After beating the Green Bay Packers to close out the 2015 regular season and win the NFC North title, you would think Minnesota would be feeling good about hosting a playoff game. However, I'm more likely to believe that Green Bay is more confident going on the road to Washington.
Back in week 13, Seattle went into Minnesota and absolutely embarrassed the Vikings 38-7. The Seahawks dominated the Vikings on offense and defense. Russell Wilson went 21-27 for 274 yards and 3 TDs, as well as 51 yards and a score on the ground. Seattle ran for more yards than Minnesota had combined passing and rushing (173-125).
In that week 13 victory, running back Thomas Rawls rushed for over 100 yards, but he like so many other running backs are out for the year due to an injury. Luckily for Seattle, they'll get back their star running back Marshawn Lynch, who has not played since week 10. Lynch should see close to 15 carries with Bryce Brown and Christine Michael picking up a few touches as well.
If Seattle does not have a successful run game, then they can turn to Russell Wilson to get it done with his arm. Since Lynch went out with an injury, Wilson has been on fire. Over the past seven weeks, Wilson has averaged 272 yards per game, and has thrown 24 touchdowns with just one interception! You would think losing tight end Jimmy Graham would have really hurt Wilson down the stretch, but it only made Doug Baldwin step up. In the final six games of the season, Baldwin caught a leagues best 11 touchdowns. We watched Jermaine Kearse do it last year in Seattle's run to the Super Bowl, but rookie Tyler Lockett could be the guy to make the big plays this postseason for Seattle.
Minnesota has to get Adrian Peterson going on their opening drive. Seattle shut down the NFL rusher leader, allowing him to pick up just 18 yards on eight carries. It won't be easy however, as Seattle was the top defense in the NFL stopping the run.
Teddy Bridgewater could be in for a long day if Seattle jumps out to an early lead and Minnesota is forced to abandon the run. Seattle ranks number two against the pass and the Vikings simply do not have enough weapons to make plays through the air against Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and the rest of that Seahawks defense. Stefon Diggs was held to just 22 yards on two receptions in their regular season meeting.
With their experience and success in the playoffs the past two seasons, I do not see anyway how Seattle loses this game, or even let's it get close.
Give me the Seahawks 31-13.
Chiefs vs Texans
Steelers vs Bengals
Packers vs Redskins