Week 11 Endgame: The blueprint for victory – Vikings vs. Seahawks

Seahawks keys for success

The Seahawks look to head into their bye week with a record 10-1 for the first time in franchise history.

This game will be no cakewalk for the NFC leader.  Despite the Vikings 2-7 record they are definitely a team that could pull out the upset if Seattle doesn’t follow a simple blueprint for victory.

This week is all about the return.

According to Pete Carroll Russell Okung, Breno Giacomini and Percy Harvin will all be game time decisions on Sunday.  My gut tells me we will see all three players on the field.

Russell Okung is not currently on the Seahawks 53-man roster so a roster move is in order for Saturday.  The way Pete dodged questions in the press conference leads me to believe that Seattle will place cornerback Brandon Browner on injured reserve with a groin injury to open a roster spot for Russell.

The three returning players have not played football in a long time, Percy has not played in a game in over a year, so we can expect to see some rust.  It is important that the Seahawks do not rely too heavily on those players even as exciting as it is to have them back.

The Seahawks special teams coverage unit has been special in both kickoff and punt coverage this season.

Sunday they face their biggest test as they face the NFL‘s leading kick returner (Cordarrelle Patterson) who averaging 35.2 yards-per-return, and the NFL’s leading punt returner (Marcus Sherels) who is averaging 16.3 yards per return.

Russell should feel safer. He gets Okung, Unger and Giacomini back

Russell should feel safer. He gets Okung, Unger and Giacomini back

Patterson has two kick returns for touchdowns this season including a 109-yard return.  Steven Hauschka will need to keep the ball away from Cordarrelle, like Redskin’s kicker Kai Forbath did last week, and the coverage unit will need to be on their game if Peterson does get his hands on the ball.

Punt coverage is a big strength for Seattle as they have only allowed 15 yards this season.  Either that is going to go way up on Sunday or Marcus’ average is going to drop.

The Seahawks need to make sure Sherels leaves town disappointed.

It’s Not The Bye Week Yet

The most important thing for the Seahawks to remember is not to pack their suitcases for vacation too early.

I know the bye week is rather late in the season but the players must find a way to keep their mind on the cold FieldTurf at CenturyLink Field and not on a beach somewhere in Hawaii.

Even with Russell Okung, Max Unger and Breno Giacomini back on the line this week, again I’m projecting Okung and Giacomini play, it is going to be a tall order for them to stop the Vikings pass rush.

The Vikings are only ranked 22nd in the NFL in sacks this season but they have three very capable pass rushers on the defensive line and they seemed to get it going last week.

The offensive line must find a way to keep Jared Allen, Brian Robinson and Kevin Williams away from Russell Wilson.  Last week the Vikings defense led a come from behind victory using 4 second-half sacks and constant pressure to hold Washington to just 3 points after the half.

Two games in a row the Seahawks defense struggled to maintain gap integrity in the running game.  They got torched on the ground because of it.  Last week against the Falcons they seemed to have fixed that problem.

Sunday it will be of the upmost importance for every player to maintain their responsibility to limit Adrian Peterson’s big runs.

On paper the Seahawks should manhandle the Vikings but we all know how well that worked against the Buccaneers two weeks ago.  

I do think the Seahawks are going to win the game but it will be a nail-biter.

Seahawks win 24-21 with Percy Harvin getting his first touchdown as a Seahawk against his former team.

Go Seahawks!


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About Brett Bivens

Born and raised in Spokane. Moved to Seattle in 2006. A Seahawks fan since he can remember, Seahawks season ticket holder for 5 years!. He blogs, tweets and bleeds blue and green. 12th Man For Life! Connect with Brett today!
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