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Bobby Wagner leaped over the line of scrimmage, swatted Dan Bailey's field goal attempt and sparked the Seattle Seahawks to two late touchdowns.

 

Whether or not what Wagner did was entirely legal, he frankly didn't care.

Wagner's block midway through the fourth quarter was the catalyst in a 21-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night that pushed Seattle to the brink of a playoff berth.

 

Chris Carson followed the blocked kick with a 2-yard TD run with 2:53 left, and Justin Coleman capped off the Seahawks' fourth straight victory with a 29-yard fumble return for a touchdown 18 seconds later.

 

What was an ugly and mostly forgettable first three quarters turned into a Seattle party in the fourth as the Seahawks (8-5) moved to the brink of wrapping up a wild-card spot in the NFC. One win in Seattle's final three games - including matchups with lowly San Francisco and Arizona - should be enough to put the Seahawks into the postseason.

 

Minnesota (6-6-1) twice had scoring chances in the fourth quarter when it was still a one-score game but was turned away each time. Minnesota's chances of winning the NFC North took a major hit with its second straight loss, but the Vikings still hold the No. 6 spot in the NFC.

 

But much of the conversation centered on Wagner's block of Bailey's 47-yard attempt with 5:38 left and whether it was entirely legal. Wagner's jump through a gap in Minnesota's offensive line was fine, but it appeared he used his teammates to gain leverage, which allowed him to come through and block the kick. A flag was initially thrown but was picked up by the officials.

 

Wagner said he attempted it four times in practice without a problem but acknowledged it could be tough to pull off the play during the fourth quarter of a tight game.

 

Zimmer said he asked for an explanation of what happened but wasn't given one. He was told he couldn't challenge.

 

Seattle took possession and Russell Wilson immediately scrambled 40 yards deep into Minnesota territory. Five plays later, Carson scored and Seattle finally had a cushion. Two plays after that, Jacob Martin sacked Minnesota's Kirk Cousins and the ball popped to Coleman, who weaved his way for the clinching touchdown.

 

Cousins threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Dalvin Cook with 1:10 remaining, but Seattle recovered the onside kick.

 

Wilson had one of the worst passing games of his career, completing 10 of 20 attempts for career-low 72 yards and a baffling interception late in the first half, one of the many mistakes by Seattle that allowed Minnesota to hang around. But Seattle's ground game was outstanding against one of the better run defenses in the NFL. The Seahawks finished with 214 yards rushing, led by 90 yards from Carson.

 

Sebastian Janikowski hit field goals of 37 and 35 yards to account for all of Seattle's scoring until the closing minutes.

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