One of the most intriguing NFL Wild Card games this weekend will be played between the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings at the TFC Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The game is scheduled to begin at 1:05 PM. ET. Sunday.
The Seattle Seahawks are the two time defending NFC Champions and they will be trying to make it to their third consecutive Super Bowl, but they will face a tough test from the Vikings, who surprised a lot of people by winning the NFC North.
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Seattle had a slow start to the season, thanks to Kam Chancellor’s holdout at the beginning of the year, and injuries to key players like Marshawn Lynch. Since their 2-4 start, the Seahawks won eight of their final 10 games, and are considered to be one of the favorites to advance to the Super Bowl.
Minnesota started the season as a dark horse to make the playoffs because of the way they played last season and the return of Adrian Peterson, who missed 15 games due to a league suspension last season.
With Peterson back in the lineup, the Vikings had one of the best rushing attacks in the league, which helped to take some pressure away from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who finished the season with 3,231 passing yards and 14 touchdowns.
The biggest reason the Vikings were so successful this season is their defense, which was much improved this season. The Vikings defense held opponents to 18.9 points per game, which was the 5th best average in the NFL.
The Seahawks traded for Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham in the offseason to improve their passing attack. Interestingly, Graham didn’t provide the type of production the team was expecting when they signed him, and their passing attack, which was one of the best in the second half of the season, didn’t get better until he suffered a season ending injury.
The Seahawks offense will get a boost on Sunday because Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch is expected to be back in the lineup after missing most of the season with an injury. With the weather expected to be below freezing on Sunday, Lynch’s return comes at just the right time for the Seahawks, who will probably run the ball more due to the weather conditions.
The Seahawks served notice to the rest of the league after dominating the Arizona Cardinals in their final regular season game, and have a lot of momentum going into the playoffs.
In their final regular season game, the Vikings defeated their rivals the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, so they are also heading into this game with a lot of confidence.
The key to victory for Minnesota is finding a way to contain Russell Wilson, who overcame a poor start to the season and finished as one of the leading league MVP candidates.
The key to victory for Seattle is slowing down Adrian Peterson and forcing Teddy Bridgewater, who is making his first playoff appearance to defeat them with his arm.
Seahawks vs Vikings Wild Card Betting Lines
The Vikings will be a tough team to beat, but the Seahawks are more talented and have more experience, which is why I’m picking Seattle to cover the spread and win the game.
Play: Seahawks -5 @ BetOnline.ag