Tonight’s Monday Night Football matchup will have major implications for the NFC Playoff picture as the Seattle Seahawks (7-5) host the Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1) at CenturyLink Field.
Minnesota currently holds the sixth playoff seed and trails the Chicago Bears by three games. However, the Vikings have four difficult matchups remaining including tonight’s game against the fifth-seed Seahawks in one of the NFL’s toughest road environments.
Minnesota entered the 2018 season with high expectations coming off an NFC Championship Game appearance and signed quarterback Kirk Cousins to a mega-deal believing he would be the missing piece to a Super Bowl run.
While Cousins has been effective, the Vikings defense hasn’t been quite as dominant as last year’s team, already losing two more games than in 2017 with a month left in the regular season.
“Which means all of the work we did through OTAs, training camp, preseason, regular season, it comes down to four games,” Cousins said Thursday about being the current sixth seed. “It comes down to other teams are in the hunt, other teams are fighting for their division title and whoever has the best four-game stretch. It doesn’t really matter what happened before.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll isn’t taking Minnesota lightly, calling tonight’s game a “tough matchup” and focusing on the Vikings’ passing attack, which includes star wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen.
“It just seems he’s at his very, very best,” Carroll said when assessing Cousins. “As the guys keep growing, he’s the same year I think as Russ (Wilson), they just keep getting better as they grow and learn and they have great coaching and they just take advantage of it. They continue to become more in command of the game. He looks like he’s totally got it wired.”
Seattle ranks among the NFL’s best teams at defending the pass, but has regressed over the past few weeks. The Seahawks struggled against Carolina’s Cam Newton, who completed all 14 passes during the first half of their game two weeks ago and San Francisco 49ers third-string quarterback Nick Mullens, who recorded more than 400 passing yards last week.
Here’s the info you need to know for tonight’s game.
Start time: 8:15 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Odds: Seattle -3.5, 46.5 over/under via Bovada
“The Vikings are in good position to take a wild card spot, but a loss to the Seahawks could be costly. Seattle has been one of the most surprising teams in the league and a win would all but secure a playoff spot.