Seahawks top Vikes 41-20 for 13th straight at home

Before he stepped on the field for the first time in more than a
calendar year, Percy Harvin made sure to find old friends on the
Minnesota sideline.

After his new team, the Seattle Seahawks, were done improving to
10-1 with another convincing victory, there were more reunions
between Harvin and his former teammates at midfield.

And in the time between, Harvin reminded Minnesota of his
special skills the Seahawks saw for the first time on Sunday.

”He’s an extraordinary football player, but he’s a better
competitor,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. ”That’s what we
love about him.”

Harvin’s debut was highlighted by a juggling 17-yard reception
that led to one Seattle touchdown and a 58-yard kickoff return late
in the first half that gave the Seahawks a 24-13 halftime lead on
their way to a 41-20 win over the Vikings on Sunday.

More than a year after an ankle injury suffered in Seattle while
still playing for Minnesota ended his 2012 season early, Harvin was
back on the field, three months delayed from his Seahawks
introduction because of hip surgery in August.

It was a first test for Harvin’s hip and a chance for Seattle to
spend two more weeks tinkering with its offense to see how best to
use its newest offensive option going forward.

”It all worked out good,” Harvin said. ”I didn’t get banged
up today. I’m feeling pretty good. I’ll stay during the bye, keep
rehabbing, and get ready for Monday.”

Russell Wilson was done early in the fourth quarter after
completing 13 of 18 passes for 230 yards and a career-best passer
rating of 151.4. His TD pass to Doug Baldwin at the end of the half
was dropped into a tiny throwing window just over the outstretched
arm of Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes.

Then he added a second TD in the fourth quarter when he
backhanded a pass between two Vikings’ defensive linemen to a
wide-open Marshawn Lynch for a 6-yard TD. Lynch also had two
touchdowns rushing.

Wilson’s passer rating was second best in Seahawks history,
behind only Dave Krieg’s 153.3 against San Diego in 1986.

Here are five other things learned as the Seahawks won their
13th straight at home and dropped the Vikings to 2-8:

QB QUESTION REMAINS: Christian Ponder wasn’t bad in the first
half. He completed 9 of 13 passes for 114 yards and a 38-yard
touchdown to Jarius Wright where he badly beat Seattle cornerback
Richard Sherman.

The second half was a far different story. Ponder was 4 of 9 for
15 yards and two bad interceptions. He threw behind Adrian Peterson
and was intercepted by Bobby Wagner early in the fourth quarter
leading to another Seattle touchdown. Four plays later, Ponder
threw into the belly of Walter Thurmond and he returned the
interception 29 yards for his first career touchdown.

Ponder was replaced by Matt Cassel and coach Leslie Frazier said
the position would be evaluated early this week.

COUGH IT UP: Seattle’s defense forced four turnovers on Sunday,
the eighth time in 10 games the Seahawks have forced at least two
turnovers. This time it was Thurmond and defensive lineman Clinton
McDonald getting the first interceptions of their careers.

CHUNK PLAYS: In the past two weeks, the Seahawks are getting
larger chunks of yardage on offense. Seattle had eight offensive
plays of more than 15 yards last week against Atlanta and followed
up with seven plays of 15 yards or more against the Vikings. Wilson
had four completions of 26 yards or more, including a 44-yarder to
Baldwin and 34-yard throw to tight end Zach Miller.

”We got the ball out to seven or eight different guys and
that’s what we want to do,” Wilson said. ”We want to be able to
make it tough on the defense to figure out who to cover.”

AILING ADRIAN: Adrian Peterson galloped through the Seahawks
defense for 182 yards a season ago. On Sunday, he saw some of the
same running lanes, but bothered by a lingering groin injury was
unable accelerate to his fullest and take advantage of the
openings. Peterson was held to 65 yards on 21 carries and his
longest run went for 13 yards.

”There were a couple plays that first half that I knew if I was
able to explode the way I normally do, I could have gotten some big
chunks, even taken it to the house,” Peterson said. ”That second
half, I still had time to get in the groove and start to settle in,
started to loosen up for me. But we couldn’t even create a
drive.”

REST TIME: The Seahawks will go into their bye week with the
best record in the NFL as the league’s only 10-win team and a
looming showdown coming in two weeks when they host New Orleans.
Seattle doesn’t have many bumps going into the break with Jermaine
Kearse’s concussion the only lingering injury coming out of
Sunday’s game.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org