The Vikings upended the Seahawks 21-20 thanks to a thrilling comeback drive capped with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Sloter to Chad Beebe and a 2-point conversion pass to Jake Wieneke in the final minute.
Minnesota’s starting offense played the entire first half and corrected many aspects that undermined the Vikings against Jacksonville when they netted 13 yards on 16 plays. The Vikings also had just one penalty for five yards, compared to seven for 47 yards by the Seahawks.
On Friday, however, the first-team ran 15 plays for a net of 54 yards on its opening possession and totaled 209 yards on 43 plays, capitalizing on what is likely the final “dress rehearsal” before the regular season opens Sept. 9.
The Vikings (2-1) will close their preseason slate by visiting the Tennessee Titans on Thursday. Kickoff will be 7 p.m. (CT).
Here are three stats that stood out in the Vikings win over the Seahawks.
1. 21 first downs (17 by passing)
The Vikings earned 21 first downs, and moved the chains by passing on 17 of those occasions, three times by running the ball and once on a penalty.
That rate might seem a little tilted toward the pass, but it also reflects Minnesota involving running backs and fullback C.J. Ham in the passing game to counter a Seattle defense that was stiff against the run.
Minnesota was 12-of-21 on third downs (57 percent) a week after going 0-for-12, and the first team was 7-for-10.
Dalvin Cook converted the first with a 1-yard run on his second of two carries. Latavius Murray scored on a 1-yard touchdown on a third-and-goal play.
Kirk Cousins was 6-of-8 passing for 78 yards on third downs. Although he lamented a few missed opportunities, five of the completions were good for first downs.
2. 5.3 to 3.7
The Seahawks outgained the Vikings an average of 5.3 yards per play to 3.7, but Minnesota had 79 offensive snaps, compared to Seattle’s 64.
While alarming at first, the numbers were impacted significantly by a 55-yard pass completion on the game’s final play. Removing that play knocks down Seattle’s average to 4.5 yards.
One area of mild concern, however, was that the Seahawks averaged 4.3 yards per carry and limited the Vikings to 2.4 yards per carry.
Head Coach Mike Zimmer said it appeared that Seattle’s offense specifically game-planned to go against Minnesota’s defense and utilized trap plays against the interior of the Vikings defense. Zimmer also mentioned spotting a couple of missed tackles that led to bigger gains.
3. 3-for-3 and 2-for-2
The Vikings missed a couple of opportunities for points when a pair of 42-yard field goals by Daniel Carlson were wide left.
Minnesota, however, was 3-for-3 in the red zone, including 2-for-2 in goal-to-go situations, meaning the Vikings scored touchdowns on all three trips inside the Seahawks 20-yard line and on both occasions when advancing the ball inside the 10.
Like all teams, the Vikings know the importance of touchdowns over field goals. They have stressed being efficient in the red zone all offseason and capitalized there again Friday.
Minnesota is 8-for-9 in red zone efficiency for a percentage of 88.9 that ranks second in the NFL and is a perfect 4-for-4 in goal-to-go situations.