A rough stretch for the ages was met with resolve — almost enough — by the Vikings in a 27-26 loss to the Seahawks in Seattle on Sunday Night Football.
After Minnesota built a 13-0 lead at halftime, Seattle ripped off 21 unanswered points in the third quarter. The momentum swing occurred after Vikings running back Dalvin Cook left the game on Minnesota's first play of the second half.
Seattle put together a four-play touchdown drive, then followed a pair of Vikings turnovers with touchdown drives that lasted two plays and one snap.
Minnesota bounced back with two short touchdown passes from Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen and led 26-21 with 7:08 remaining.
Eric Wilson intercepted Russell Wilson on Seattle's next drive to give the ball back to Minnesota at midfield with 5:45 remaining.
The Vikings marched to Seahawks 7-yard line but were stuffed on a fourth-and-1 with 1:57 remaining.
Seattle drove 94 yards on 13 plays and scoring the game-winner with 15 seconds remaining.
It was a rough ending for Minnesota after racking up 15 first downs in the first half and allowed just five by the Seahawks.
Minnesota possessed the ball a whopping 20:16 before halftime, which exceeded its total time of possession against Green Bay in Week 1 (18:44) and almost matched Week 2 at Indianapolis (21:35).
Cousins completed 15 of 21 passes for 140 yards in the first half, compiling a passer rating of 89.4 by generally taking what was available. He also put passes on the money early in the game, allowing his playmakers to convert, and protected the football when Seattle was able to initiate pressure.
Wilson was 7-for-7 passing for 40 yards and a passer rating of 90.5 in the first half. He was sacked four times before halftime for combined losses of 27 yards.
Minnesota rushed 19 times for 78 yards in the opening half, compared to seven carries for 53 yards for the Seahawks. Seattle's total was padded by a 12-yard scramble by Wilson at the end of the half.
Q1, 8:48 remaining
Vikings 7, Seahawks 0
Dalvin Cook rushes for eight yards (Dan Bailey kicks PAT) [12 plays, 77 yards, 6:12 time of possession]
Lot of ingredients: The drive that was finished by "The Chef" included a run or reception by five different Vikings. Irv Smith, Jr. reeled in a pass for a 23-yard gain on second-and-10, Chad Beebe won a footrace to the sticks to pick up a third-and-11 after a catch, and Justin Jefferson secured a 5-yard pass on fourth-and-2.
Q2, 8:33 remaining
Vikings 10, Seahawks 0
Bailey kicks a 52-yard field goal [17 plays, 64 yards, 10:13 time of possession]
The long and short runs: Bailey's booming kick would have been good from 60, according to NBC's Sunday Night Football. The Vikings went to Cook or running back Alexander Mattison on 13 of the 17 plays of the drive. It was the most plays run by the Vikings on a possession since an 18-play touchdown drive during their comeback against the Denver Broncos in 2019. Cook and Mattison each had 10-yard runs during the possession, and Cook converted a fourth-and-1 with a 3-yard gain.
Q2, 0:10 remaining
Vikings 13, Seahawks 0
Bailey kicks a 46-yard field goal [11 plays, 57 yards, 1:37 time of possession]
Worth a shot: With 20 seconds remaining but no timeouts, Cousins tried to connect with Adam Thielen in the end zone. Seattle cornerback Shaquill Griffin, however was able to knock the ball away.
Q3, 9:55 remaining
Vikings 13, Seahawks 7
Will Dissly catches a 19-yard pass from Russell Wilson (Jason Myers kicks PAT) [4 plays, 58 yards, 1:42 time of possession]
Chunk plays: Seattle opened the possession with a 13-yard catch by running back Chris Carson and a 20-yard completion to Greg Olsen two plays before Wilson found Dissly on a wheel route.
Q3, 8:19 remaining
Seahawks 14, Vikings 13
DK Metcalf catches a 13-yard pass from Wilson (Myers kicks PAT) [2 plays, 15 yards, 0:39 time of possession]
Red zone success continues: The score was Wilson's 12 touchdown pass on a play inside the red zone this season.
Q3, 8:02 remaining
Seahawks 21, Vikings 13
Chris Carson runs for 29 yards (Myers kicks PAT) [1 play, 29 yards, 0:07 time of possession]
Surging momentum: Carson picked up steam through the line and powered his way through a tackle attempt at the 10 one play after K.J. Wright picked off Cousins.
Q3, 3:39 remaining
Seahawks 21, Vikings 19
Thielen catches a 3-yard pass from Cousins (Bailey kicks PAT) [11 plays, 77 yards, 4:23 time of possession]
Big conversions: The Vikings converted a second-and-14 with a 25-yard pass to Smith and a third-and-7 with a 14-yard pass to Thielen during the drive.
Q4, 7:08 remaining
Vikings 26, Seahawks 21
Thielen catches a 6-yard pass from Cousins (Bailey kicks PAT) [15 plays, 97 yards, 8:11 time of possession]
Carrying the load: With Cook out, Mattison rushed for a gain of 20 on second-and-10 from the Seattle 25-yard line and picked up 12 more on a first-and-10 from the Seattle 18.
Q4, 0:15 remaining
Seahawks 27, Vikings 26
Metcalf catches a 6-yard pass from Wilson (conversion pass fails) [13 plays, 94 yards, 1:42 time of possession]
Fourth-and-everything: Metcalf's score was one of two catches by the receiver on fourth downs during the drive. The other converted a fourth-and-10 with a 39-yard reception.