Wide receiver Percy Harvin #11 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a catch against cornerback Chris Cook #20 of the Minnesota Vikings at CenturyLink Field on November 17, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
by Curtis Crabtree
The Seattle Seahawks scored 41 points Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings and QB Russell Wilson feels like they still haven't played their best football.
"I believe, personally, that we haven't even started yet," Wilson said.
For a team that is 10-1 as they head into their bye week, that's a scary thought for the rest of the NFL.
The offense saw the return of T Russell Okung for the first time in eight games, T Breno Giacomini for the first time in seven games and C Max Unger, who missed last week's game with a concussion. The team finally saw WR Percy Harvin take the field for the first time in a Seattle uniform after missing the first 10 games while on the physically unable to perform list.
The reinforcements helped aid Seattle to a 41-20 victory over the Vikings on Sunday afternoon.
Outside of WR Sidney Rice (who is out for the year with a torn ACL), the Seahawks' offense was finally intact for the first time this season.
Seattle scored on four of their first five possessions in building a 24-13 halftime lead.
"When we can make plays, we’re explosive," WR Doug Baldwin said. "When we get the opportunities to do it, we have to capitalize on it. We’ll get things corrected but the glimpse of us having the firepower all over the field, that’s what we’ve been waiting on this whole season. We’re excited about it because once it gets all put in place and everything is in its right place, this offense is going to be unbelievable.”
Harvin's presence had a noticeable impact on the game despite only making one catch in his debut.
Harvin played less than 20 snaps total for Seattle but managed to affect the way the Vikings' attempted to cover the Seahawks on plays he was in the game.
The first big play of the game for Seattle was a 44-yard completion from Wilson to Baldwin. Harvin lined up next to Baldwin in the right slot and beat his defender, who was playing him man-to-man, on a slant. The free safety came down to help on Harvin's route while Baldwin beat his cornerback on a fade up the sidelines. Wilson hit Baldwin in stride and picked up a big chunk of yards on the play.
"The thing about him is he draws attention," Wilson said. "It's hard to stop him because he's so fast, so electric. ... To have him on our football team, it just elevates our offense."
Harvin did make an impact in his own right. His only catch was a juggling effort on a 3rd and 10 in Minnesota territory that went for 17 yards and extended a drive. Lynch scored from 1-yard out to cap the drive.
Then after a Vikings' field goal, Harvin got his first kickoff return opportunity and burst through the Minnesota defense for 58 yards to setup another touchdown before the half.
"Emotionally it was good to get out there and be with my teammates again," Harvin said.
The defense held RB Adrian Peterson to just 65 yards on 21 carries and intercepted Minnesota quarterbacks three times in the game.
WR Jarius Wright beat CB Richard Sherman on a double-move for a touchdown in the second quarter for the Vikings' only touchdown until a second TD from Wright in garbage time late. Seattle's defense allowed Minnesota to move the ball early but forced the Vikings to settle for field goals.
When the Vikings were forced to throw late to catch up, Seattle's defense made the most of their opportunities. LB Bobby Wagner intercepted QB Christian Ponder to set up a 6-yard touchdown catch for RB Marshawn Lynch.
CB Walter Thurmond intercepted Ponder on the next drive and returned it 29 yards for a score before Ponder was benched in favor of QB Matt Cassel.
Cassel was also intercepted on his first drive under center as a pass from deflected by DE Chris Clemons and picked off by DT Clinton McDonald.
With the a bye week to rest up, the Seahawks will be nearly at full health for the stretch run through December. They have a 3.5-game lead on the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC West title and have a chance to take a major step forward toward homefield advantage in the playoffs against the New Orleans Saints in two weeks on Monday night.
As Wilson said, the Seahawks are just getting started toward what they can be on offense. Seattle is already the best team in the NFC despite all their missing pieces. Now with everyone back together, there may not be any team that can stop them.