Just a little over 24 hours ago, the Seattle Seahawks were afforded an opportunity to take over the top seed in the National Football Conference playoff race. They did it on their off day.
Pete Carroll’s team has the same number of losses as division and conference foe San Francisco, the 49ers lost in Baltimore yesterday to the Ravens, 20-17. The only other San Francisco loss this season was at home against the Seahawks, who won a few Monday night’s ago in overtime, 27-24.
That head-to-head win over the 49ers means that if the Seahawks were to win tonight, they would hold the top seed in the NFC. A loss, and it is their opponent in Seattle, the Minnesota Vikings, who catch the Green Bay Packers in another highly contested NFC Division, the North.
The Packers won yesterday in New Jersey over the New York Giants, 31-13, and hold both a half-game lead and the head-to-head meeting advantage over the Vikings. Earlier this season, Green Bay beat Minnesota in second week regular season action at Lambeau Field, 21-16.
If the Seahawks win tonight, the Vikings would fall behind the Packers in both the standings and tiebreaker. If the Vikings come out on top in this one, they catch Green Bay in the standings and improve their chances of having their meeting with the Packers in three weeks decide the division.
So, with that as a backdrop, who has the edge in the “need” category?
Who has the advantage from a situational perspective?
The Seahawks have home field advantage, which in most seasons has been a dominant stat for the squad led by Russell Wilson. But this year, both Seattle losses have come on their home field, against the New Orleans Saints in September, and versus Baltimore in October. The Vikings hope they get a December road win while Seattle looks to defend their home turf for the fourth time this year.
If the Vikings are to win this game, they are going to have to overcome a significant trend … their quarterback has trouble against winning teams.
He has beaten only one in four tries this year, and no wins in seven games against winning teams last season. Kurt Cousins now has a lifetime mark against teams with winning records of 5-25. This season, the Vikings behind Cousins lost to the Packers, Chicago Bears, and Kansas City Chiefs, before he got his first win in a Vikings uniform against a team with a winning mark three weeks ago in Dallas against the Cowboys … who had a winning record when they met.
The radio has been promoting this game with the words of Cousins, in which he says how he sometimes feels the weight of the world on his shoulders and how great it is to just go out and play with all you have to give. That’s where the joy is, he sums up.
Of course that is where the joy is for you, that is the only place you have ever enjoyed any success. The weight of the world is to win when your team is counting on you at a critical juncture in search of a championship. That is what distinguishes the throwers from the field generals.
See that guy on the other side of the field, Russell Wilson, he knows how to win against guys like you. He’s done it, almost all by himself at times.
You, Mr. Cousins, on the other hand, have a much better team around you than he does. Which makes you very lucky, and maybe able to overcome your history against good teams.
The Vikings have had the maximum time allowable to prepare for this game, registering their bye week before this Monday night encounter.
The better team, rested, needing it more is the side to take, I just hope Cousins doesn’t screw it up for us.
Qoxhi Picks: Minnesota Vikings (+2½) over Seattle Seahawks