RENTON, Wash. (AP) — There was something a little different in the pregame video Seattle coach Pete Carroll showed his players before facing Minnesota, flashbacks of their college days spliced with moments of greatness as pros. What followed on Sunday against the Vikings was a 60-minute video of complete domination that Carroll may use in the future.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — There was something a little different in the pregame video Seattle coach Pete Carroll showed his players before facing Minnesota, flashbacks of their college days spliced with moments of greatness as pros.
What followed on Sunday against the Vikings was a 60-minute video of complete domination that Carroll may use in the future.
"The feeling is where it's supposed to be right now for us," Carroll said on Monday.
Seattle's 38-7 rout of the Vikings put the Seahawks (7-5) firmly in possession of a wild card spot in the NFC with a one-game lead over Tampa Bay and Atlanta and a potential future tiebreaker over Minnesota thanks to the head-to-head victory. While it's unlikely the Seahawks can make up two games between now and Week 17 at Arizona to close out the regular season, Seattle is not eliminated from the division race either.
With its next three games against Baltimore, Cleveland and St. Louis — a combined 10-26 record — the rest of the NFC at least has to accept they're likely to see the two-time conference champs in the postseason.
"Once we get in a rhythm, we know we're a hard team to beat," Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman said. "We know we have a championship pedigree. We've been there, we've been in big games, in Super Bowls. We know what we're capable of."
In each of the previous three seasons, there's been a December statement game by the Seahawks against a team that eventually finished with 10 wins in the regular season. In Wilson's rookie season of 2012, it was the Seahawks winning in overtime at Chicago that ignited a five-game win streak to close the year. On their way to the title in 2013, the Seahawks routed 9-2 New Orleans at home on a Monday night. And last year Seattle went to Philadelphia — a second straight game on the road — and beat the 9-3 Eagles 24-14.
How Sunday's blowout over Minnesota fits into that pattern won't be known for some time. But it another week where there was a familiarity to how Seattle has played in the past when it was at its peak.
"It feels like we're on track to play really good football. We would just like to go out and start playing again. Just put the ball out there and let's go play. It doesn't really matter who we are playing in that regard about us doing our part in it," Carroll said. "I like the way it feels. I like the way they've responded. They're really anxious to keep going, keep pushing and see how far we can take it."
Seattle's performance was complete and dominant, ranking among the more emphatic victories in Carroll's tenure.
There was yet another 100-yard rushing game from rookie Thomas Rawls as he continued to fill-in more than adequately for injured Marshawn Lynch. It was the 23rd straight game the Seahawks rushed for at least 100 yards as a team.
There was wide receiver Doug Baldwin building on what might be the first 1,000-yard season by a Seattle receiver since Bobby Engram in 2007. Baldwin had 94 yards receiving and two touchdowns against the Vikings giving him 778 yards and eight touchdowns on the season.
Seattle's defense was nearly perfect in stopping the run, limiting Adrian Peterson to 18 yards on eight carries, making the leading rusher in the NFL a non-factor. Teddy Bridgewater was equally ineffective throwing for just 118 yards, becoming the fourth team this season to throw for fewer than 150 yards against Seattle.
And there was third straight nearly flawless game from quarterback Russell Wilson. In the past three weeks, Wilson is a combined 66 of 86 (76.7 percent) for 879 yards, 11 touchdown, zero interceptions and a 148.2 passer rating. Seattle's offensive line is blocking significantly better, giving Wilson an opportunity to make plays down field.
"It's a combination of factors that bring it out, and he's there to seize the opportunity to do well," Carroll said.
NOTES: Seattle released veteran CB Cary Williams on Monday after he was benched and inactive the past two weeks. Williams started the first 10 games. ... RB Marshawn Lynch continues to recover from abdominal surgery but has not rejoined the team in Seattle. Asked where Lynch is, Carroll joked, "he's at large." ... WR Paul Richardson aggravated his hamstring injury last week in practice, leading to him being placed on injured reserve on Saturday.