Vikings on Seattle: Deep passes, many options

Andrew Sendejo (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)

The Seahawks don't throw the ball as often as some teams, but they like to spread it around and take deep shots, according to members of the Vikings secondary.

The Vikings secondary is bracing itself for the return of Percy Harvin this Sunday, but as Minnesota's defenders prepare for the Seattle Seahawks, the Vikings have much more to deal with than simply Harvin, who has yet to play a down for the team.

"They have a lot of good receivers," Josh Robinson said. "They have a bunch of players that are very good at their roles. Percy is a great player, but they've already got some very good receivers. Obviously, to be 9-1, they're doing something right."

Through 10 games, the Seahawks have just three players with more than 20 receptions – Golden Tate (43), Doug Baldwin (34) and Marshawn Lynch (22), but have seven different players who have scored touchdowns, including Jermaine Kearse, who has four touchdowns on just 13 receptions and Sidney Rice, who had three touchdowns before being placed on injured reserve last month.

"They don't have the one guy that you know is going to be getting the ball thrown his way all the time," Robert Blanton said. "They spread the ball around and get a lot of different players involved."

While Seattle has just three players with more than 20 receptions, the Seahawks have seven players with 11 or more catches and five of them are averaging 14 yards per reception or more and six of them have at least one catch of more than 30 yards. The Vikings will have their work cut out for them in the secondary Sunday because, while Seattle doesn't throw as much as most NFL teams, when they do pass the ball they will test the secondary deep down the field.

QB Russell Wilson is fifth in the league, averaging 8.3 yards per attempt, behind Aaron Rodgers (8.84), Peyton Manning (8.80), Drew Brees (8.44) and Philip Rivers (8.33).

"Wilson has a strong arm and isn't afraid to take deep shots," Andrew Sendejo said. "He's very accurate and they throw the deep ball a lot. We're going to be tested because they go for the bomb a lot when they pass."

Sendejo is right about Wilson's accuracy on deep passes. He leads the NFL in downfield accuracy – 57.6 percent on passes directed 20 yards or more downfield, according to Pro Football Focus.

THURSDAY NOTES

  • The Vikings secondary got some rare good news Wednesday when Chris Cook and Jamarca Sanford, both of whom have missed time due to injury this season, practiced fully on Wednesday.

  • On Wednesday, Jerome Simpson was formally charged with DWI stemming from his arrest early Saturday morning. He is likley to play Sunday while the case works it way through the court system but he might not start.

  • The last time the Vikings were a two-touchdown underdog was 1987, when they were an 18-point underdog to the Chicago Bears.

  • Two key cornerbacks for the Seahawks – Richard Sherman (hip) and Brandon Browner (groin) – didn't practice Wednesday.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
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