A recap of the Seahawks’ 35-9 loss to the Vikings in Minnesota on Sunday:
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Brett Favre. Who else? All the Vikings’ 40-year-old quarterback did was throw four-plus touchdown passes for the 22nd time in his Hall of Fame career – a league record; while completing 88 percent of his passes (22 of 25) – a franchise record.
This was not the same Brett Favre the Seahawks faced last December at Qwest Field, when he was 18 of 31 for 187 yards and two interceptions while playing for the Jets – and playing with a damaged throwing arm that required surgery in the offseason.
Now, Favre is with a new team – a much better team – and in an offense that is much more familiar to him.
“He’s done it his whole career,” said Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck, Favre’s former backup and still a friend. “You think you’ve got him, and then he makes a great play; or he’s close to pulling the trigger down downfield, and then he makes a good decision to go to his check down (receiver) instead. He got in rhythm and they just got it rolling.”
PLAYS OF THE GAME
Offense: Favre worked his magic, and then some, on a first-and-goal play from the Seahawks’ 7-yard line in the third quarter. The Seahawks’ Cory Redding got pressure on Favre, but he simply stepped away and fired a pass into the end zone. Wide receiver Sidney Rice made a leaping grab of the pass between safety Jordan Babineaux and cornerback Marcus Trufant for a TD that made it 28-0.
“It wasn’t like they were throwing 50-yard bombs on us,” Babineaux said. “They played a pretty conservative game. He was just getting the ball out quick and putting it on his receivers.”
Defense: This one epitomized the game. On a second-and-12 play in the fourth quarter, defensive end Patrick Kerney dropped into coverage and tipped a Tarvaris Jackson pass. Third-and-long? No, third-and-3, as Rice made a lunging grab of the ball for a 9-yard gain.
“That’s the kind of day it was,” Kearney said. “We make a play, but it turns into a play for them.”
Special teams: The Vikings had just scored their first touchdown, and the second would come only just 3½ minutes later, after the Seahawks’ Ben Obomanu fumbled the ensuing kickoff and it was recovered by the Vikings’ Heath Farwell.
“They got that fumble on the kickoff return and it took some wind out of us,” Seahawks coach Jim Mora said.
If it wasn’t bad enough seeing Steve Hutchinson on the cover of the program – with a headline that said, “All-Pro guard leads the Vikings ground attack” – the former Seahawk was chatting it up prior to pregame warm-ups with Chris Gray. Hutchinson and the now-retired Gray were the guards on the 2005 team when the Seahawks made their run to the Super Bowl.
With 43 seconds left in the third quarter, No. 4 called it a day as Vikings coach Brad Childress took Favre out and inserted Jackson.
“It’s almost embarrassing,” Hasselbeck said, “to be down by the much and the other team is pulling their guys. It’s just hard to be in this situation right now.”
Favre spent quite a bit of time on the field after the game, including a few moments with Mora.
“I said, ‘Retire, please,’ ” Mora said. “He said, ‘You’ve been saying that to me for about eight years.’ I said, ‘I know, and I’m going to keep saying it to you.’ ”
Hasselbeck had an ice bag on his right shoulder after the game, but assured Mora and later reporters that he is fine.
The Seahawks played without leading rusher Julius Jones (bruised lung), cornerback Josh Wilson (concussion) and defensive tackle Craig Terrill (bruised shoulder). They were among the inactive players.
YOU DON’T SAY
“The guy is remarkable. But we’ve got to be better.” – Mora, on Favre and his own team
Peephole perspective: Way too little, way too late. The Seahawks finally found the end zone, but the Vikings already had put up 35 points. The final: Vikings 35, Seahawks 9.
Player of the quarter: Seahawks RB Justin Forsett. With Favre on the sideline, it gave someone else a chance. Forsett hooked up with Hasselbeck on a 47-yard pass to setup the Seahawks’ only TD, and then scored it on a 1-yard run.
Play of the quarter: This one epitomized the game. On a second-and-12 play, DE Patrick Kerney dropped into coverage and tipped a Tarvaris Jackson pass. Third-and-long? No, third-and-3, as Sidney Rice made a lunging catch of the ball for a 9-yard gain.
