Seahawks try to do it again against Vikings

The Seattle Seahawks handed the Minnesota Vikings a 38-7 loss in Week 13. The teams meet again Sunday (1 p.m. ET) in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

Below are five things to know about the matchup.

1. The Vikings may try to blitz Russell Wilson more. Minnesota is not a big blitzing team. During the regular season, the Vikings sent five or more rushers 26.6 percent of the time, which ranked 20th in the league. In the first meeting, they blitzed Wilson only five times on 32 dropbacks (15.6 percent of the time) and Wilson went 3-for-4 for 73 yards. Against standard pressure (four rushers or fewer), Wilson went 18-for-23 for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Since Week 11, Wilson has been on fire against the blitz with a passer rating of 137.0, and the Seahawks have become very difficult to defend. But the best option for opposing defenses is to create disruption up front. That's what the St. Louis Rams did in Week 16, often with five-man pressures. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer tried having his guys sit back in coverage, and Wilson torched them from the pocket, something he has done on a consistent basis. It wouldn't be surprising if Zimmer gambled a little more and dialed up pressures, specifically when the Seahawks are in obvious passing situations.

2. It won't be as easy for Seattle's offense. The Vikings were without their two starting safeties in the first meeting. Harrison Smith played 10 snaps, and Andrew Sendejo was inactive. Wilson, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and the Seahawks did a brilliant job of picking on the Vikings' backups. When targeting Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett, Wilson went 12-for-12 for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Smith, Sendejo and versatile linebacker Anthony Barr (seven snaps in the first matchup) will be on the field Sunday. The Vikings allowed 18.88 points per game in the regular season, the fifth-best mark in the league. Wilson and the Seahawks have been on a roll since Week 11, and they should be able to move the football, but it's not going to be as easy as it was the first time around when pretty much everything seemed to work.

3. Defensively, this is a great matchup for the Seahawks. The offenses that have given Seattle issues this season have featured prolific passing attacks. The Vikings do not fit that description. They have averaged 28.4 passing attempts per game, the fewest in the NFL. In the first meeting, Teddy Bridgewater was 17-of-28 passing for 118 yards and an interception. What stood out on film was that the Seahawks' coverages often forced Bridgewater to hold onto the ball, and the pass rush was able to get home. Seattle had four sacks and seven QB hits. On the season, Bridgewater took (on average) 2.81 seconds before each pass, the second-longest time in the NFL. And he has been sacked on 8.5 percent of his dropbacks, third-most in the league. The Vikings have played the same five offensive linemen all season, but the Seahawks' front seven dominated them in the first game.

4. Game flow will impact Adrian Peterson's impact. Peterson carried the ball just eight times for 18 yards and didn't notch a run of more than 5 yards in the first meeting, voicing his displeasure afterward. The Seahawks' goal will be to build a lead and force the Vikings to pass to get back in the game. Minnesota will look to do the opposite: control the clock, run the ball and keep it close. The Seahawks have limited opponents to 3.60 yards per carry on the season, the fourth-best mark in the NFL. And it's worth noting that while Peterson has had a tremendous season, he is a bit banged-up at the moment and has slowed down the stretch. In the past five games, he has averaged just 3.57 yards per carry, which ranks 40th in the league during that span.

5. Special teams could flip the game. According to Football Outsiders' rankings, the Seahawks and Vikings feature the third- and fourth-best special-teams units, respectively, in the NFL. Cordarrelle Patterson averaged 31.84 yards per kickoff return in the regular season, tops in the league. He had two touchdowns on returns, including one against Seattle. Lockett, meanwhile, ranks ninth (25.82 yards) and has scored both as a punt returner and a kickoff returner. The Seahawks look like the better team both offensively and defensively, but if the Vikings can make a play or two on special teams, they could have a chance to pull the upset.