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Vikings-Seahawks Notebook: Defense Limits Russell Wilson

MINNEAPOLIS —The first time was numbing. This time was painful.

The Vikings season is over after Sunday's bitter 10-9 loss to the Seahawks in the Wild Card round.

But Minnesota's defense earned plenty of kudos with its play against Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson and his dangerous cast of playmakers in a rematch of a regular-season game that Seattle won 38-7.

"I'm proud of how smart we were playing Russell Wilson today. I'm proud of how we played on first and second downs. That was a huge key for success on defense," said Vikings defensive end Brian Robison. "I'm proud of our coaches. They came up with a great game plan. They worked hard all week.

View pregame and game action photos of Sunday's game vs. the Seahawks.

"I am just proud of this team in general," Robison added. "Even though we didn't come out on top today, it just shows truly what type of caliber team we are."

When the teams met on Dec. 6, Seattle rolled to a 38-7 win behind Wilson's 325 yards of offense and four total touchdowns.

Yet in a game where the temperature at kickoff was minus-6 degrees Fahrenheit, the Vikings were ready this time.

Wilson tallied just 163 total yards and was sacked twice while also getting intercepted. His passer rating was 63.6, the second-lowest mark of his postseason career.

"It was a complete key to try and keep him in the pocket," said Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr. "He's very mobile and we tried to make him take tough throws from the pocket. He was able to leave the pocket a little bit today but I think we did a good job of slowing him down."

The Vikings defense was also a blur of purple helmets when Seattle ran the ball, as the Vikings limited the Seahawks to just 97 yards on 28 carries and no touchdowns.

The Seahawks ran for 172 yards and two scores in the Dec. 6 game, but Minnesota was without key players in Barr, safety Harrison Smith and defensive tackle Linval Joseph.

All three made an impact in Sunday's playoff game.

"We were able to stop the run," Barr said. "They didn't run the ball as effective as last time. Obviously having healthy bodies was a big part of that, but guys understood the scheme and we practiced hard all week."

Said Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer: "I've probably never been more proud of a football team than I am this team."

Miscues Haunt Offense: Multiple members of the Vikings offense said their unit could have done more in the stunning loss.

Their main frustration was not being able to finish off drives with seven points. The Vikings kicked three field goals and were 0-for-2 on touchdowns when they got inside Seattle's 20-yard line.

"We had opportunities to put this game away," said Vikings quarterback Stefon Diggs. "It was just tough coming up short like that." 

Minnesota converted three of 13 third-down chances in the game, including just one in the second half.

"It is definitely a hard pill to swallow," said Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. "Look back over this game, and there's missed opportunities on our behalf."

Odds and Ends: Minnesota and Seattle's 19 combined points were the lowest total in a Vikings playoff game … Teddy Bridgewater set a team record for highest single-game playoff completion percentage at 70.8 … The 10 points allowed by the Vikings tied for the fourth-fewest in a game in franchise postseason history.

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