Wild-Card Playoff round
Seattle at Vikings
TCF Bank Stadium
TV: Ch. 11
Radio: 100.3-FM, 1130-AM
About the Seahawks (10-6)
• The Seahawks blew out Arizona 36-6 in the regular-season finale Sunday. Russell Wilson passed for 197 yards and three touchdowns while the Seahawks defense held Arizona quarterback and MVP candidate Carson Palmer to 12 completions for 129 yards.
• The Seahawks are 8-2 since Week 7, including a 38-7 victory against the Vikings. They won five consecutive before losing to St. Louis 23-17 in Week 16, but rallied to close the season on a high note at Arizona.
• Seattle won a fourth consecutive scoring defense title by holding opponents to an average of 17.3 points per game. The Seahawks secured the title by limiting the Cardinals’ high-powered offense — second highest in scoring with 30.6 points per game – to six points.
• Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch and standout safety Kam Chancellor are among the players who could return to action this week. Lynch missed the past seven weeks following hernia surgery, and Chancellor missed the past three because of a pelvis injury. Also on the mend are big contributors in left tackle Russell Okung (calf), tight end Luke Willson (concussion) and guard J.R. Sweezy (concussion).
Player speak CB Richard Sherman
• Sherman likes the spotlight and likely will find a way to work his way into Sunday’s story line. After Sunday’s victory over Arizona, he said Cardinals fans should be concerned that they’ll play the Seahawks again in the playoffs. He also mocked Cardinals receiver John Brown for saying Sherman couldn’t cover Brown one-on-one. Sherman has 50 tackles, a team-high 14 passes defended and two interceptions.
• On what the victory over Arizona does for the team heading into the postseason: “It reaffirms what we already know. … That we can play with anyone. We are who we think we are.”
• On the possibility of several standouts returning: “It’s more strength. We’re getting a few Pro Bowlers back. And any time you’re doing that and you’re winning games without them, it just strengthens your team. … Kam Chancellor is a great addition; it’s going to be great to have him back, fresh legs, healthy. Marshawn, the same way. [These] guys don’t have a ton of reps on their body, so they’ll come back a lot more fresh for this game.”
Coach speak PETE CARROLL
• Carroll has led the Seahawks to four consecutive playoff appearances, five in his six years as head coach. He’ll try to become only the third coach to take his team to back-to-back-to-back Super Bowls.
• On success since Week 7: “We’ve been on a pretty good run here improving our football and cleaning things up and becoming more efficient as an offense and defense. Other than the game we had against the Rams — it was kind of an outlier — we’ve been moving toward getting to our best play.”
•On building success in a similar fashion to Vikings coach Mike Zimmer: “We’ve been successful at putting out this formula of playing defense, special teams and the running game, and [the Vikings are] doing the same thing. Not everybody realizes how valuable it is to have a formula that’s steeped in the traditional way to play our game. … You’re going to see two teams that really have a similar way of going about the game.