By: Abby Altman
The atmosphere at US Bank Stadium coming into week 3 might have been exactly what the team needed. The stands were packed with purple, and the Skol chant was seemingly louder than ever. The stadium even had fake snow coming down to represent “The Team of the North.”
Coming into this game the Vikings were 0-2, playing against the 1-1 Seahawks. Prior to this game, the Vikings hadn’t hosted the Seahawks in Minnesota since 2016, and hadn’t beaten them since 2009.
Kirk Cousins, once again played at an MVP caliber level, going 30/38, with 323 yards and 3 touchdowns, and played his 3rd consecutive game with no turnovers. Even without star running back Dalvin Cook, the offense was propelled by backup Alexander Mattison, who picked up 112 rushing yards and 171 total yards. The offensive line looked stronger than it has in several years.
“It’s the best offensive performance that I’ve seen in the eight years that I’ve been here,” coach Mike Zimmer said.
The first 2 weeks this season, the Vikings receiving core was fairly quiet. Sophomore WR Justin Jefferson ended his rookie year blazing, and was a top candidate for rookie of the year. He hadn’t done much this season, but after this week’s stats, we can see Jefferson is back. Justin had 11 targets, 118 receiving yards, and a touchdown, along with an impressive catch and 28 yard run.
Another good thing to see is sophomore WR KJ Osborn is stepping up to make the Vikings WR core a very dangerous trio. Jefferson, Thielen, and Osborn, all combined for 194 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns this week.
The defense played just slightly above average in the first half, but shut down the Seattle offense in the second half. The Vikings allowed the Seahawks offense 389 yards, 2 touchdowns and a field goal. The defensive line was able to get to Seahawks QB Russell Wilson twice, with Everson Griffen and Eric Kendricks both bringing in a sack.
Kicker Greg Joseph redeemed himself in this comeback after missing a game winning kick in week 2. Joseph went 6/6 with 3 field goals for 44, 33 and 20 yards, and 3 PATs.
In a post game interview coach Mike Zimmer said he told the team “We work so hard, we prepare so hard, we deserve to win.”
The Vikings hope to keep this streak going and improve to 2-2 next week, at home against Cleveland.
*Note: Since the writing of this article, the Vikings have gone 1-1 in the two games they’ve played.