MINNEAPOLIS —Simply put, it was a Seattle kind of day in Minnesota.
The visiting Seahawks defeated the defensively shorthanded Vikings 38-7 Sunday at the University of Minnesota.
The two-time defending NFC Champions improved to 7-5 on the season, and the Vikings fell to 8-4. The loss, combined with Green Bay's win on the final play Thursday, puts Minnesota in the first Wild Card spot and keeps Seattle in the second Wild Card spot with four games remaining for both teams.
Minnesota scored on a 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Cordarrelle Patterson but not before Seattle had built a 35-point lead near the end of the third quarter.
The Vikings missed nose tackle Linval Joseph (out because of a foot injury) and suffered injuries to linebacker Anthony Barr (groin) and safety Harrison Smith (hamstring) in the first quarter. Neither Barr nor Smith returned to action.
The Vikings also were without safety Andrew Sendejo for the entire game. Antone Exum, Jr. started in place of Sendejo, and Robert Blanton came in for Smith. After Blanton was shaken up, the Vikings slid Terence Newman to safety and brought Trae Waynes in at corner until Blanton returned.
The Seahawks first got on the board with a 5-yard touchdown run by Thomas Rawls to cap a 12-play, 81-yard drive. The Vikings appeared to have the Seahawks stopped after three plays, but Terence Newman was flagged for holding Tyler Lockett, resulting in a new set of downs. The drive also was extended withg a 9-yard completion to Lockett on third-and-6 and a 5-yard scramble by Wilson on third-and-1.
Seattle added to its lead with a 13-play, 98-yard drive that lasted 6:14 and ended with an 8-yard run on third-and-7 by Wilson. That possession included three other third down conversions, including gains of 2 and 19 on third-and-1 runs by Rawls and a 29-yard completion by Lockett on third-and-8. It also included penalties against Exum of 15 yards after Lockett's catch and on Brian Robison during a sack of Wilson a play later. Instead of second-and-17 at the Minnesota 21, Seattle had first-and-10 at the 11.
The third touchdown for Seattle occurred after an interception of Teddy Bridgewater by Earl Thomas. Bridgewater was trying to connect with Stefon Diggs, but Thomas was ready for an overthrow. He returned the ball 25 yards before Diggs caught him. Diggs brought Thomas down by the facemask, resulting in another 15-yard penalty and placed the ball at the Minnesota 20.
Wilson found Doug Baldwin for a touchdown pass on the following play.
An offensive pass interference penalty against Jarius Wright erased a third-down conversion on the Vikings first possession of the second half, and the Seahawks followed with a 5-yard TD pass from Wilson to Fred Jackson to cap a 42-yard drive.
Seattle added a 53-yard pass from Wilson to Baldwin to make it 35-0 with 1:01 left in the third quarter, and a 23-yard field goal by Steven Hauschka in the fourth.
Minnesota will have a short turnaround before visiting NFC West leader Arizona on Thursday Night Football.