Line of the quarter: And of the day – 35-9, the final score.
The bigger picture: The Vikings ran their lead to 35-3 when Rice and Jackson teamed up for a 35-yard TD with 10:21 left to play.
Just after the TD, they announced that Favre had completed 22 of 25 passes, a club-record 88 percent. That set off a chorus of “MVP. MVP. MVP” from the crowd.
It wasn’t their day, but there was no quit in the Seahawks on this day, either. Hasselbeck and Forsett hooked up on a 47-yard pass play on the their next possession, Hasselbeck then scrambled 4 yards to the 1 and Forsett scored. The two-point conversion pass to TE John Carlson was ruled incomplete. Seahawks coach Jim Mora challenged the play, but the ruling on the field was upheld, making it 35-9 with 8:05 to play.
The Seahawks were on the move again on their next series, but Hasselbeck was intercepted to end the drive after it had reached the Vikings’ 29.
Peephole perspective: Another Brett Favre TD pass, his fourth. An Olindo Mare field goal, for the Seahawks’ first points. Vikings 28-3.
Player of the quarter: Farve. Again? Again. Who else when he completed 8 of 9 passes for 85 yards and the TD, giving him a 143.1 rating for the quarter before he called it an afternoon.
Play of the quarter: First-and-goal from the Seahawks’ 7 and Cory Redding got pressure on Favre. But the Vikings’ QB simply stepped away and fired a pass into the end zone. Sidney Rice made a leaping grab between Jordan Babineaux and Marcus Trufant for a TD that made it 28-0.
Line of the quarter: 2-47-36. It belongs to Seahawks WR Nate Burleson, who caught two passes for 47 yards, including a one-hander on a 36-yarder to set up Mare’s field goal.
The bigger picture: After a three-and-out to start the half, the Vikings got busy on their second possession – again. Twelve plays. 89 yards. A fourth Favre TD pass – this one to Sidney Rice. This time Favre was 6 of 7 for 67 yards, including a 25-yarder to Harvin on 3rd-and-9 from the Vikings 12. Adrian Peterson also carried five times for 22 yards, putting him over 1,000 for the season.
The Seahawks finally got a big play when Burleson one-handed a 36-yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck, despite Vikings nickel back Karl Paymah being flagged for pass interference on the play. But the “drive” fizzled when Justin Forsett was stuffed for no gain on first down, Hasselbeck was sacked for a 9-yard loss by LB E.J. Henderson on second down and Hasselbeck had to fling a shovel pass to Forsett on third down because Jared Allen was wrapped around him on third down. Mare kicked a 40-yard field goal to get the Seahawks on the board.
Peephole perspective: Three Brett Favre TD passes. Fifteen minutes of frustration and foibles for the Seahawks. Vikings 21-0 at the half.
Player of the quarter: Favre. What a difference 11 months, a new team and biceps surgery can make. When the Seahawks faced Favre – then a Jet – last December, he threw two interceptions in a snow-covered 13-3 loss at Qwest Field. The ageless wonder was torrid in this about-face/in-your-face quarter, completing 11 of 13 passes for 107 yards and a 140.5 rating – and, oh yes, those three TDs.
Play of the quarter: Third-and-2, and the Seahawks came at the Vikings with the SeneCat – with backup QB Seneca Wallace taking the snap and QB Matt Hasselbeck flanked to the right. It fooled no one, as DE Jared Allen flushed Wallace and CB Asher Allen and Allen chased Wallace out of bounds for a 9-yard loss.
Line of the quarter: 153-29, the yardage totals for the Vikings and Seahawks. Not surprisingly, the time of possession was just as lopsided: 11:33 to 3:27.
The bigger picture: The Vikings ran one play to end the first quarter, then needed nine in this quarter to get their first score – Favre’s 23-yard TD pass to rookie WR Percy Harvin. The drive also included Favre’s 8-yard pass to RB Chester Taylor on third-and-3; a 14-yard pass from Favre to TE Visanthe Shiancoe; and a 14-yard run by Taylor. Favre was 4 of 5 for 52 yards.
