SEATTLE — A game after storming back from a 20-point halftime deficit, the Vikings found themselves in a 17-point hole early in the fourth quarter against the Seahawks on Monday Night Football.
Instead of double dipping with points at the end of the first half and the start of the second half, the Vikings point total was doubled by the Seahawks with 13:30 left in the game.
Minnesota showed its mettle by coming back to make it a four-point game before eventually losing 37-30 against a Seattle team that vaulted into first place in the NFC West.
The Seahawks continued to excel in prime time and capitalized on mistakes made by the Vikings.
Pre-game question: Could the Vikings work through adversity on the road against a contender?
Adversity wasn't guaranteed, but any time a team goes to a hostile environment and faces a good foe, a challenge can be expected.
The Vikings encountered more than their fair share on one disastrous play in an exceptionally dismal third quarter.
The official play-by-play reads:
(8:56) D.Cook up the middle to MIN 22 for no gain (R.Green). FUMBLES (R.Green), RECOVERED by SEA-B.McDougald at MIN 26.B.McDougald to MIN 26 for no gain (G.Bradbury). MIN-S.Diggs was injured during the play. MIN-D.Cook was injured during the play. His return is Questionable.
The unofficial reaction is not fit for print.
Diggs returned to the game; Cook did not.
The aforementioned play occurred one snap after Seattle tied the game at 17. Instead of answering with a score, Minnesota had to hope its defense could hold the Seahawks to a field goal, which the Vikings did.
A false start penalty upended the next drive that ended with a punt, which happens, but a coverage breakdown enabled a 60-yard touchdown pass five plays later.
Minnesota again tried to stop the damage but committed more self-harm on the first snap of the fourth quarter. A pass from Kirk Cousins to Diggs was intercepted by Tre Flowers at the Minnesota 25-yard line.
Seattle scored its 24th consecutive points on a touchdown pass three plays after the pick.
So there the Vikings stood, down 34-17 with 13:30 remaining.
The offense responded with a 58-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Laquon Treadwell, and the defense forced and recovered a fumble, enabling Minnesota to drive 72 yards for a touchdown that made it 34-30 (the PAT was no good).
Seattle, however, burned nearly four minutes of clock before punting then forced a turnover on downs with 2:27 left. The Seahawks burned another two-plus minutes before kicking a field goal then forced a clinching fumble on the ensuing kickoff return.
The comeback attempt fell short, but Minnesota showed resolve that the Vikings will try to continue to build on down the stretch this season.
"Everybody acts like this is the end of the world; it's not the end of the world. We lost one game tonight. We're 8-4. We've got four games left, three division games. So, this isn't the end of the world. We've still got a lot of good football left to play."
— Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer
"I think we have a football team that can go on the road to a tough environment and get a win. I think that this was an opportunity that we missed, and it's disappointing, but I think we were able to at least show a resilience, and you're going to need that to be able to win in December. And then if you do take care of business in December, we have four games left, and if you do take care of business, then you get a chance in January. And that's really what we want to do."
— Vikings QB Kirk Cousins
"We fought our tails off. I'm proud of our guys. We had a chance to win at the end, very exciting, great environment to go win it in. We didn't capitalize. But I'm proud of the guys how we fought, and we just have to respond quick. That's the type of team we've got. We're going to be ready to go on Sunday [against] Detroit. Here we go."
— RB Dalvin Cook
"It's tough, just because that's what we preach. That's the mindset that we have going into games. We never give up, that kind of thing. People try to say it but don't really live it. We've got guys that really live it, continue to push that positive energy when things aren't going good because adversity hits. [Against Denver] when adversity hit, things didn't look good. We banded together, kept fighting and worked our way through it.
— WR Stefon Diggs
"I hope everyone in this locker room holds their head high knowing that we could be back here again in a month. We played with one of the best teams in the NFC tonight and we shot ourselves in the foot too many times. If we don't hurt ourselves with penalties, turnovers — play cleaner football — we'll have a chance."
— TE Kyle Rudolph