Kirk Cousins threw three touchdown passes before half-time for Minnesota and guided three field goal practices after that, as the Vikings accelerated past Seattle 30-17 on Sunday for their first win over the Seahawks in 12 years.
Alexander Mattison replaced injured Dalvin Cook and racked up 171 total yards, rushing 18 times for 76 yards in the second half as the Vikings (1-2) took control with 23 straight points. They beat Seattle for the first time with Pete Carroll as coach and Russell Wilson as quarterback.
Cousins delivered the type of signature performance to defeat a more decorated peer that the Vikings have missed in his four seasons. He scored 30 for 38 for 323 yards in his third straight game without a turnover. The Vikings have lost to Seattle in each of the past three years to extend their losing streak to seven in a row against the Seahawks.
The touchdown passed to Tyler Conklin, Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson in the first half, filling in the highlights. But the methodical walks after half-time were equally impressive and important. Even better for the Vikings, Greg Joseph rebounded from his 37-yard failure in the last game of the game last week in the 34-33 loss to Arizona and had his three field goals and three extra points.
Wilson had 23 for 32 for 298 yards and a touchdown pass to DK Metcalf in the first practice, and Chris Carson carried 12 times for 80 yards and a score in the second quarter.
Then a 44-yard Jason Myers kick went left, ending his 37-goal streak, the fourth longest in NFL history. The Seahawks never crossed the Minnesota 43-yard line after that.
The Seahawks are 1-2 in the NFC West, which puts them in a tough spot if they are to make a resurgence of discord.
Seattle’s first regular-season visit to US Bank Stadium was met with the suppressed noise of a crowd who waited 21 months to see the home team and had more than three extra hours to prepare before the rare hour of beginning in the late afternoon. Fake snow has been dusted off the rafters to fit the northern theme the Vikings have adopted since moving in five years ago.
The last time the Seahawks played an off-season game at Minnesota was in the wildcard round in record freezing cold on Jan. 9, 2016, when Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal for the Vikings. towards the end of the Seattle game. 10-9 victory.
Sunlight on this 82-degree day was entering through the open glass doors behind the western area. The other big difference from that epic playoff game was the state of those defenses, then league class and now struggling. The Vikings have recovered well from a difficult two and a half games, choking Seattle for 81 total yards in the second half.
Seahawks: With DE Benson Mayowa (neck) already inactive, his starting colleague and DE Kerry Hyder Jr. (concussion) started in the second quarter. … LB Jordyn Brooks (cramps) was eliminated in the fourth quarter. … Jamarco Jones replaced Brandon Shell (ankle) in the starting lineup at RT. Undrafted rookie Jake Curhan also took a few shots there. Jones was ill in the third quarter.
Vikings: LB Anthony Barr (knee) was inactive for the third game in a row. He hasn’t played for over a year. … Ihmir Smith-Marsette suffered a toe injury in the second quarter and was replaced on the kickoff comebacks by Ameer Abdullah.
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.