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Seahawks top Vikings, who miss late field goal

MINNEAPOLIS — Russell Wilson and the Seahawks needed more than three quarters to warm up at Minnesota, their quest to avenge last year's Super Bowl loss nearly frozen before it began.

The Vikings, after gritting through this grind-it-out wild-card playoff game, booted their chance to beat the two-time defending NFC champions.

Blair Walsh's 27-yard field goal try into the frigid wind hooked left with 22 seconds left, handing Seattle a 10-9 victory Sunday in weather that tied for the third-coldest NFL game on record.

The thermometer read minus 6 at kickoff in the Vikings' final game at TCF Bank Stadium, their temporary home at the University of Minnesota before they move into their new dome in 2016.

"A lot of people would've folded up and said, 'That's it,' but we've got a team full of fighters," Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said.

Seattle (11-6) didn't score until Russell Wilson's short touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin early in the fourth quarter. Then a fumble by Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, the league's leading rusher, on the next possession set up the winning field goal by Steven Hauschka.

The Vikings (11-6) took the ball for the deciding drive with 1:42 left at their 39 and, aided by a pass interference penalty on safety Kam Chancellor, drove deep into Seattle territory. Walsh simply missed after making all three earlier attempts.

"I think we were fortunate that we got the win," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "A lot of those times, guys make those kicks."

Walsh didn't hide. Holder Jeff Locke had the laces turned in, not out, but there were no excuses.

"You're confident, but you never think that you have it or take it for granted," Walsh said, subdued with glassy eyes in the locker room. "I just didn't put a swing on it that would be acceptable by anybody's standards."

Huddled around sideline heaters and wearing capes on the shaded side of the stadium, the Seahawks trailed 9-0 with 13 minutes left. Wilson nearly took a huge loss on first down when he fumbled a shotgun snap he wasn't ready for. But the guy Vikings coach Mike Zimmer called "Houdini" last week darted right, dodged a sack and found receiver Tyler Lockett wide open for a 35-yard completion to set up the score to Baldwin.

"Just tried to extend the play," said Wilson, who went 13-for-26 for 142 yards. "Find a way."

Chancellor, who ripped the ball away from Peterson that defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin recovered, missed a tackle on tight end Kyle Rudolph's 24-yard reception as the Vikings reached the 18 with 1:26 left. But Peterson's next three carries left the Vikings a yard short of the first down.

That set up Walsh.

"It's a chip shot," Zimmer said. "He's got to make it."

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Grant, 88, goes without jacket, proving he's tougher than weather

The Vikings made Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant their honorary captain for Sunday's game in Minneapolis with the temperature at minus-6 degrees at kickoff. And all the 88-year-old did was go out for the pregame coin toss in a short-sleeve shirt. "Would you hold my jacket while I go out for the toss and show how we love this weather?" Grant asked an NFL staffer before walking to midfield. When Grant coached the Vikings in all those wintry games at Metropolitan Stadium in the 1970s and 80s, the Wisconsin native didn't allow heaters or heated seating on the sideline. He believed his players should accept the conditions and deal with them. In an interview with the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Grant was asked when he decided to go out in short sleeves. "I saw the weather was not too bad." Was he cold out there? "Cold is not debilitating. Cold is not bad. I don't freeze." Did he wear a jacket when he left home? "Well, yeah, I wore a jacket. … No, no, no. I'm not goofy, I might be strange, but I'm not goofy."

Seahawks top Vikings, who miss late field goal 01/10/16 [Last modified: Sunday, January 10, 2016 11:33pm]
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