Moffitt returns at left guard
John Moffitt played right guard in his previous 11 games for Seattle, but he started at left guard Sunday.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Seahawks guard John Moffitt returned to the starting lineup for the Seahawks, but it wasn't on the side nor was it the way anyone expected.
Moffitt played right guard in his previous 11 games for Seattle, but he started at left guard Sunday. He was called on to replace James Carpenter, who was ruled out Saturday with a concussion after Seattle spent several days trying to figure what was bothering him.
"He might have had a concussion issue," coach Pete Carroll said. "He also took a flu shot. We were treating him for being sick to his stomach and stuff. So we weren't quite sure, and at the end of the week we just ruled him out with concussion symptoms. We had to play it safe."
Moffitt had played left guard in college, but not since Seattle drafted him out of Wisconsin in the third round last year. Moffitt was active for the first time in more than a month as he missed the past five games with a knee injury.
Paul McQuistan started the past five games at right guard, but played left guard the first three games while Carpenter was out. Ultimately, Carroll decided to leave McQuistan on the right side.
"We didn't want to move two guys," Carroll said. "We wanted to see if John could hold up on the left side and leave Paul where he was prepared to play."
Rice to the occasion
Receiver Sidney Rice accounted for 59 of the 78 yards on Seattle's second touchdown drive in the first quarter.
He caught two passes for 34 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown, and he also threw a pass for 25 yards to tight end Zach Miller on a play in which quarterback Russell Wilson threw laterally to Rice, who threw downfield.
"Sometimes I think he can throw it better than me," Wilson said of Rice. "He threw that right on the money, actually."
That shouldn't be a surprise. Rice has attempted six passes in his career and completed four of them for 174 yards and a quarterback rating of 109.
The biggest improvement for Seattle's offense against Minnesota was the ability to punch the ball into the end zone when it got close.
Entering the game, Seattle had scored a touchdown eight of the 21 times it had the ball inside an opponent's 20-yard line, the third-worst percentage in the league. Seattle scored a touchdown on four of its five red-zone possessions. Three of those touchdowns were scored on passes from Wilson.
"The offensive line did a great job of protecting, giving me enough time to make some decisions," Wilson said.
Not so noisy
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen didn't believe the vaunted crowd noise at CenturyLink Field was a factor in their loss.
"I didn't think it was that bad," he said. "It was noisier at practice."
The Vikings, he said, set up some "big old monster speakers" to simulate the din in Seattle.
• Peterson's 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter marked the first time the Seahawks did not score first in a game this year.
• As expected, DT Jason Jones (ankle), WR Braylon Edwards (knee) and G Carpenter (concussion) did not play.
Times reporter Larry Stone contributed to this report.