Finally, after two weeks of no football, the Vikings are back in action on Monday night against the Seattle Seahawks.
With five games to play and Minnesota needing to keep pace with the Packers in the division and in a crowded NFC playoff field, a victory carries a ton of weight in Minnesota's postseason hopes.
Here are three keys and staff predications for the Vikings' Week 13 tilt with the Seahawks.
1. Cousins redemption game
Almost a year ago to the day, in the same circumstance on Monday Night Football, the Vikings fell to the Seahawks 21-7 in Seattle in a very winnable game.
Cousins' stat line wasn't terrible that day, going 20-of-33 for 208 yards, one touchdown and 89.0 passer rating. However, the most damning play was when Cousins had his back turned to the line of scrimmage and opted to throw a pass to Latavius Murray. Despite the defense shutting down Russell Wilson all game long, Cousins could not lead the team to more than 7 points.
The offense's performance cost then-offensive coordinator John DeFilippo his job and played a big part in the Vikings missing the playoffs.
Since then, Kevin Stefanski has taken over the play-calling reigns and over the last two months Cousins is playing some of the best football of his career.
If he can go into Seattle and lead the Vikings to a win in one of the toughest places to play, Minnesota sports fans will have a new level of respect for the quarterback.
2. Injuries could be an issue
We already know Adam Thielen and Ben Gedeon won't play, but other starters are in question too. Harrison Smith, Linval Joseph, Anthony Harris and Shamar Stephen have all been limited in practice and are potentially game-time decisions.
It's hard enough to win on the road but if the Vikings are without so many key contributors, it's going to be very difficult to pull off a victory.
Also with Thielen out, Minnesota only has three wide receivers on the active roster in Stefon Diggs, Olabisi Johnson and Laquon Treadwell. They could bring up rookie Davion Davis from the practice squad but they'd have to create a roster spot for him. For now, it seems like another night where rookie tight end Irv Smith Jr. lines up as a wide receiver quite a bit.
3. Slowing down Wilson
Russell Wilson has put himself in the MVP conversation with 24 touchdowns, three interceptions, 8.3 yards per attempt, four fourth-quarter comebacks and five game-winning drives.
With the Legion of Boom era over and done with, the Seahawks defense is a mess and Wilson is carrying Seattle this season. When these two teams met last season, Wilson's 37.9 passer rating was the worst figure of his career.
It's unlikely Zimmer can limit Wilson to another lackluster game, but Everson Griffen, Danielle Hunter and other pass rushers need to get after Wilson to limit his insane playmaking ability.
Declan Goff, BMTN Sports Writer
On paper, this game seems like a lot to overcome with the Vikings being on the road and possibly without multiple starters. However, the Seahawks defense is very beatable and despite the constant narrative of Cousins failing to show up in big games, he should be able to sling it around. This is a season-defining game for the Vikings and a win will show the rest of the league they're legitimate contenders in the NFC. Final score: Vikings 24, Seahawks 17
Blair Anderson, Vikings superfan
I'd encourage you all to check out my Wide Left blog and staying true to my latest post, I think more weird stuff will happen in Seattle. My guess? The Vikings keep this game close until the final drive, but then Eddie Vedder comes out of nowhere and unleashes a bad ass version of Evenflow. It's not Creed, but Cousins is into the music and completely forgets there's a game. Bobby Wagner levels him and scoops up the football while running into the end zone and the Seahawks pick up a win they probably shouldn't have. Pete Carroll ends the night by offering everyone in attendance the shirt off his back in exchange for some grilled cheese and screaming "COMPETITION!!!" before having the beer and hot dog vendors take part in an Oklahoma drill. Final score: Seahawks 10, Vikings 7
Adam Uren, BMTN editor
The Vikings take to the field with Target as their new jersey sponsor, while Seattle arrive at Safeco wearing Amazon-branded helmets. Even without Adam Thielen, Kirk Cousins throws for 400 yards including touchdowns to Diggs, Cook and Johnson. Unfortunately, the Vikings have Xavier Rhodes, and the Russell Wilson-Tyler Lockett combination crushes the Vikings pass defense like Jeff Bezos crushing Seattle's affordable housing market. Kyle Rudolph has the chance to win the game for the Vikings in the final seconds, unfortunately he didn't pay for same-day delivery and eventually lumbers into the endzone on Wednesday morning. Final score: Seahawks 35, Vikings 31.
Chris Schad, BMTN sports writer
In preparation for this game, I went back and watched last year's debacle in Seattle and to my surprise, it wasn't as bad as I thought. The Vikings were shut out until garbage time, but they had their chances to win and if it weren't for an offensive line that was complete trash, they may have come away with the win. Both teams are much improved in the passing game, but I think the difference will be Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison. Although Cook has cooled off since his blistering start, I think he's poised for a big game and the Vikings win in a shootout. Final score: Vikings 34, Seahawks 31
Joe Nelson, BMTN sports director
Seattle's wins: Bengals, Steelers, Cardinals, Rams, Browns, Falcons, Bucs, 49ers, Eagles. That's nine wins but arguably only one against a really quality team (49ers). They beat the Rams by one point when the Rams were stinking up the league, and their two-point win over the Steelers was in Week 2 when Ben Roethlisberger got injured. In addition, the Seahawks are 3-2 in five home games, and two of the three victories were by a single point and the other required overtime. They could easily be 0-5 at home. Plus, Mike Zimmer has claimed to have gone back to the drawing board with Xavier Rhodes and the struggling secondary, so I think Minnesota shockingly plays well and gets a massive road win. Final score: Vikings 24, Seahawks 20.