Published November 05, 2012
SEATTLE – Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen felt embarrassed. Not just for letting Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson control most of the second half in leading Seattle to victory, but for wasting one of the best games in Adrian Peterson's career.
"Adrian is a beast. Adrian was amazing today," Allen said. "He should get tomorrow off and we should all go to work. It is just embarrassing, two weeks in a row and it is absolutely embarrassing. I apologize to our fans; we have to get this thing fixed."
Lynch ran for 124 yards and a touchdown, Wilson threw three first-half touchdown passes, and the Seahawks overcame 182 yards by Peterson in a 30-20 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday that could hold greater importance later in the season.
Peterson tore through the Seahawks defense for one of the finest games of his career, yet was stuck being a spectator as Seattle (5-4) slowly pulled away in the fourth quarter mostly on the legs of Lynch, with a few key passes by Wilson tossed in.
Peterson rushed for 144 yards in the first half alone, the most in the first-half of any game in his career, including his NFL record 296 yards rushing against San Diego in 2007. Whether running in between the tackles or breaking to the edge, Seattle had no answers for trying to slow down Peterson.
He galloped for 74 yards on the second play of the game and added runs of 28, 24, 16 and 15 yards later.
Yet his performance was a footnote because the Vikings (5-4) could not slow down Wilson and Lynch.
"We can't give up 200 yards rushing another week in a row," Allen said. "We have a division game coming up and we have to forget this and move on and we have to get ready to play Detroit at home."
Putting this one in the past won't be easy for Minnesota because of the mistakes, perhaps none bigger than simply not giving Peterson more touches. He averaged 12 yards per carry in the first half and 10.7 for the game. But he got just five carries in the second half for 38 yards with 28 of those coming on one run.
Seattle made adjustments to try and clog some of Peterson's running lanes. But he simply didn't get enough carries to make a difference.
"It's surprising, but we have to have more big plays," Peterson said. "There is one I wish I could have back, slipped in the backfield, and that one definitely could have gone the distance; that is something that I think about with this loss. We had other opportunities too with the pass game that we weren't able to execute. When you're playing a good defense, especially away, you've got to be able to make those big plays."
It didn't help that Minnesota's defense spent most of the second half on the field. Seattle controlled possession for more than 21 minutes in the second half, including 12 minutes of the fourth quarter. Lynch capped a 6-minute drive with his 3-yard touchdown to give Seattle a 27-17 lead late in the third quarter. Then Seattle played keep away in the fourth. Wilson took another 5:26 off the clock that led to Steven Hauschka's 40-yard field goal with 6:23 left that pushed Seattle's advantage to 10.
On the ensuing possession, Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder was intercepted by Brandon Browner and Seattle proceeded to run the next 12 plays and the final 5:27 off the clock. The Seahawks converted on a pair of fourth downs and finally took a knee at the Minnesota 9 to drain the clock and snap a two-game losing streak.
Over the final 11:49, Minnesota held possession for all of 56 seconds. Ponder had a second poor outing in his last three games, completing just 11 of 22 passes for 63 yards.
"I know that I have to get better. I have to play better," Ponder said.
Wilson was dynamic in the first half and efficient in the second. He threw two touchdowns to Golden Tate and another to Sidney Rice as the Seahawks kept pace with Peterson's running. Wilson found Tate on a 6-yard TD after a Minnesota turnover, then hit Rice for 11 yards to give the Seahawks a 14-7 lead.
Peterson scored the second of his touchdowns, this time on a 4-yard run, and Blair Walsh's field goal gave Minnesota the lead late in the first half.
But Wilson closed the half with a 12-play, 80-yard drive in which he completed all five of his throws for 55 yards. Tate capped it with a leap in to the end zone, narrowly avoiding a costly turnover. Tate took a short screen pass, danced away from a couple of tacklers then jumped over Minnesota cornerback Josh Robinson at the goal line, just getting the ball over the line before it was knocked loose by Everson Griffen.
"(He) just continues to grow, every single week. Always gets better," Tate said of Wilson. "Any coaching points they stress on during the week he makes sure he fixes it and do it the way they ask. Very driven guy, wants to be the best. And he's developing into a leader on our team."
Then it was time for Lynch, who ran for 69 yards in the second half and posted his fifth 100-yard game of the season.
"We needed it," Rice said. "I wouldn't say it was a must win, but we definitely needed it."
NOTES: Peterson's yards rushing were his most since 2008 against Green Bay and most allowed by Seattle since Frank Gore ran for 207 for San Francisco in 2009. ... Seattle now holds tiebreakers over Dallas and Minnesota in the NFC playoff race. ... Minnesota WR Percy Harvin had six total touches (four rushes, two receptions) for a total of 34 yards. ... Seattle's 195 yards rushing were a season high.
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