The Vikings encountered early adversity on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium and they weren't able to recover, dropping a 38-7 decision to the two-time defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. The loss drops the Vikings to 8-4 and to 2nd place in the NFC North.
Here are five takeaways from Sunday's loss to Seattle…
1. Injuries took their toll
**The Vikings entered the game without DT Linval Joseph, and by the time they entered the 2nd quarter they didn't have LB Anthony Barr and S Harrison Smith. They both were forced from the game because of injuries. There is a "next man up" mentality in the NFL and it's incumbent uon backups to step up when their number is called, but there's no question the Vikings defense is a much different outfit without the three aforementioned players. The absence of Barr, Joseph and Smith hurt the Vikings defense's ability to make plays and contain Seattle QB Russell Wilson and RB Thomas Rawls.
2. Russell Wilson made plays outside the pocket
Speaking of Wilson, he continuously made plays to extend drives and put points on the board, doing so while breaking the pocket to buy time for his playmakers and/or tuck the ball and run. Wilson had 9 carries for 51 yards, including an 8-yard TD run in the 2nd quarter. Wilson also had a 53-yard TD run nullified by an offensive holding penalty. Also, Vikings defenders pressured Wilson frequently during the game, but he was able to escape and wound up taking just one sack on the afternoon.
3. Danielle Hunter, Cordarrelle Patterson flashed
**There were two players who provided bright spots in what was otherwise a lopsided loss. Rookie DE Danielle Hunter had another tackle for loss, bringing down Wilson on a QB keeper. Hunter now has a TFL in four consecutive games and in five of his last six games. Cordarrelle Patterson and the kickoff return team were responsible for the only points scored by the Vikings on the day, with Patterson taking a kickoff back 101 yards for a TD in the 3rd quarter.
4. Penalties reared their head again
**The Vikings are one of the least penalized teams in the league, but on Sunday they were penalized frequently. Seattle's first scoring drive was extended when Terence Newman was called for a defensive holding penalty on 3rd 4, on a play when Wilson threw incomplete. On Seattle's second scoring drive, the Vikings were penalized twice –for unnecessary roughness to tack on 15 yards to a 29-yard completion and another unnecessary roughness after a sack of Wilson to make it 1st and 10 from the MIN 11. The offense committed penalties, too. At one point in the 3rd quarter, the Vikings offense committed penalties on three consecutive plays and was staring at 1st and 38. All told, the Vikings were penalized 9 times for 95 yards.
5. Thursday's contest will be another big challenge
Sunday was rough for the Vikings, but the road doesn't get any smoother. The Vikings have a short week in front of them, as they'll travel to Arizona on Wednesday for a Thursday night game against the NFC West leading Arizona Cardinals, who won on Sunday and are now 10-2.