Sunday’s Seattle Game Has Become a Must Win

Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson
Aug 24, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) meet after the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Over at The Vikings Gazette, I offered up my “Tuesday Reflections,” a weekly piece that takes a closer look at three pertinent Vikings topics. The first one covered whether our upcoming Seahawks game is a must win:

Technically, no Week 3 game is a must-win. I mean, we could lose that game, dropping to 0-3. We could then, in theory, put together 14 straight wins, finishing with an impressive 14-3 record. Doing so would likely result in a first-round bye. Of course, such a scenario is supremely unlikely. In all likelihood, our Vikings will need to grind out the season. The best case scenario is likely a 10-7 finish (give or take a game or two) that results in a wild card spot.

Getting into the playoffs will now be a grind. Our self-inflicted wounds made this a reality. Don’t miss that point: we didn’t lose the Cincinnati and Arizona games because they forced us into errors. We lost those games because of boneheaded penalties and then a missed field. Those are things that were fully in our control.

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Well, another thing that’s largely in our control is how we play against Seattle. They’re a strong team. Russell Wilson, somehow, is still underrated. Metcalf and Lockett are a tremendous pair of receivers. Pete Carroll has proven to be an excellent head coach; he has had consistent success over the past decade. One could even make the argument that his Seahawks are the most impressive NFC team of the 2010s.

None of that should matter to Zim’s Vikings. All they should be focusing on is how they can eliminate their own errors. Doing so will lead to a better outcome.

Of course, having a must-win game against the Seahawks is far from ideal. Let’s breakdown our recent history.

2015: We go toe-to-toe with a superior team in the opening round of the playoffs. We even held a two-score lead in the second half. Unfortunately, a Blair Walsh missed field goal from 27 yards doomed us.
2018: We lost the game 21-7. It was the John DeFilippo year. He was fired after the game.
2019: We lost a slobberknocker 37-30, dropping us to 8-4. Far from disastrous, but yet another instance when we failed to overcome Seattle.
2020: Where should we begin with this one? We dominated the time of possession, but costly errors sunk us (sound familiar?). There was the Cousins INT, the Mattison miss, and the Dantzler coverage fiasco. We lost a game we ought to have won.

Taken together, we get a pretty clear picture: Minnesota really struggles to beat Seattle. We’ve lost to them three straight years. Kirk Cousins has been our QB during this stretch. Perhaps you could say we’re due for a win.

Arif Hasan’s recent piece at The Athletic suggests Minnesota has roughly a one-in-nine chance of making the playoffs following their 0-2 start. We can be sure that the odds would drop considerably if we fail to get to 1-2. In other words, there’s no time like the present to kick the Seattle struggles.

Our season may depend on it.

Read Also:

Cameron Dantzler Should Start Week 3
Minnesota in The Memes: Commiserating Together, Week 2 Edition
The End of The Vikings First Half Still Has Me Scratching My Head
Numbers Check: Offensive Outburst Not Enough to Propel the Vikings to a Win
Joseph Takes Blame for Loss, Zim Defends Kicker