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5 Takeaways: Vikings Show Fight But Comeback Falls Short

The Vikings missed a chance to make a statement in the NFC playoff race against the Seahawks on Monday Night Football.

Instead of keeping pace at the front of the NFC North, making the playoffs as a Wild Card team might be more likely after a 37-30 loss.

The Vikings entered the night 8-3, and a win would have pulled them even record-wise with the Packers. Although Green Bay would have had the tiebreaker from a Week 2 win, the Vikings could have won the NFC North by winning out.

Now, the Vikings are 8-4 and trail the Packers by a game in the division race. Minnesota will need to win its final four games and have Green Bay lose to either Chicago or Detroit for the Vikings to have a chance at the NFC North crown.

Minnesota and Green Bay will meet in Week 16 on Monday Night Football at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Here’s how the NFC playoff picture stands going into Week 14:

1. NO (10-2)

2. SEA (10-2)

3. GB (9-3)

4. DAL (6-6)

5. SF (10-2)

6. MIN (8-4)

Seattle jumped into the No. 2 seed with the win, as the Seahawks have the head-to-head tiebreaker over the 49ers.

New Orleans has already clinched the NFC South, the only team to do claim a division title so far.

View game action photos from the Vikings-Seahawks Monday Night Football matchup at Centurylink Field.

Here are four other takeaways:

1. No quit in this team

The Vikings have always been a resilient bunch under Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, as they have mirrored his tough and gritty mindset.

The nation saw that on full display Monday night as the Vikings showed plenty of heart during a fourth-quarter comeback that fell short.

Minnesota trailed 34-17 with 13:30 left in the fourth quarter but responded with 13 unanswered points to make it a game.

Laquon Treadwell and Kyle Rudolph caught touchdown passes from Kirk Cousins, and the defense forced a takeaway when Mackensie Alexander recovered a fumble forced by Xavier Rhodes.

2. Vikings lose time of possession battle

The talk all week was how the Vikings spent the bye week working on fixing their pass defense, but it was the rush defense that was an issue Monday night.

As a result, the Seahawks controlled the ball for 39 minutes and 45 seconds. The Vikings had possession for just 20:15.

Minnesota allowed a season-high 444 total yards, including a season-worst 218 on the ground against a strong Seahawks rushing attack.

Seattle averaged 5.1 yards per carry on 43 attempts, as running back Chris Carson led the way with 102 yards and a score on 23 carries. Rashaad Penny had 74 yards and a score on 15 carries. Seattle also had a rush for 29 yards by Travis Homer on a fake punt.

The Vikings had allowed just three rushing touchdowns all season before allowing two on Monday night.

3. Lack of complimentary football — By Lindsey Young

The Vikings preach complimentary football, but it wasn’t there on Monday night.

All three phases showed flashes throughout the evening, but mistakes and miscues across the board proved insurmountable by Minnesota.

The Vikings offense put together effective drives, but a fumble by Dalvin Cook and missed opportunities hobbled the team, particularly during a third quarter that unraveled for Minnesota. Meanwhile, the Vikings defense struggled to contain Seattle’s run game; Xavier Rhodes was flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty, and a 60-yard touchdown pass was given up in the third quarter.

Special teams saw its fair share of struggles, as well. Perhaps most noticeable was a missed extra-point attempt by Dan Bailey following Kyle Rudolph’s fourth quarter touchdown catch. C.J. Ham fumbled the final kickoff return of the game in Minnesota’s last-ditch effort to make something happen with under 20 seconds remaining.

The Seahawks also converted the fake punt on a fourth-and-3.

4. End of 1st half example of successful 2-minute drill — By Lindsey Young

Minnesota held the momentum heading into halftime after successfully executing a 2-minute drill.

The Vikings got the ball with just 58 seconds remaining in the second quarter and moved the ball effectively down the field. A missed connection between Kirk Cousins and Stefon Diggs slowed the drive for a moment, but Cousins recovered with quick passes of 15, 11 and 10 yards to Cook, Kyle Rudolph and Diggs, respectively.

The up-tempo drive set up Bailey to kick a 47-yard field goal as time expired to put the Vikings up 17-10.

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