The Vikings host the Seattle Seahawks this week after the victory over the Atlanta Falcons on the road. We scoped around the web to see what the experts are predicting for the matchup on Sunday.
Sunday's matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings is shaping up to be a postseason preview. Just like everybody thought, right?
OK, maybe not. But if the playoffs started today, Seattle would travel to Minnesota for a wild card matchup. Given how well the NFC North-leading Vikings have played this season, that's far from an easy task.
One of the keys to this contest will be which team can control the game on the ground. The Vikings and Seahawks are first and second in the league in rushing yards per contest, respectively, though Seattle's run defense is better. The Seahawks are fifth in the league against the run, whereas the Vikings are 20th.
The experts are divided on what promises to be a tight game.
Alex Reimer, SB Nation
*The Falcons blew a 14-point lead against the Colts at home, and now face a tough Vikings team. The Falcons just don't look right on offense, and that's not a good thing against the Minnesota defense. Adrian Peterson will get it going on the ground and be too much for the Atlanta defense. *
Vikings 24, Seahawks 20--Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
This is a fascinating game in the NFC playoff race. The Vikings have been a pleasant surprise and the Seahawks have been a disappointment, but Seattle is getting things turned around and will make a statement in Minnesota.
Seahwks 28, Vikings 20--Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk
Is facing the two-time defending conference champions the kind of moment that would qualify as a huge game for the Vikings? To have a chance at winning, the Vikings must convince themselves it isn't.
Seahawks 24, Vikings 17--Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
Heading into the 2015 season, the Minnesota Vikings were a trendy pick in many circles as a team ready to take the "next step" and vie for a playoff spot in 2015.
Well, the Vikings haven't disappointed, but Elliot Harrison of NFL.com feels they still aren't getting the respect they deserve after defeating the reeling Atlanta Falcons in Week 12:
People can talk all they want about Carolina not getting respect, but here are the Vikings at 8-3. Why not talk about these guys? Adrian Peterson made Hamburger Helper out of the Falcons' meaty run defense, while the Vikings' D made Matt Ryan appear to be, well, Matt Ryan. The inconsistent quarterback was ineffective throughout, including on an all-important pick by the ageless Terence Newman in the end zone. Love T-New.
I'll stick to calling him Terence Newman. I don't know him well enough to roll out "T-New."
The Vikings will have a chance to earn some of that respect Sunday. Not only do they host the two-time defending NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, but said Seahawks are flying high. After a 2-4 start, the Seahawks have reeled off four wins in five games.
Of course, only one of those games was against a team that's had the success the Vikings have enjoyed in 2015. And in that game the Seahawks fell to the NFC West-leading Cardinals.
The Vikings had a similar chance to earn a statement win at home two weeks ago, only to be manhandled by the Green Bay Packers.
This time our experts believe the Vikings will pillage and burn.
That's a good thing, by the way. For Minnesota, anyway.
Vikings--Gary Davenport, Bleacher Report
Each Tuesday, WhatIfSports.com's *NFL simulation engine generates predictions and box scores for every NFL game for the coming week. The highly sophisticated algorithms simulate every play of every game to produce each team's likelihood to win. Each matchup is simulated 501 times.*
Win Percentage: 58.1%, Average Score: Vikings 23.4, Seahawks 19.9--WhatIfSports.com
FiveThirtyEight's 2015 NFL forecast uses an Elo-based model to calculate each team's chances of advancing to the playoffs and winning Super Bowl 50. Playoff probabilities are based on 20,000 simulations of the season and will update after each game.
Pre-game win probabilities: Vikings 50%--FiveThirtyEight.com
4 of 8 experts pick the Vikings, CBS Sports
5 of 8 experts pick the Vikings, FOX Sports
6 of 8 experts pick the Vikings, Bleacher Report
3 of 8 experts pick the Seahawks, SB Nation