By Austin Payne
In a game between the NFC’s two leading Wildcard teams this Monday, the outcome will not change either one’s ability to participate in the playoffs, although it very well could result in them switching spots in the Vikings pull off the ever so slight upset.
The Hawks’ are currently favored at a measly -2.5, (yahoosports.com) which is not exactly even favored when you take into consideration they have home field, thus resulting in the classic home favorite -3 spot.
These teams both rank in the top ten of points scored per contest, sitting at 6th and 7th respectively (Teamrankings.com) while boasting 26.5 (Seattle) and 26.3. (Minnesota) While the Vikings undoubtedly struggled on offense early in the season and even had a very brief QB controversy that almost resulted in a disgruntled Stefon Diggs, the Seahawks simply have one of the most consistent Quarterback’s, and consequently, offenses, in the NFL this season. Despite the ups and downs, Minnesota’s offense appears to be humming at the moment, although we must consider the absence of Adam Thielen tomorrow night in Seattle as a bummer, this just means you should roster Diggs in your fantasy matchup.
The Seahawks offense appears to be suiting up mostly healthy though, with an ailing Tyler Lockett hopefully returning to form this week, as well as boasting somewhat of a break out performance from former first round reach who we have no idea why they picked, Rashaad Penny.
One of these teams though, does possess a decidedly better defense as opposed to the other, this of course being the Vikings. Minnesota ranks 6th in overall points allowed per, whilst Seattle sits at a below average 23rd. (Again, shout out to teamrankings.com) The Hawks’ are undoubtedly going through a rebuilding process on the defense after having revamped and replaced the former ‘Legion of Boom’, and thus this is understandable. They do however sit at 10th in rushing yards allowed per game, which is unsurprising considering the strength of their defense is up front with Clowney, Ansah, Reed, Wright, and Wagner. This will be pivotal in slowing the breakout campaign Dalvin Cook is having and the important role he plays in the Vikings offense.
On paper, i would like to pick the Vikings to win this game. However…the absence of Thielen, and the presence of Russell Wilson keeps me from doing so. If the game remains tight, and we should expect it to do so, which quarterback would you prefer in crunch time? You know the answer to that just as well as i do, and we’ll likely see why tomorrow if the runner up for MVP wins this one late.