Defensive MVP – Honorable Mentions
This was a kind of ugly game defensively. Seattle ran all over the Vikings, gaining a total of 218 yards on the ground. 29 of those came on special teams during a fake punt run from Travis Homer, meaning 189 of those yards came against the Minnesota defense.
The pass defense wasn’t a lot better. Russell Wilson picked on several of the Vikings’ defenders during the game, particularly in the second half where he scored both of his passing touchdowns. But not everything was negative.
Here are some of the defensive standouts from this game who weren’t quite the MVP from Week 13 against the Seahawks:
- Anthony Barr – linebacker: A lot was asked of Barr in this game. He did a great job as a tackler, leading the team with 11 takedowns, seven solo. But he also registered two hits on Russell Wilson and did a solid job when dropping back into coverage.
- Harrison Smith – safety: There were too many occasions where ball carriers made their way into the second or third level against the Vikings defense. Thankfully, Smith was there to make the stop on numerous occasions. He had ten tackles in the game, six solo, and added one pass defense.
- Armon Watts – defensive tackle: It’s always nice to see rookies making great plays. The best play of this game came thanks to the big man raising his arms to deflect a Wilson pass right back to the quarterback. Wilson swatted it back and it was returned by Anthony Harris for a score. He also added three tackles, all solo.
- Eric Kendricks – linebacker: As stated earlier, Kendricks was tasked with a lot of tackling duties with the Seattle running backs breaking through that defensive line. He tied for second on the team in tackles with ten, bringing down four of them by himself and one behind the line of scrimmage.