MINNEAPOLIS — Six weeks ago, the Seattle Seahawks left Minnesota with a laugher 38-7 victory over the Vikings.
Well, the Seahawks have returned for a rematch, and the Vikings won't
be extending a warm welcome.
Sunday's temperature at kickoff is expected to be around zero degrees.
"You've got to make it work. Just use it to your advantage. Nobody likes being cold, but you've got to be comfortable being uncomfortable," Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs said.
Yes, the Seahawks have begun their quest for a third straight Super Bowl appearance with the opportunity to avenge last year's crushing loss to New England. Sure, the Vikings have secured their first home game in the playoffs in six years. This wild-card game is most likely to be remembered, though, for the thermometer.
"This is nothing. This is what we do. This is why we're in Minnesota in the first place," Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd said.
One key to the Seattle's success is the roll that quarterback Russell Wilson has been on.
He finished the regular season on a historic high, with 24 touchdown passes and only one interception over the final seven games. He became the franchise record-holder for single-season touchdown passes (34) and the first 4,000-yard passer in Seahawks history, and led the NFL in passer rating for the season at 110.1.
The Seahawks have not had running back Marshawn Lynch on the field since Nov. 15 against Arizona, when he attempted to play through an abdominal injury. Lynch had eight carries for 42 yards and a touchdown in that game, sat out the following week against San Francisco, and underwent surgery Nov. 25.
Lynch fully participated in each practice this week, putting him on track to return, but late Friday the Seahawks ruled him out after announcing he didn't travel to Minnesota.