Vikings’ return game does little vs. Hawks

SEATTLE – The Seahawks entered Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings having allowed just 15 punt-return yards all season, by far the fewest in the NFL.

And when the game was over, against a Vikings team that came in leading the NFL in yards per punt return – 16.3 – Seattle had still allowed just 15 punt-return yards for the season.

“I think it’s pretty cool,” said punter Jon Ryan. “And I want to keep it going.”

Minnesota also came in with the NFL’s leading kickoff returner, Cordarrelle Patterson (34.4 per attempt). But the Seahawks kept any of Minnesota returners from doing major damage in pulling away to rout the Vikings 41-20.

“We really respected their returners and we kept them in check for the most part,” said Seattle coach Pete Carroll. “They had one good return (a 35-yard kickoff return by Patterson), but all in all we really answered that one.”

Jeremy Lane, who is part of both coverage units, said the Seahawks didn’t really do much different against Patterson or punt returner Marcus Sherels.

“We just did what we did,” Lane said. “Stayed disciplined.”

Ryan punted five times against the Vikings. Sherels fair-caught three, with Lane downing another at the 7.

Bob Condotta

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