Missed tackles plague Vikings against Russell Wilson, Thomas Rawls

The Seahawks averaged 4.8 yards per carry against the Vikings, lead by Thomas Rawls (19 carries, 101 yards). AP Photo/Jim Mone

MINNEAPOLIS -- The teams to beat the Minnesota Vikings this season have generally been the ones that have been able to exploit their run defense. With four defensive starters out for the Vikings by the midpoint of the first quarter on Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks had little trouble doing just that.

Seattle rushed for 173 yards on 36 attempts on Sunday, taking advantage of a depleted Vikings defense that couldn't handle battering ram Thomas Rawls or the fleet-footed Russell Wilson, who added 51 yards on nine attempts to Rawls' 101 yards on 19 carries. The Vikings allowed 110 yards before contact on Sunday, according to ESPN Stats & Information, and missed a total of 13 tackles as a team, according to Pro Football Focus.

"We just were on our heels all day," linebacker Chad Greenway said. "It kind of felt that way on the field -- just kind of trying to react to what they were doing and not being up to speed with it. We never got comfortable out there, and got those key third-down stops to get off the field, to kind of get yourself in a rhythm and take the rhythm away from them."

Here are some observation about the Vikings' defense after Sunday's 38-7 loss to the Seahawks:

Total defensive plays: 67

Defensive line:

Notes: Robison might have been the Vikings' best defensive player on Sunday. He had both of the Vikings' sacks and another tackle for loss. The Vikings continued moving him inside as a pass-rusher on third downs to get Hunter on the field more often; the rookie missed a sack of Wilson in the first quarter, but was credited with a 6-yard tackle for loss on the next series after he refrained from biting on the Seahawks' read-option play and brought Wilson down. The Vikings blitzed Wilson on just 14.7 percent of his dropbacks, but managed to pressure him 38.2 percent of the time. Getting him to the turf -- and stopping him on the run -- however, was the problem. Johnson played most of the day at 3-technique tackle, and was taken out with a cut block on Rawls' first-quarter TD.


Notes: Kendricks had one of the tougher days of his rookie season; Pro Football Focus credited him with three missed tackles, and on Rawls' 19-yard run in the second quarter, Kendricks appeared to fall for a Wilson read-option fake, leaving a big hole in the middle of the field for Rawls to pick up yardage. Barr left after just seven plays, reaggravating the groin injury that had him questionable for the game, and Trusnik -- whom the Vikings signed last month -- missed a tackle on Rawls' 5-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

Defensive backs:

Notes: With Andrew Sendejo out and Blanton leaving the game briefly after colliding with Exum on his hit of Tyler Lockett, the Vikings had to move Newman to safety and put Waynes at left cornerback. Smith spent much of the second quarter trying to get his hamstring loose, but eventually went to the locker room and could only watch the remainder of the game from the sidelines. Exum made a great play to strip Rawls in the first quarter, but in addition to his unnecessary roughness penalty on the Lockett hit, he was beat deep in coverage on Doug Baldwin's second touchdown.