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.”
Live updates and highlights can be found below.
December 2, 2019 at 11:09 PM EST
Cousins-to-Rudolph TD gets Vikes closer
Kirk Cousins’s second touchdown pass of the fourth quarter has gotten the Vikings closer. Tight end Kyle Rudolph reached high to make a one-handed catch of a pass by Cousins for a three-yard touchdown. Kicker Dan Bailey missed the extra point but the Vikings have scored 13 straight points after surrendering 24 straight points to the Seahawks. (Seahawks 34, Vikings 30 with 7:14 left in the 4th quarter)
December 2, 2019 at 11:03 PM EST
Metcalf loses fumble
The Seahawks squandered a chance to add to their lead when rookie wide receiver D.K. Metcalf lost a fumble at the Minnesota 28-yard line after a catch. The play originally was ruled an incomplete pass. But that on-field call was changed to a catch and a fumble after a challenge by the Vikings and an instant replay review. The Seahawks earlier had extended their drive with a successful fake punt. (Seahawks 34, Vikings 24 with 9:34 left in the 4th quarter)
December 2, 2019 at 10:48 PM EST
Cousins-to-Treadwell TD ends Seattle’s scoring run
The Vikings have gotten on the board in the second half after 24 straight points by the Seahawks. Kirk Cousins threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Laquon Treadwell. Cousins moved out of the pocket to his right and lofted a pass to the wide-open Treadwell, who made the grab easily and coasted his way into the end zone. (Seahawks 34, Vikings 24 with 12:49 left in the 4th quarter)
December 2, 2019 at 10:43 PM EST
Seahawks are pouring it on
Seattle has turned this game into a runaway with 24 straight points to begin the second half. Running back Rashaad Penny turned a screen pass from Russell Wilson into a 13-yard touchdown. The Seahawks cashed in on cornerback Tre Flowers’s interception of a pass by Kirk Cousins. It was the first interception thrown by Cousins in his last 202 passing attempts. (Seahawks 34, Vikings 17 with 13:30 left in the 4th quarter)
December 2, 2019 at 10:35 PM EST
Wilson-to-Moore TD increases Seattle’s lead
The Seahawks upped their lead with a 60-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to wide receiver David Moore. Seattle’s big play victimized Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who watched Moore sprint past him and seemed to be looking for deep help in coverage from a safety that never materialized. The Seahawks outscored the Vikings, 17-0, in the third quarter to take control of the game. (Seahawks 27, Vikings 17 with 5 seconds left in the 3rd quarter)
December 2, 2019 at 10:20 PM EST
Seahawks get FG off fumble recovery
Seattle took over at the Minnesota 26-yard line after the fumble lost by Vikings tailback Dalvin Cook. But the Seahawks could manage only a 29-yard field goal by kicker Jason Myers. (Seahawks 20, Vikings 17 with 5:46 left in the 3rd quarter)
December 2, 2019 at 10:14 PM EST
Calamitous play for Vikings
Talk about a bad play for the Vikings. Tailback Dalvin Cook lost a fumble and suffered a shoulder injury on the play. He was taken to the locker room and is questionable to return to the game. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs also was hurt on the play but is said to be fine and set to return. (Vikings 17, Seahawks 17 with 8:50 left in the 3rd quarter)
December 2, 2019 at 10:06 PM EST
Seattle gets even
The Seahawks tied the game at 17 with a one-yard touchdown run by tailback Rashaad Penny on their first possession of the second half. The Vikings aided Seattle’s drive with a 15-yard personal foul, and Chris Carson had a 25-yard run to set up first and goal from the 5-yard line. (Vikings 17, Seahawks 17 with 9:02 left in the 3rd quarter)
December 2, 2019 at 9:45 PM EST
Halftime in Seattle
The Vikings have a 17-10 halftime lead in Seattle, in a game with major implications for both of these teams and others in the jockeying for NFC playoff seeding, after Minnesota kicker Dan Bailey connected on a 47-yard field goal as time expired in the half. Quarterback Kirk Cousins moved the Vikings down the field skillfully in the final minute of the half to set up Bailey’s kick. His 10-yard completion to wide receiver Stefon Diggs got the ball to the Seattle 29-yard line and the Vikings managed to call a timeout with one second remaining.
Cousins, seeking his first career victory on “Monday Night Football,” continued his improved play, completing 13 of 17 first-half throws for 125 yards. The Vikings stuck mostly to a short-passing game that enabled Cousins to get the football out of his hand quickly to negate the Seahawks’ pass rush at deafening CenturyLink Field.
It was Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, not Cousins, who made the crucial first-half mistake. Wilson threw an interception for a touchdown on a wild double deflection. Wilson, after having the ball knocked into the air at the line of scrimmage, inadvertently batted the football directly to Minnesota safety Anthony Harris, who made the catch and went 20 yards to the end zone.
