Cousins, Vikings cruise 30-17, end skid vs. Seahawks

NFL

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) scores a touchdown on a catch in front of Seattle Seahawks strong safety Quandre Diggs (6) in the first half of an NFL football game in Minneapolis, Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kirk Cousins threw three touchdown passes before halftime for Minnesota and guided three clock-draining field goal drives after that, as the Vikings accelerated past Seattle 30-17 on Sunday for their first win over the Seahawks in 12 years.

Alexander Mattison stepped in for the injured Dalvin Cook and racked up 171 total yards, rushing 18 times for 76 yards in the second half as the Vikings (1-2) seized control with 23 straight points. They beat Seattle for the first time with Pete Carroll as coach and Russell Wilson as the quarterback.

Cousins delivered the type of signature performance to defeat a more-decorated peer the Vikings have been lacking in his four seasons. He went 30 for 38 for 323 yards in his third consecutive turnover-free game. The Vikings lost at Seattle in each of the last three years to stretch their losing streak to seven straight against the Seahawks.

The touchdown passes to Tyler Conklin, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson in the first half filled up the highlight reels. But the methodical marches after halftime were just as impressive and important. Even better for the Vikings, Greg Joseph bounced back from his 37-yard miss on the game’s final play last week in the 34-33 loss at Arizona and made all three of his field goals and all three extra points.

Wilson went 23 for 32 for 298 yards and a touchdown pass to D.K. Metcalf on the first drive, and Chris Carson carried 12 times for 80 yards and a second-quarter score.

Then a 44-yard kick by Jason Myers went wide left, ending his team-record streak of 37 straight field goals made, the fourth-longest in NFL history. The Seahawks never made it past the Minnesota 43-yard line after that.

The Seahawks are 1-2 in the NFC West, putting them in quite a bind if they’re going to make a resurgence to contention.

LOUD NOISES

Seattle’s first regular-season visit to U.S. Bank Stadium was met with the pent-up noise from a crowd that waited 21 months to see the home team and had more than three extra hours to tailgate before the rare late-afternoon start time. Fake snow was sprinkled from the rafters to fit the northland theme the Vikings have embraced since moving in five years ago.

The last time the Seahawks played a non-preseason game in Minnesota was the wild-card round in record-setting subzero cold on Jan. 9, 2016, when Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal for the Vikings near the end of Seattle’s 10-9 win.

Sunlight on this 82-degree day streamed in through the open glass doors behind the west end zone. The other vast difference from that epic playoff game was the state of these defenses, then the class of the league and now struggling. The Vikings aptly recovered from a rough 2 1/2 games, smothering Seattle for 81 total yards in the second half.

INJURY REPORT

Seahawks: With DE Benson Mayowa (neck) already inactive, fellow starter and DE Kerry Hyder Jr. (concussion) departed in the second quarter. … LB Jordyn Brooks (cramps) was carted off in the fourth quarter. … Jamarco Jones replaced Brandon Shell (ankle) in the starting lineup at RT. Undrafted rookie Jake Curhan took some snaps there, too. Jones was ill in the third quarter.

Vikings: LB Anthony Barr (knee) was inactive for the third straight game. He has not played in more than a year. … Ihmir Smith-Marsette hurt his toe in the second quarter and was replaced on kickoff returns by Ameer Abdullah.

UP NEXT

Seahawks: visit San Francisco next Sunday, their first game against an NFC West foe.

Vikings: host Cleveland (2-1) next Sunday, their second of three straight home games.

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