Monday Night Football Preview: Minnesota Vikings vs. Seattle Seahawks
Chris Carson looks to run the ball up the field. Minnesota battles Seattle at CenturyLink Field on Monday Night Football. (Andy Bao/ The Seattle Times)

The Minnesota Vikings travel to Seattle, Washington to take on the Seattle Seahawks in primetime. The 8-3 Vikings, currently sitting at the sixth spot in the playoff pairings, will be looking to extend their ground in the wild card push, but also need victories to force the issue in a division that includes the formidable Green Bay Packers. Seattle (9-2) has their own work cut out for them, as the 49ers currently sit atop their division, making the Seahawks the fifth wild card. Both teams will be difficult matchups in the playoffs, but home-field advantage for that first game could be the difference between advancing and being sent home. 

Kirk Cousins leads a surprisingly stout passing and offensive gameplan into the Northwest. Cousins, with targets Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, will be looking to force the issue early to take some wind out of the Seahawks' sails. Cousins currently leads the NFL in Passer Rating (114.8) and is posting a 21-3 TD to INT ratio. Dalvin Cook is averaging the third-most rushing yards a game (92.5), and the Vikings own the fourth-best rushing attack in the NFL. The Vikings defensive front is holding opponents to 94.2 YPG on the ground and will be looking to create turnovers in the air against a young wide receiving core. 

Russell Wilson has proved this season that he deserves to be at the forefront of every MVP conversation, and many will expect him to add to his already gaudy numbers this year. Wilson has posted 27 total touchdowns compared to just three interceptions. Wilson will need his ground game to be great early to open up the passing lanes for his young receivers. Seattle likes to hit the ground early in games and will need to establish that facet of their gameplan to counteract anything the Vikings have planned on defense. Seattle will also be looking to stifle any sort of outing from Dalvin Cook and needs to put pressure on Kirk Cousins to throw deep. Seattle has forced 24 turnovers this season and has a +9 turnover differential, a stat that could be very telling about how this game may end up. 

Kickoff: Monday, Dec.2 at 8:15 p.m. ET


Spread: Seahawks -3