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The Seattle Seahawks (7-5) welcome the Minnesota Vikings (6-5-1) to CenturyLink Field on Monday Night Football. Both teams are in form and chasing a playoff berth.

The Situation:

If the Vikings lose, it will severely dent their playoff chances for 2018. A win will help them push towards a wildcard.

If the Seahawks win, they will effectively seal a playoff berth. A loss would make it tougher but not impossible.

Key Matchups:

Seahawks run game vs. Vikings defense:

The Vikings allow an average of just 99 yards per game rushing. If they can stop the likes of Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis they will go a long way to winning this game.

Penny is a big-game player and has proved he can match it with the best when he had a career game against the Rams in Week 10. Penny averages five yards per carry.

If the Seahawks use him more than Carson, this could be an astute move for the home side. As a unit, the Seahawks rush for 148 yds per game and will look to continue this trend. Can the Vikings defense hold firm, or will Penny and Carson run amok?

WR Tyler Lockett vs. SS Harrison Smith and CB Xavier Rhodes:

Tyler Lockett is having a career year by anyone’s standards. He has 44 receptions for 713 yards and nine touchdowns. He leads all Seahawks in these categories. He seems to have a solid connection with Russell Wilson this season and is growing as a receiver. This week the Vikings will look to double team him with both strong safety Harrison Smith and cornerback Xavier Rhodes set to mark the wide receiver.

With the double team in place, this has the potential to open up the middle of the field for fellow receiver Doug Baldwin who has taken somewhat of a backseat to the exploits of Lockett this season. The Seahawks will be keen to take advantage of the matchups with Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes out with a concussion.

Bradley McDougald vs. Adam Thielen

Adam Thielen is one of the best wide receivers in the league and has broken multiple records in 2018. Bradley McDougald will have his work cut out for him in the Monday Night Football clash if he is to keep Thielen quiet. This will be a great showdown between two quality players. Expect McDougald to be aggressive from the offset and not allow Thielen any room to make the plays.

Player to watch:

Punter Michael Dickson – the Australian has an incredible boot on him and regardless of where the Seahawks drive ends, Dickson is capable of putting the ball inside the opposition’s 10-yard line. This is a great asset to have on your team. He will always get you out of trouble and box your opponent into their own end.

Keys to victory:

Get off to a good start. The Vikings don’t do well when they chase points. The more room Wilson has to move, the more point she has in him.

Prediction:

Seahawks win 17-10.

Sports Al Dente 2019

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