The Seahawks stalled on the ensuing series, because of the aforementioned reading of the SeneCat formation.
The Vikings then drove 70 yards in six plays to another TD – this one a 9-yard pass from Favre to Shiancoe. The drive included two big penalties on the Seahawks defense – a 15-yard facemask call on FS Jordan Babineaux after Favre’s short pass to Harvin; and a 10-yard tripping call on SS Deon Grant after a 24-yard pass from Favre to Sidney Rice. Grant was pushed into Rice by Harvin.
The Vikings got the ball back as Ben Obomanu fumbled the kickoff and the Vikings’ Heath Farwell recovered at the Seahawks’ 34. The Vikings needed six plays to put the ball in the end zone – again. This time it was a 3-yard pass from Favre to Bernarde Berrian. The big plays were Harvin’s reaching grab of a Favre against tight coverage from CB Kelly Jennings for an 11-yard gain on third-and-2 and Adrian Peterson’s 10-yard run to the 5.
Player of the quarter: David Hawthorne. The Seahawks’ middle linebacker had five tackles to spark the defensive effort.
Play of the quarter: On the Vikings’ first third-down play, DE Darryl Tapp got to Brett Favre for a sack. DT Brandon Mebane got the penetration to forced Favre to move from the pocket.
Line of the quarter: 3 for 20. The penalties and penalty yards against the Vikings, including a false start.
The bigger picture: Fits and starts, as Seahawks president Tim Ruskell would put it.
Neither team was able to generate much of anything offensively because of penalties and nice plays by the defense. That’s how the Seahawks we went three-and-out twice on three possessions and the Vikings once in two possessions.
The Seahawks were able to generate pressure on Favre, as DL Cory Redding also had a sack. They also came at him with multiple-defensive backs sets, including one that feature three deep safeties.
As anticipated, cornerback Josh Wilson will not play today. He got a concussion in last week’s game against the Cardinals and has not been cleared to return. That means Kelly Jennings will start on the right side.
Defensive tackle Craig Terrill also is inactive. He got a shoulder injury against the Cardinals and did not practice until Friday, when he was limited. That means Red Bryant is active and will work in the rotation with starters Colin Cole and Brandon Mebane.
- RB Julius Jones
- CB Josh Wilson
- OG Mike Gibson
- OG Mansfield Wrotto
- TE Cameron Morrah
- DE Derek Walker
- 3rd QB: Mike Teel
For the Vikings, Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield is inactive. He has missed the past three games with a foot injury. He was hoping to return this week.
Also inactive for the Vikings:
- WR Jaymar Johnson
- RB Albert Young
- LB Erin Henderson
- C Jon Cooper
- DT Fred Evans
- DE Jayme Mitchell
- 3rd QB: Sage Rosenfels
Greetings from the Hump Dome – or Mall of America Field the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, if you must – where the Seahawks will attempt to shock the football world today when they meet the 8-1 Vikings.
While things haven’t gone exactly as planned for the 3-6 Seahawks, things couldn’t be going much better for the Vikings. This is the second of three consecutive road games for the Seahawks, who are 0-4 on the road; the second of three consecutive home games for the Vikings, who are 4-0 at home.
Another big difference in the plights of these teams: The Seahawks have had 12 starters miss a combined 43 games, and counting since leading rusher Julius Jones won’t play today and cornerback Josh Wilson might not; the Vikings have had two starters miss a total of four games.
Where to begin with all the challenges facing the Seahawks: Brett Favre, the NFL’s highest-rated passer; Adrian Peterson, the NFC’s leading rusher; Steve Hutchinson, the All-Pro guard (and ex-Seahawk) who anchors a big, physical line; Jared Allen, who leads the NFC in sacks; rookie Percy Harvin, who leads the league in kickoff return average.
Daunting, indeed. But doable? We’re all about to find out.
For those watching at home, the voices will be familiar because Dick Stockton and Charles Davis are doing their fourth Seahawks game in a row – and sixth this season. Today is Stockton’s birthday.
We’ll be back later with the inactives.