Vikings gamble backfires as Russell Wilson stuns Vikings with game-winning TD drive
With two minutes left on Sunday, the Minnesota Vikings played with a chance to drive the Seattle Seahawks away.
And they lost.
The Vikings were in fourth and first place by the Seahawks six-yard line by a five-point lead and decided to do so. Kirk Cousins passed the ball to Alexander Mattison, who was plugged without a win on the right side of the line.
The decision and failure of the conversion put the ball back in the hands of Russell Wilson. And just as he has done to his opponents all season, Wilson made the Vikings pay.
Wilson performs a stunning 2 minute exercise
Wilson marched with the Seahawks on a 96-yard ride that included a 4:10 changeover and ended up with a touchdown pass to DK Metcalf, 15 seconds from the end, to score a 27:26 Seahawks win .
With the win, the Seahawks improved to 5-0 and Wilson's MVP campaign got faster.
Like most of the season, Metcalf was Wilson's contact person on the trip. Wilson hit fourth and tenth places on the Seattle 23-yard line and threw a deep ball towards the left sideline. Metcalf shared a pair of Minnesota defenders and used his 6-4, 230-pound frame to take the game-saving catch for a 39-yard gain.
Metcalf gets another fourth grapple
When Seattle got into goal position, Wilson called Metcalf's number again. On the second hit from the six-yard line, Wilson looked at Metcalf in the right front corner of the end zone. Wilson's passport caught Metcalf in the hands, but the sophomore recipient dropped it.
Wilson has not lost the faith. When Wilson had another chance to call Metcalf's number with the game in fourth place, he saw him scrambling left to right across the end zone with Anthony Harris after him. He clapped Metcalf on the hand.
This time Metcalf held on.
The two-point conversion in Seattle failed. But it didn't matter. The Vikings did not approach field goal range in their subsequent possession of the ball and the Seahawks held on to an exciting win.
Vikings dominated early, control clock
From the start, the Vikings seemed ready to step off the road to get their season going again with a win. Minnesota's defense raved and frustrated Wilson in a dominant first half, with Minnesota in control of the ball and taking a 13-0 lead at half time.
But in the third quarter, the Seahawks crime did what it does best. Score in grapes. With the help of two Viking sales, Seattle scored three touchdowns in a time span of 1:46 to take the lead at 21:19 in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings lost Pro Bowl when they ran back to Dalvin Cook early in the half with an obvious groin injury, and Seattle seemed poised to take control. But the Vikings didn't work out.
Minnesota completed a 15-game 97-yard drive in the fourth quarter with repeated surrenders to secure Mattison. The journey lasted 8:11 seconds and ended with a touchdown from Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen, who was 26-21 in the lead with 7:06.
The ride embodied a clear Minnesota game plan to keep the ball out of Wilson's hands. The Vikings dominated possession time 39:28-20:32 and frustrated Wilson for much of the night.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson throws against the Minnesota Vikings in the second half of an NFL soccer game in Seattle on Sunday, October 11, 2020. (AP Photo / John Froschauer)
Should the Vikings have shot the field gate?
But late-night gambling didn't pay off. Head coach Mike Zimmer turned down a 23-yard field goal that would have given the Vikings an eight-point lead with two minutes to go.
Clearly feared what Wilson might do on a two-minute drive, Zimmer put the ball in Mattison's hands when Cook was out injured. It took Mattison a yard to keep Minnesota's drive going. He has no.
Wilson did the rest. Despite the 2-to-1 time disadvantage, Wilson scored 20 of 32 passes for 217 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in the boxing classification. He ran five times to lead Seattle at 58 yards.
Metcalf took six catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
Mattison took over Minnesota's offense after Cook's injury, rumbling 112 yards on 20 straps as the centerpiece of Zimmer's ball control system. It was a game plan designed to limit Wilson's chances of winning.
And it almost worked.
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