Minnesota cornerback Marcus Sherels returned an interception 53 yards for the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter, lifting the Vikings past the Seahawks 18-11 Thursday at Seattle in a rematch of last season's dramatic NFC wild-card game.
Sherels picked off a pass from Seattle rookie quarterback Trevone Boykin.
Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater warmed up and was in uniform but did not play. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters it was a coach's decision to keep Bridgewater out. Backup Shaun Hill completed 10 of 17 passes for 129 yards in the first half.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson started and played the entire first half, but he couldn't get the Seahawks in the end zone. Wilson completed 5 of 11 passes for 77 yards. He was sacked four times in the first half.
In last season's playoffs, Seattle squeaked out a 10-9 win in frigid Minnesota after Vikings kicker Blair Walsh missed a go-ahead, 27-yard field goal with 23 seconds to play.
The weather was warmer Thursday in Seattle, but the scoring remained minimal. Minnesota running back Jerick McKinnon scored on a 1-yard run late in the second quarter. Hill passed to Matt Asiata for a two-point conversion.
Walsh made a 27-yard field goal right before the end of the first half, sending the Vikings into the locker room with an 11-0 lead.
Seattle running back Troymaine Pope scored on a 4-yard carry early in the fourth quarter, and Steven Hauschka tied it up with a 49-yard field goal 5:50 to play. Both scoring drives were led by Boykin (10 for 20, 127 yards, one interception).
Pope finished with 86 yards on 10 carries, while Seahawks teammate Christine Michael ran 10 times for 55 yards. Seattle wide receiver Antwan Godley made a game-high five receptions for 65 yards.
Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen caught four passes for 61 yards.