Fresh off their potential playoff crushing loss to Arizona last week, the Seahawks get to spend the weekend before Thanksgiving on the carving board, staring at Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings.
INJURIES:Running back Julius Jones will miss Sunday's showdown with what is now being called a bruised lung(initially, it was believed to be a cracked rib). That means Justin Forsett, the team's most explosive runner all season, will get his first career start. Unfortunately, it comes against one of the league's top run defenses.
Speaking of said defense, Vikings' Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield is listed as questionable, as he's still nursing a sore ankle on top of a still-healing broken foot. He's likely a game-time decision. Middle linebacker E.J. Henderson looks like a go. He's been hampered by a knee injury, but is listed as probable. Wide receiver Bernard Berrian is questionable with a sore hammy. His possible absence means more playing time for electrifying rookie Percy Harvin.
PLAYER TO WATCH:Seahawks WR Nate Burleson – Burleson was only targeted four times last week against the Cardinals and was held without a catch. That should change this week as Burleson will be determined to put on a show against his former team. Some will remember a few years back when Burleson was a free agent and ended up in Seattle as what seemed like payback for the Vikings stealing Pro Bowl guard Steve Hutchinson away from the Seahawks that same offseason. Burleson's effectiveness might increase if Antoine Winfield has to sit out once again, weakening this Minnesota secondary.
KEY MATCHUP:Seahawks Run D vs. Adrian Peterson – Lost in all of the Brett Favre hoopla has been the consistently remarkable play from Vikings' All-Pro RB Adrian Peterson. Peterson is 3rd in the league in rushing with 917 yards and is 2nd in the NFL in rushing TDs with 11. His strong play combined with the Vikings' stellar 8-1 start should garner All Day serious MVP buzz(though that seems like a longshot given the fact the media swoons over Favre the way teenage girls swoon over the new Twilight movie). While it's been proven that the Vikings can still win even when defenses key in on stopping AP, that shouldn't discourage Seahawks coach Jim Mora from doing everything he can to shut down Peterson(and, if possible, get some pressure on Favre).
OUTLOOK:The duo of Favre and Peterson are just too much for most defenses, especially one as uninspiring as Seattle's. Favre's offensive line has protected the old man like Fort Knox, allowing only 19 sacks all season. Meanwhile, the Seahawks run D is allowing four yards a carry and a little over 100 yards a game. That doesn't bode well when facing the league's best back, especially at home. On the other side of the ball, the Vikings lead the league in sacks and are facing a Seahawks' offensive line that has resembled a turnstile all season. The sum of those factors equal a long night for Jim Mora and company. This one should be over by halftime.
SCORE: Vikings 38, Seahawks 7
About the Author
Written by Dave Leonardis
Born and raised in New Jersey, I've been writing since I was 10 and blogging since I was 18. I'm a huge sports nerd, following football, baseball and basketball in particular in close detail. My style is very upfront. I don't pull punches and I'm not shy about criticizing anything I feel deserves a proper tongue-lashing. If you're looking for someone who says what he wants, when he wants, then look no further than this guy right here.