vikings

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks the day after their 30-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times recaps the Seahawks’ win, “Quarterback Russell Wilson threw for three touchdowns in the first half, Marshawn Lynch ran for a season-high 124 yards and scored in the second half and a week after Seattle lost two fourth-quarter leads in Detroit, the Seahawks found a way to stiffen in the second half. ‘I was real proud of how hard we played and how tough we played and how we responded at halftime,’ coach Pete Carroll said. ‘We put together a really good second half, particularly improved on defense.’ “

O’Neil has a look at offensive guard John Moffitt’s return to the starting lineup in place of left guard James Carpenter, who missed yesterday’s game with a concussion, “Moffitt had played left guard in college, but not since Seattle drafted him out of Wisconsin in the third round last year. Moffitt was active for the first time in more than a month as he missed the past five games with a knee injury.”

O’Neil also has his “2 Minute Drill“, where he names the Vikings’ Peterson and Seahawks’ Lynch his players of the game, “Vikings running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 182 yards, most by a Seahawks opponent since Frank Gore gained 207 yards in September 2009. Peterson is the first player in two years to rush for two touchdowns in the same game against Seattle. Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch gained a season-high 124 yards, his third consecutive game with more than 100 yards rushing.”

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times details Wilson’s maturity that was on full display in yesterday’s victory, “He was patient in the pocket, moving around, his eyes always scanning the field. His patience and elusiveness allowed Golden Tate to get open in the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown that tied the score in the first quarter. Wilson completed 16 of 24 passes for 173 yards and had a 127.3 quarterback rating. He kept drives and plays alive with his feet. And most important, he didn’t make mistakes. He didn’t look or play like, a rookie. ‘He’s a talented guy, man,’ center Max Unger said. Nine games into the season, there is a rhythm to the Seahawks’ offense. There is a quick, assured tempo. And there is balance. The Hawks finished with 195 rushing yards and 190 net passing yards. ‘You know what’s crazy, in the huddle, he’s been pretty much been like this the whole time,’ Unger said of Wilson. ‘But he’s become a lot more fluid with his play calls. He gets in and out real quick.’ “

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times highlights the performance of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who gashed the Seahawks in the first half, but who was held in check in the second half, “You can’t say you played good defense after giving up 243 rushing yards. But after surrendering 228 total yards and 17 points in the first half, the Seahawks returned to stinginess in the second half. Minnesota scored three points and gained 59 yards after halftime. The defense found a different way to do its job and then lived off the offense for a change. It solved its third-down bugaboo, limiting the Vikings to conversions on 3 of 10 third-down tries. And while the defense has been vulnerable to the short passing game, Ponder wasn’t successful in that area. Wide receiver Percy Harvin, who entered the game with 60 receptions, caught just two passes and suffered an ankle injury.”

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune recaps yesterday’s 30-20 result, “Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch finished with 124 yards on 26 carries, including a 3-yard touchdown that gave Seattle a 27-17 lead with 4 minutes, 9 seconds left in the third quarter. Lynch ran for more than 100 yards for the fifth time this season, and is 119 yards away from rushing for 1,000 yards for a second consecutive season. And rookie quarterback Russell Wilson had another strong performance, going 16-for-24 passing for 173 yards and three touchdowns. Wilson finished with a 127.3 passer rating. He has thrown for nine touchdowns and no interceptions in four home games – all wins – compiling a 120.2 passer rating. ‘Russell played really well,’ Seattle coach Carroll said. ‘He did a great job of handling all the situations and the different players and the things that we did.’ “

Williams also details the return of Moffitt to the starting lineup, “Carroll said that he decided to start Moffitt at left guard because he played there in college, and they didn’t want to make two moves along the offensive line. If Moffitt didn’t hold up, Carroll said the plan was to move Paul McQuistan to left guard and play rookie J.R. Sweezy at right guard. Seattle started its fifth different offensive line combination this season against Minnesota. ‘I think it was good, not great,’ Moffitt said about his performance. ‘To me, there’s stuff to work on. I think I was knocking the rust off on a lot of things. And I know I’ll see it on the film.’ Moffitt said he’s been working at all three interior positions since returning to practice two weeks ago, and feels more comfortable at left guard because of his time playing there at Wisconsin.”

