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Vikings Mindful of Seahawks Defensive 'Game-Wreckers'



EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Part of the Vikings routine preparation each week is marking top threats on both sides of the ball.

This week's list of worry is strewn throughout the Seahawks defense was particularly long, Vikings tackle Matt Kalil said Thursday.

"They have really good players everywhere," Kalil said. "It's kind of funny when you do the scouting report and half their defense are game-wrecker types of players. We've got our hands full."

The two-time defending NFC Champs have seven players listed atop their depth chart who started in each of the past two Super Bowls: Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril on the defensive line, linebackers K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner, cornerback Richard Sherman and safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas, who was highlighted in this week's **Hot Matchup**. They also have linebacker Bruce Irvin, who started in Super Bowl XLIX and appeared in XLVIII.

Seattle is 6-5 on the season, with wins coming against teams that are a combined 24-42 (36.4 win percentage) and losses coming against teams that are a combined 40-15 (a 72.7 win percentage equal to that of the 8-3 Vikings).

"All I know is they're two-time defending NFC Champs with most all of the same personnel," Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said when asked about the Seahawks record.

Thomas (four and three), Chancellor (three and none), Sherman (two and three) and Wagner (one and one) have combined for 10 Pro Bowl selections and seven first-team All-Pro designations.

Player of the Month: Adrian Peterson said he found out from teammates during a walk through the Winter Park locker room that he had been selected as **NFC Offensive Player of the Month** for November. He said the award was appreciated but also is the result of work by others.

"It feels good to get that award, but it's a group effort offensively as well," said Peterson, who had more than 125 yards in three of four outings. He totaled 634 yards in the month after posting 530 in seven combined games of September and October and is **looking for more** now that it's December.

Kalil said he isn't surprised the nine-year pro has returned to the top of the NFL's rushing yards leaderboard with 1,164.

"It's not really a surprise to me. I came in my rookie season (2012) after he had that knee surgery and he got MVP. It's the kind of player he is," Kalil said. "We know he appreciates us and we do our best to get him past that first level. Once he's in the second level, I don't think anyone is really going to touch him, so it's an easy job for us."

The Vikings have 20 runs of 15 or more yards this season, equaling last season's total with five games remaining. Peterson has accounted for 13, Teddy Bridgewater has four on scrambles, Jerick McKinnon has two and Jarius Wright has one.

Peterson has 99 career touchdowns (94 rushing, five receiving) heading into Sunday's game and has shown little signs of slowing down.

Continuity helping the o-line: The Vikings went through five different combinations of starting offensive linemen in 2014. Although they've gone all season without starting center John Sullivan (back) and **2015 Ed Block Courage Award winner** Phil Loadholt (Achilles), they've been able to start the same five players this season.

"We've been the same unit all year, which is a good thing and we're learning how to play with each other and win tight games," Kalil said. "I think the experience from game one until now has helped us prepare for these late-season games."

Injury reports: For the Vikings, Barr (hand/groin), Linval Joseph (foot) and Andrew Sendejo (knee) did not participate. Harrison Smith (knee) was limited. Robert Blanton (ankle) and Trae Waynes (ankle) were full participants.

For the Seahawks: RB Marshawn Lynch (abdomen) already has been ruled out. DE Demarcus Dobbs (concussion), WR Paul Richardson (hamstring), DT Jordan Hill (toe) and DE Michael Bennett (not-injury related) did not participate. FB Will Tukuafu (concussion) and CB Marcus Burley (ankle) were limited. C Patrick Lewis (knee), S Earl Thomas (hip) and CB Jeremy Lane (knee) were listed as full participants.

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