Earlier, the Vikings scored in a more conventional manner on a two-yard touchdown run by tailback Dalvin Cook.
Wilson had only 98 first-half passing yards for the Seahawks, who got a one-yard touchdown run by tailback Chris Carson in the first quarter. (Vikings 17, Seahawks 10 at halftime)
December 2, 2019 at 9:30 PM EST
Seahawks get FG
This time, Seattle could reply to a Minnesota touchdown with only a field goal. Kicker Jason Myers connected from 29 yards. Russell Wilson threw incomplete toward wide receiver Tyler Lockett into the end zone on third and nine from the Minnesota 11-yard line just before the field goal. (Vikings 14, Seahawks 10 with 58 seconds left in the 2nd quarter)
December 2, 2019 at 9:18 PM EST
Vikes take lead with crazy pick-six
The Vikings retook the lead with an interception for a touchdown on a double deflection that included an ill-fated bat of the football by Russell Wilson. The pass by Wilson initially was deflected by Vikings defensive tackle Armon Watts. Wilson apparently attempted to knock the loose football to the turf for an incompletion. Instead, he batted the ball into the air directly to safety Anthony Harris, who made the catch for the interception and raced 20 yards to the end zone. (Vikings 14, Seahawks 7 with 5:09 left in the 2nd quarter)
December 2, 2019 at 8:47 PM EST
Seahawks reply quickly to draw even
The Seahawks replied to the Minnesota touchdown with one of their own. Tailback Chris Carson scored on a one-yard touchdown run to finish a 14-play drive that took more than eight minutes off the clock. Russell Wilson connected with rookie wide receiver D.K. Metcalf for 19 yards on a slant pattern to give Seattle a first down at the 1-yard line, and Carson got into the end zone on second down. He was cleared to return to the game after being evaluated for a concussion following the Seahawks’ opening possession of the game. (Vikings 7, Seahawks 7 with 11 seconds left in the 1st quarter)
December 2, 2019 at 8:32 PM EST
Vikes strike first
The Vikings are playing without wide receiver Adam Thielen, who’s on the inactive list because of a hamstring injury, but they have the early lead in Seattle thanks to a terrific opening drive. Tailback Dalvin Cook scored on a two-yard touchdown run to cap an 83-yard march. Fullback C.J. Ham broke a tackle for a 36-yard gain after catching a short dump-off pass by quarterback Kirk Cousins. Wideout Stefon Diggs went 27 yards on an end-around. It’s a great start for Cousins as he seeks his first career “Monday Night Football” triumph in eight tries. The touchdown came after the Minnesota defense forced a Seahawks punt on the night’s opening possession. (Vikings 7, Seahawks 0 with 8:12 left in the 1st quarter)
December 2, 2019 at 7:46 PM EST
It’s a big game for Vikings, Seahawks … and 49ers, Saints and Packers
The Vikings’ game Monday night in Seattle is big for both teams — and for the Packers, Niners and New Orleans Saints as the NFC playoff chase intensifies.
A triumph by the Seahawks would improve their record to 10-2 and allow them to overtake the 49ers for first place in the NFC West. They hold the tiebreaker advantage over San Francisco by virtue of their thrilling overtime victory over the Niners. The 49ers and Saints already are 10-2 ahead of their matchup in New Orleans on Sunday. The loser of the Seahawks-Niners division race will be relegated to being a wild-card team and will have to play a first-round postseason game on the road.
The Vikings, at 8-3, are trying to keep pace with the Packers atop the NFC North. Green Bay is 9-3 and owns the tiebreaker edge after defeating the Vikings in Week 2 at Lambeau Field.
This game presents another prime-time opportunity for Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. It has been a new version of Cousins this season. He struggled in Year 1 in Minnesota but has thrived this season with 21 touchdown passes, only three interceptions and a passer rating of 114.8. He suddenly is living up to that fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million contract. He has had a passer rating above 110 in six of his last seven games.
Cousins’s struggles in big games are well known. He has a career record of 7-13 in prime-time games, including 2-7 on the road. With Cousins at quarterback, the Vikings are 3-9-1 against winning teams, including 1-7-1 on the road. But this is the new Cousins, remember. He and the Vikings won at Dallas last month in their most recent prime-time game.
Of course, the Seahawks would feel good about their chances if this game becomes a quarterback duel, with Russell Wilson perhaps trailing only Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson in the league MVP competition.
Injuries will be an issue for both teams. Wide receiver Adam Thielen, defensive tackle Linval Joseph and safety Harrison Smith are listed as questionable on the injury report for the Vikings. For the Seahawks, defensive tackle Jarran Reed, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and linebacker Mychal Kendricks are listed as questionable.
December 2, 2019 at 7:45 PM EST
How to watch Vikings at Seahawks
When: Monday at 8:15 p.m. Eastern time
Where: CenturyLink Field in Seattle