Lynch, Wilson help Seahawks race past Vikings

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- The feet of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch were enough to overcome those of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
Wilson's scrambling and Lynch's rumbling helped Seattle take a 30-20 win over the Vikings on a clear and unseasonably warm afternoon Sunday at CenturyLink Field.
The Seahawks (5-4) snapped a two-game losing streak and stayed undefeated at home this season. The Vikings (5-4) are backtracking after a strong 5-2 start.
Wilson, frequently avoiding pass rushers, completed 16 of 24 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns. Lynch topped 100 rushing yards for the fifth time this season, finishing with 124 yards on 26 carries.
The Vikings' offense was stifled in the second half when it went away from Peterson and began throwing much more often. After Peterson gained 144 yards on 12 carries in the first half, he was given the ball just five more times in the second half for another 38 yards. Peterson finished with a season-high 182 yards on just 17 carries despite not practicing Friday because of an ankle injury.
Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said the Seahawks began to put eight or nine defenders in the tackle box, so the Vikings thought passing opportunities would be there.
Peterson was diplomatic, but he did not know why the Vikings changed tactics.
"I always want the ball more," Peterson said. "That's my mentality, especially when I'm hot. I go out and do my job no matter what the play call is. That's all I can do."
The altered strategy put the game in the hands of Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, who had a woeful afternoon. He was 11-for-22 for 63 yards and an interception.
"We as coaches need to figure out what we need to do to create balance," Frazier said. "I don't think Christian is the problem."
Lynch's 3-yard touchdown run expanded Seattle's lead to 27-17 with 6:15 to go in the third quarter. After ineffective starts to the second half by both offenses, Seattle was able to put together a nine-play, 72-yard drive that ended with Lynch's fourth touchdown of the season.
Blair Walsh kicked a 55-yard field goal with 1:47 left in the third quarter to pull Minnesota within 27-20. Replays showed that the play clock expired prior to the snap, which left Seahawks coach Pete Carroll furious, but officials missed it and the kick was good.
Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka tacked on a 40-yard field with 6:23 to go in the game. Faced with third-and-22 from the 27-yard line, the Seahawks stayed conservative and handed the ball to Lynch to set up the field goal.
Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate helicoptered into the end zone for a 20-17 Seahawks lead with 52 seconds left in the first half. The former Notre Dame star turned a short screen into an 11-yard touchdown when he cut back to avoid two Minnesota defenders, then launched into the air just before the goal line.
Tate was smacked while in the air, causing him to spin, crash to the ground and lose the ball. However, he had already cracked the goal line, giving him his second touchdown of the day.
"That was crazy," Carroll said. "I'll be all over him, but that was great.
"We'll be talking about that one. The problem wasn't the leap so much, the (football) was way over here somewhere."
Tate said, "I know I put myself out there, and I tried to cover the ball up, but the guy hit me so hard that I kind of lost it. I thought I was in, but you know how that all goes."
Wilson again displayed his mobility when he rolled right and threw to Sidney Rice for an 11-yard touchdown on third-and-9 that put Seattle up 14-7 with 3:15 left in the first quarter. Seattle's 80-yard drive was a mix of Lynch running, Wilson creating plays on the move and even a pass from Rice to tight end Zach Miller for a first down.
"That's what happens when he scrambles, he is able to make some plays," Frazier said.
Peterson answered with a 4-yard touchdown run, his second score of the day. A 24-yard pass interference penalty on Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant on third-and-9 put the Vikings at Seattle's 20-yard line. Peterson powered in four plays later to tie the game for the second time with 11:46 left in the second quarter.
Peterson ran 12 times for 144 yards in the first half. It was the first time Peterson had topped 100 yards in a first half since Nov. 15, 2009, against the Detroit Lions, and the seventh time in his career.
"At halftime, we were like, look, we don't need the coaches to tell us he's kicking our (rear)," Seattle defensive end Red Bryant said.
Walsh kicked a 36-yard field goal with 5:29 left in the half to put Minnesota up 17-14 after Peterson tied the score.
Peterson's 74-yard carry on the second play of the game brought Minnesota to the Seahawks' 1-yard line and encapsulated all of the running back's abilities. He threw two stiff-arms to make the right corner, then cut back inside on a safety. Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner tripped him up just before the goal line, but Peterson ran the ball in on second-and-goal for a 7-0 Minnesota lead with 13:15 left in the first quarter.
A Percy Harvin fumble that Trufant forced and recovered at the Minnesota 17-yard line put Seattle in business. Wilson found Tate across the back of the end zone to tie the game 7-7 with nine minutes left in the first quarter.
NOTES: Harvin hurt his ankle when he was tackled with 3:18 remaining in the third quarter. He limped off after being looked at on the field. Harvin returned briefly on Minnesota's first possession of the fourth quarter before coming off again. ... Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright was taken out in the first half due to concussion symptoms and did not return. ... Seattle center Max Unger suffered a hand injury during the game. He received X-rays but later returned to action. ... Seattle wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was active for his first NFL game. He caught one pass for 6 yards. ... Sixteen-year NBA veteran Detlef Schrempf raised the 12th Man flag.

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