The Vikings lost their fourth game of the season on Sunday night in devastating fashion as Russell Wilson hit DK Metcalf in the end zone on fourth and goal with only seconds left.
While the Vikings made some impressive plays throughout the game, this one was, for the most part, a tale of two halves.
In the first half, the Vikings dominated the Seahawks, masterfully marching down the field, converting in key situations, and getting Seattle off of the field on third downs. Gary Kubiak had an excellent game plan prepared. He kept the defense off balance with a nice mix of a variety of run plays, screens, play action passes, and well-timed draws. The defense played an excellent first half as well, keeping two safeties back deep for most of the first half and effectively getting after Russell Wilson while only rushing four defenders, recording four sacks in the first half.
At half time the Vikings were leading 13-0. They were dominating the time of possession and had significantly more first downs than the Seahawks had. By 8:02 of the third quarter, they were trailing 21-13.
The most significant plays that lead to the turnaround were two turnovers by Cousins and the injury to Dalvin Cook. The Seahawks also made some nice half time adjustments on defense, selling out to pressure Cousins instead of sitting back and playing coverage, which, for the most part, worked out to their advantage.
A tactical error that the Vikings made was attempting the two-point conversion with three minutes left in the third quarter. At that point in the game, it was too early to be concerned with tying up the score. Instead, they should have taken the nearly automatic extra point. The extra point would have eliminated the fourth down dilemma late in the game. If they had that point the field goal would have made it a two possession game. As far as the decision that was made, it seemed to be the right call even though it didn’t work out in this particular instance.
Despite the soul-crushing loss, there were several bright spots. Eric Wilson had a tremendous game. He made an excellent play sniffing out a screen and making a tackle for a loss, as well as recording a sack and an interception. Irv Smith Jr. also had a decent game, making several crucial catches for first down conversions.
This one was a tough loss for the Vikings. However, they did play well through adversity and showed up in a prime time game on the road against an undefeated Seahawks team.
Next week the Vikings will return home to U.S. Bank Stadium to host the 0-5 Atlanta Falcons.