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune rehashes the Seahawks’ Week 9 win, “No one benefits more from the curative powers of CenturyLink than rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, whose three touchdown passes on Sunday lifted his home stats to nine touchdowns and zero interceptions. He has four touchdowns and eight picks on the road. ‘I think the biggest thing playing here at CenturyLink is that the fans are unbelievable,’ Wilson said. ‘The energy that they bring … really lifts us up and helps.’ Wilson continued his incremental growth, gaining confidence with his throws whether in the pocket or on the run. He also strengthened his rapport with receivers, as his 17 completions went to eight different Seahawks. His elusiveness also contributed to several productive scrambles. ‘I think the main thing is to continue to grow,’ Wilson said. ‘Continue to focus on the little details.’ “

Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune calls attention to the impressive play of third-year wide receiver Golden Tate, who caught four balls for 28 yards and two touchdowns and added two rushes for 21 yards yesterday, “On the Vikings’ 11 with the Seahawks trailing 17-14 less than a minute before halftime, Wilson fired a simple screen pass to Tate. It was a fortuitous call as the defender guarding Tate blitzed the quarterback instead. As he started up the field, Tate got a nice block from Sidney Rice, then sidestepped a tackle from several hard-charging defenders. Two more Vikings were also coming at full speed; Tate made both miss, and they collided with each other. ‘For me, I’m a shifty kind of guy,’ he said. ‘I don’t have blazing speed. I just try to read where guys on the field are and the leverage they have on me. Sometimes I can tell when guy is running full speed at me. I feel most times I can make a step and get out of tackles from linebackers and safeties.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald says that the Seahawks’ passing game continues to improve, “Wilson finished the game with only 173 passing yards, but that was more a function of the score of the game and not indicative of his overall performance. He completed 16-of-24 passes, didn’t turn the ball over and finished with a passer rating of 127.3. In the first half, he was 10-for-14 for 106 yards and all three touchdowns. The Seahawks leaned on their run game to milk the clock in the second half. ‘Guys are stepping up, and as our quarterback gets better, we get better, and you can see him getting better every week,’ said fullback Michael Robinson. ‘The great thing about it is, he has the demeanor to be great. He’s never too down, he’s never too high. Right now, you wouldn’t be able to tell if we won or lost by the way he talks. It’s good to have a guy like that leading us.’ “

Boyle stresses the ability of the Seahawks defense to step up in the second half yesterday, “The Seahawks led 20-17 at halftime, but unlike most games this season, Seattle was in the game because of its offense, not its defense. Peterson had 12 carries for 144 yards and two scores in the first two quarters, and the Vikings had 226 yards of total offense. Nobody had to tell Seahawks defenders that things weren’t going well when the team went to the locker room at halftime. ‘At half time we were like, ‘Look, we don’t need the coaches to tell us (Peterson’s) kicking our ass,’ ‘ said defensive end Red Bryant. ‘We focused up and paid more attention to details and I love the way we were able to finish the game off in the second half.’  And finish they did. After getting gashed by Peterson and the Vikings for two quarters, the Seahawks gave up only 59 yards and three points in the second half. Peterson rushed for 38 yards in the second half, and quarterback Christian Ponder was just 4-for-9 for 21 yards and an interception.”

Boyle and the Everett Herald’s Rich Myhre note the play of wide receiver Sidney Rice, who finished with four cacthes for 54 yards and a score, and also tossed a 25-yard pass to tight end Zach Miller, “…after the game, everyone wanted to talk about Rice’s one pass completion — including his head coach. ‘Sidney likes to chuck it,’ said Seattle’s Pete Carroll. ‘He’s a great athlete and you give great athletes a chance to do stuff and see if they can figure it out. … Sidney is such a talented kid, and he went out and found a way to make a play.’ It was, Carroll added, ‘a really cool play.’ Even quarterback Russell Wilson couldn’t help jesting, ‘Sometimes I think (Rice) can throw better than me.’  Asked if it was more fun passing than receiving, Rice shook his head. ‘Definitely not,’ he said. ‘I like to catch it, but when I get the opportunity to throw it I love that, too.’ “

