MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – After two narrow losses to start the season, Kirk Cousins and Minnesota Vikings found a foolproof way to avoid the type of shocking finish that has haunted them more often.
They put this game away beforehand – against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks, no less.
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“It’s a razor,” cousins said. “You live it both ways.”
The Cousins threw three touchdown passes before halftime and guided three clock-draining field goal runs after that as the Vikings cruised to a 30-17 victory Sunday for their first win over the Seahawks in 12 years.
“It’s the best offensive performance I’ve seen in the eight years I’ve been here,” coach Mike Zimmer said.
Alexander Mattison stepped in for the injured Dalvin Cook and got 171 yards in total and rushed 18 times in 76 yards in the second half. After losing 27-24 in overtime in Cincinnati and 34-33 in Arizona, the Vikings (1-2) beat their pace in the second quarter, taking the lead with 16 seconds left of the half and never losing control by 23 equal points.
They beat Seattle for the first time with Pete Carroll as coach and Russell Wilson as quarterback, after losing away from home in each of the last three years to stretch their losing streak to seven. Last season, Mattison was stopped without a win at fourth-and-1 on the 6-yard line with 1:57 left, and the Vikings led by five points. Wilson drove the Seahawks the other way to the winning touchdown.
“We certainly owed it to them,” Mattison said, describing this game as a “little revenge.”
Cousins provided the type of steel performance to defeat a more decorated peer the Vikings have lacked in his four seasons. He went 30 for 38 for 323 yards in his third consecutive game without turnover, and the Vikings converted nine of 14 thirds.
“It’s been another Kirk,” said wide receiver Adam Thielen. “He is just locked in and on time. He trusts it. I think a big part of that is our o-line and the way they block and give him enough time to sit back there and do his readings. ”
The touchdown passes to Tyler Conklin, Thielen and Justin Jefferson in the first half filled the highlights. The methodical marches after the break were equally impressive and important. Even better for the Vikings, Greg Joseph jumped back from his 37-yard miss at the game’s final game last week in Arizona, scoring all three of his field goals and all three extra points.
Wilson went 23 for 32 for 298 yards and a touchdown pass to DK Metcalf on the first drive, and Chris Carson carried 12 times for 80 yards and a score in the second quarter.
Then a 44-yard kick by Jason Myers went wide to the left, ending his record-breaking record of 37 straight field goals made, the fourth longest in NFL history. The Seahawks never got past the Minnesota 43-yard line after that. They had 81 yards in total after the break.
The Seahawks (1-2) are in last place in the stacked NFC West, which puts them in a good bind if they want to revive strife.
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“We have to make sure we get it right and get better and improve and make some adjustments so it doesn’t look the same as it did,” Carroll said.
The Seahawks wasted a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter last week and lost in overtime to Tennessee.
“We can not keep letting them like this and last game slip away when we have opportunities ahead of us,” linebacker Carlos Dunlap said. “The opportunities do not come twice, so we have to take advantage of each one because they count. They mean something. ”
Seattle’s first visit of the regular season at the US Bank Stadium was greeted by the noisy crowd from a crowd that waited 21 months to watch the home team and had more than three extra hours to clap before starting in the late afternoon. False snow was sprinkled from the rafters to suit the Nordic theme that the Vikings have adopted since they moved in five years ago.
The last time the Seahawks played an off-season game in Minnesota was the wild-card round in record-breaking subzero cold on January 9, 2016, when Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal for the Vikings near the end of Seattle’s 10-9 victory . This time, sunlight from an 82-degree day streamed in through the open glass doors behind the west end.
Seahawks: When DE Benson Mayowa (neck) was already inactive, colleague left starter and DE Kerry Hyder Jr. left. (concussion) in the second quarter. … LB Jordyn Brooks (leg cramps) was sacked in the fourth quarter. … Jamarco Jones replaced Brandon Shell (ankle) in the starting lineup at RT. Exhausted rookie Jake Curhan also took some snaps there. Jones was ill in the third quarter.
Vikings: LB Anthony Barr (knee) was inactive for the third game in a row. He has not played for more than a year. … Ihmir Smith-Marsette hurt his toe in the second quarter and was replaced by kickoff returns by Ameer Abdullah.
Seahawks: visit San Francisco next Sunday, their first game against an NFC West enemy.
Vikings: host Cleveland next Sunday, their second of three home games in a row.
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