What’s worse: Suffering two defeats on the road on the last play of the game or blowing a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead at home?
That’s the question the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings will attempt to answer Sunday afternoon when they meet in Minneapolis.
After easily winning their season opener at Indianapolis, the Seahawks (1-1) returned home and had a seemingly insurmountable advantage against Tennessee heading into the fourth quarter.
But Derrick Henry, the two-time defending NFL rushing champion, wore them down. Henry accumulated 107 of his 182 yards rushing in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Titans came away with a 33-30 victory.
“There was a game to be won there,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said this week. “That’s why it’s a real disappointment to let them get away with it.”
The Vikings (0-2) can perhaps top that.
They rallied to force overtime in their season opener in Cincinnati before Dalvin Cook fumbled late in the extra session, allowing the Bengals to kick a field goal for a 27-24 victory as time expired.
Last week in Arizona, the Vikings fell 34-33 as Greg Joseph’s 37-yard field-goal attempt with four seconds left sailed wide right.
“We’re probably two plays away from being 2-0 on the road,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “But it’ll be good to get back to U.S. Bank Stadium in front of our fans this week.”
Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson said he remains confident.
“It’s going to turn for us. Just have to continue to lean on one another and continue to believe in our coaching staff and the game plan that they put together for us every week,” he said. “Just have to go out and execute at an all-time high because you never know what play is going to cost you the game.”
The Seahawks have won six straight regular-season games against the Vikings, including a 27-26 victory last year in Seattle on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to DK Metcalf with six seconds remaining.
The Seahawks cruised for their first seven quarters under new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron before stalling in the fourth last week.
Wilson threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns against Tennessee. Tyler Lockett had eight catches for 178 yards, including a 63-yard TD.
Despite rushing for two touchdowns, Chris Carson gained just 31 yards on 13 carries.
“We did so many good things and then we really hurt ourselves just too many times when you’re playing a good team,” Carroll said.
The Vikings’ Cook, the league’s second-leading rusher last season with 1,557 yards, gained 131 yards on the ground last week before suffering a slightly sprained ankle late in the game when tackled by Arizona’s J.J. Watt.
Zimmer said Cook would “get a little bit of work” at practice this week and will likely play Sunday.
“At this stage, it’s time to get some wins,” Zimmer said. “Dalvin’s a tough guy. If he can’t play, there’s a reason why he’s not playing. But he makes us go, so we’re going to continue to play him.”
Cook was the only Vikings player not to participate in practice Wednesday. Peterson (toe) and fellow cornerback Bashaud Breeland (back/shoulder), linebackers Eric Kendricks (hip) and Anthony Barr (knee), defensive end Everson Griffen (concussion) and offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (groin) were limited.
For the Seahawks, offensive tackle Brandon Shell (ankle), wide receivers Dee Eskridge (concussion) and Freddie Swain (back), and running back Rashaad Penny (calf) missed practice. Defensive tackle Bryan Mone (elbow) was a limited participant.