When you play the game of professional football, you better be committed. It starts with playing a full 60 minutes, not 45 or 55 or as the Vikings did on Monday Night Football against Seattle, 30 minutes.
A little history: Back in 1992, the Vikings selected Dennis Green as their head coach to replace Jerry Burns, a longtime Bud Grant assistant from 1985-89. Team President Roger Headrick made that decision, and in doing so, he passed on Pete Carroll, another former Grant assistant coach (1985-89) who was hoping to get the job. So, Carroll revels at beating the Vikings and Monday Night was no different.
“At the time, I enjoyed being there and coaching there,” recalled Carroll. “In my mind, that would have been the ideal place to go because of following the legacy of Bud Grant and Jerry Burns, all that they had done. I would have been honored at the time.”
Carroll is 142-95 with one Super Bowl title, 43-8 over Denver in 2014. He is one of the few coaches of all-time to win a national title in college football at USC and a Super Bowl.
Carroll coaches with a certain verve; he is now 6-1 vs the Vikings and 3-0 vs Mike Zimmer head to head, including a 10-9 heartbreaking playoff win at TCF Bank Stadium in maybe the coldest game in NFL history on January 10, 2016.
Seattle beat the Vikings for the second-straight year on Monday Night Football (MNF), which is celebrating 50 years in this, the 100th season of the NFL. Last year on December 10, Seattle triumphed 21-7 over the Vikings on MNF in Seattle. They went on to qualify for the playoffs as a Wild Card at 10-6, while the Vikings missed the playoffs by half a game 8-7-1. The Eagles grabbed the sixth NFC playoff spot at 9-7.
The Vikings now slip to 8-4 after the bitter pill defeat 37-30, a game the Vikings had control of 17-10 in the third quarter before the Seahawks stormed back to win it. Seattle out-scored the Vikings 17-0 in the third quarter, taking full advantage of the famed “12th Man”—the fans at Century Link Field. Seattle dominated the Vikings in the second half, forcing turnovers and allowing the Vikings to self-destruct. The Vikings could not stop the run; Seattle ran for 218 yards.
The Vikings made critical mistakes, like getting away from their bread and butter running game. When running back Dalvin Cook fumbled in the third quarter, he injured his shoulder and did not return. The Vikings ran for only 78 yards on 14 attempts.
More mistakes followed, particularly on defense and special teams. There were two turnovers, a missed extra point, a fumbled kick return and blown coverages galore on defense. The Vikings just seemed to lose their poise.
Seattle kept the ball for 39.45. They did what Seattle does: run the ball and allow the great Russell Wilson, their quarterback, to make plays. Wilson, along with Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, is a frontrunner for the NFL’s MVP; he’s the first quarterback ever to lead his team to a winning record in each of his first eight seasons.
Kirk Cousins became the first quarterback to go 0-8 as a starting quarterback on Monday Night Football, 0-2 with the Vikings. The Vikings all-time are now 29-34 on MNF.
Seattle owns MNF. They are now 26-10 all-time on Monday Night Football and are one of five teams, including Baltimore, San Francisco, New England, and New Orleans, with the best records at 10-2.
The Vikings now trail Green Bay 9-3 in the NFC North with four games left to play. Sunday the 8-4 Vikings, 5-0 at home, host the Detroit Lions.