Brady Henderson of 710Sports.com looks at the Seahawks’ ability to overcome a poor first-half defensive effort, “That nightmare ended thanks to what Bryant described as a concerted effort to be more disciplined and adhere to the design of the play. Too many times, he said, defenders were abandoning their gap responsibilities in an attempt to make a play. That can be dangerous against a shifty running back like Peterson. ‘There’s only a few backs that come to mind that you definitely have to make sure you’re in your gap, and he’s one of them. If you’re trying to do more than your job is called for, he’ll hurt you,’ Bryant said of Peterson, the league’s leading rusher. ‘And early on, that’s what was happening to us. He was hurting us because we weren’t precise. We weren’t where we was supposed to be when we was supposed to be there.’ And so we focused, came in at halftime and said, ‘Look, everybody do your job. Don’t worry about nothing else. Do your job.’ Guys was able to do that and we was able to slow him down.’ “

Mike Salk of 710Sports.com says yesterday’s win has been three weeks in the making for the rookie quarterback Wilson, “For three weeks, Russell Wilson has stepped up his game, only to see his efforts wasted. In San Francisco, it was the five dropped passes that sabotaged his stats. In Detroit, the defensive miscues overshadowed what had been his best day. But on Sunday, against a Minnesota defense that entered the game allowing the seventh-fewest passing yards per attempt, Wilson was nearly flawless. In the first half of Seattle’s 30-20 win, he was 10 of 14 for 106 yards and three touchdowns. Those numbers are great, but remember that of the four incompletions, three were dropped and the fourth was thrown away on purpose.”

Tim Booth of the Associated Press recaps the Seahawks’ 30-20 win over the Vikings.

Curtis Crabtree of 950 KJR AM has his report from Sunday’s Seahawks win, “Adrian Peterson had a huge game as he finished the contest with two scores and 182 yards on 17 carries for the Vikings (5-4), who have dropped their past two games. Christian Ponder threw for just 63 yards on 11-of-22 passing with an interception in the loss. ‘We are struggling in a lot of areas right now,’ said Minnesota head coach Leslie Fraser. ‘We were not able to capitalize on Adrian’s day and that ‘s difficult to swallow. We need to have more balance.’ “

Art Thiel of SportsPressNW.com notes the play of Wilson in yesterday’s win, “On Seattle’s third possession of the game, second down and five at the Seattle 27-yard line, the Seahawks quarterback play-faked from the shotgun formation and completed a screamer of a 23-yard pass that was caught by wide receiver Sidney Rice — and would have struck out Albert Pujols, looking. It also shut up anyone who said Wilson lacked the arm strength for the NFL. Just another question answered positively about Wilson, and the Seahawks. A week after scoring 24 points on the road, they scored a season-high at home in a 30-20 victory, over Minnesota, suggesting the corner has been turned halfway through the rookie-quarterback soap opera.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com has his game recap from yesterday at CenturyLink Field, “Wilson’s three touchdown passes gave the rookie 13 through nine games, two fewer than Seattle managed all last season. He has eight touchdowns against two picks over his past four starts. He has taken one sack over his past two games and never more than two in a game since Arizona brought him down three times in Week 1. These are the signs of progress Seattle must see this season. The fact the Seahawks are 5-4 with four home games left on the schedule further validates Seattle’s decision to name Wilson the starter over Matt Flynn. That conversation sure did suffer a quick and decisive demise, didn’t it? This team is contending not just in spite of its rookie quarterback, but increasingly because of him.”

Sando also has “Rapid Reaction” following the Seahawks 30-20 defeat of the Vikings, “Moffitt’s role: John Moffitt started at left guard after the Seahawks named James Carpenter inactive. There had been some thought Moffitt might start at right guard, where he started previously. Moffitt got backed up and lost his helmet to blow up a short-yardage run in the first half. Moffitt later helped clear the way for Lynch’s 23-yard run to the 9-yard line with 5:30 left in the third quarter. Moffitt also helped clear the way for Lynch’s 3-yard scoring run later in the drive.”

For a look around the League, Peter King of SI.com has his “Monday Morning Quarterback” column.

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his game recap, and names Wilson his player of the game in his “Game at a glance.”

Tony Ventrella has his game recap, with post-game reaction from safety Earl Thomas, cornerback Marcus Trufant, linebacker Bobby Wagner, Wilson, and Carroll.

We have Wilson and Carroll‘s full post-game press conferences from yesterday.

And finally, we have complete video highlights from yesterday’s victory here.