It is a different version of Kirk Cousins on display this season for the Minnesota Vikings. After a disappointing first season in Minnesota, Cousins has been a reliable quarterback in Year 2 for the Vikings, beginning to justify the fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million contract handed to him.

But even this upgraded version of Cousins is not different enough to beat Russell Wilson on “Monday Night Football.” Not quite. Cousins remained winless in his career in Monday night games as the Seattle Seahawks, putting aside one unsightly gaffe by Wilson, reshuffled the playoff positioning in the NFC by using a second-half scoring flurry to beat the Vikings, 37-30, in Seattle.

The Seahawks scored 24 straight second-half points to turn a 17-10 halftime deficit into a 34-17 lead in the fourth quarter and held on from there. They improved to 10-2 and moved in front of the San Francisco 49ers for first place in the NFC West. The Niners also are 10-2 but the Seahawks hold the tiebreaker edge by virtue of a head-to-head overtime triumph.

Seattle currently is the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoff chase. The New Orleans Saints took over the NFC’s top seed entering the final quarter of the regular season, while the 49ers plummeted from first to fifth.

“We’re right where we want to be,” Wilson told ESPN afterward. “We’ve just got to keep working hard and keep staying poised, keep staying neutral. Don’t get too high. Don’t get too low. Ignore the noise and play ball. Let’s go win. Why not? Why not us? We really believe that. We really believe that we have everything that we need. We have everything that we want. We’ve got a lot of great players and we can do it.”

The Vikings, who dropped to 8-4, are the NFC’s No. 6 seed. They trail the first-place Green Bay Packers by a game in the NFC North.

Cousins fared reasonably well in a quarterbacking duel with Wilson, the league MVP candidate for the Seahawks. Cousins threw a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes as the Vikings scored 13 straight points.

They got the football back with a chance to craft a go-ahead drive. But Cousins threw incomplete on a fourth-and-three try from Minnesota’s 42-yard line with about 2 1/2 minutes remaining, leading to a Seahawks field goal that all but sealed the outcome with 21 seconds left. Seattle then recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff.

“I think we have a football team that can go on the road to a tough environment and get a win,” Cousins said at his postgame news conference. “I think that this was an opportunity we missed, and it’s disappointing. But I think tonight we were able to at least show a resilience, and you’re gonna need that to be able to win in December. And then if you do take care of business in December… then you get a chance in January. And that’s really what we want to do.”

Cousins’s career record in Monday night games dropped to 0-8. It was a potentially costly defeat for the Vikings, as tailback Dalvin Cook left the game with a shoulder injury suffered on a second-half play on which he lost a fumble. The Vikings were playing without wide receiver Adam Thielen, who was on the inactive list because of a hamstring injury. Fellow wideout Stefon Diggs also was hurt on the play on which Cook fumbled but returned to the game.

“After a game like tonight,” Cousins said, “I’d like to get out there tomorrow and play the next one. You just get back to work.”

The Vikings missed the playoffs last season after adding Cousins in free agency, upon his exit from the Washington Redskins, to be the final piece of a Super Bowl puzzle. Cousins’s reputation for failing in big moments and making crunch-time mistakes followed him from Washington to Minneapolis and, entering this season, he was regarded by many as a high-priced Vikings mistake. But he has been superb this season. His two-touchdown, one-interception outing Monday gives him 23 touchdown passes and only four interceptions on the season, with a passer rating of 111.9.

“We’re still in good shape,” Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer said. “We’re still a good football team.”

But the Seahawks probably are a better football team. Wilson threw a pair of second-half touchdown passes after a first-half blunder in which he inadvertently batted the football, after it was deflected at the line of scrimmage, to Vikings safety Anthony Harris for an interception for a touchdown.

“We stayed poised,” Wilson said. “We knew we were moving the ball. They had that one play where I tried to knock it down. We’ve got to work on my hops a little bit. But other than that, we stayed the course. We just kept believing and we just caught fire — came back, kept swinging and kept making plays.”

Running backs Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny each had a rushing touchdown for Seattle. The Seahawks amassed 218 rushing yards, and Wilson threw for 240 yards on 21-for-31 passing.

“This one was a great battle,” Wilson said. “It was a championship performance by both teams. There was a lot of great players on the field tonight. We stayed the course. We kept believing. Offensively we ran the ball well. We made our plays in the passing game when we needed to.”

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