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After leading big win at Seattle in 2017, Kirk Cousins seeks one for Vikings

EAGAN, Minn. -- It might not have been the best comeback Kirk Cousins has helped engineer, but it was the fastest.

Playing for Washington last season at Seattle, Cousins led the Redskins on a four-play, 70-yard scoring drive that took just 35 seconds. It culminated in a one-yard touchdown run by Robert Kelley with 59 seconds left, giving Washington a 17-14 victory.

“That was a heartbreaker for us,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Thursday, Dec. 6.

On Monday night, Cousins will return to CenturyLink Field with the Vikings. Since the venue opened in 2002, the Vikings are 1-3 there, the only positive a 31-13 win in 2006. In the two most recent meetings, the Vikings lost 30-20 in 2012 and 41-20 in 2013.

Cousins, however, has some good history there. On Nov. 5, 2017, he completed 21 of 31 passes for 247 yards, including a 38-yard pass to Josh Doctson down the left sideline to the Seattle 1-yard line that set up the winning touchdown.

“I remember it being a tough game. … We just made enough plays there at the very end to come out with a win,” Cousins said Thursday. “It would seem to be the loudest (stadium) in the NFL, and I think they’ve earned that over the last decade and a half.”

Asked if it was one of his better comebacks, Cousins said, “I don’t really rank them.”

Still, it was considered a significant upset. Seattle was an eight-point favorite and had won 14 of its previous 16 regular-season and playoff games at home. Since then, they’ve lost six of eight games at CenturyLink Field. But the Seahawks have won their last three games overall and seem to have righted the ship after what Carroll called a “miserable stretch.”

In their past two home games, the Seahawks (7-5) beat Green Bay and San Francisco, the latter a 43-16 victory in which Seattle won the turnover battle 3-0.

“That’s something that’s been characteristic of our play at home for years and years, and last week it was true to form,” Carroll said. “When we’re able to do that, it just allows us to capture the momentum of the home crowd. … Sometimes we get too excited playing at home because we get fired up about the crowd and all that, and we didn’t play as well for a while there.”

The fans figure to be amped up for Monday’s battle for playoff positioning. While the Seahawks currently hold the No. 5 spot in the NFC playoff race, Minnesota (6-5-1) is No. 6. The Vikings are 1K games behind Chicago (8-4) in the NFC North and might need a win to stay in the division race.

“It’s big, very big,’’ running back Dalvin Cook said. “We want to go out there and put a full game together as a whole team. … This is another game that we have to go out there and do that and show that we’re still in this thing.”

Head coach Mike Zimmer expects the game to have a playoff feel.

While the Vikings played preseason games at Seattle in 2016 and 2017, only five players remain from their last regular-season game at CenturyLink. Defensive end Everson Griffen, and cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Marcus Sherels, played there in 2013; safety Harrison Smith and tight end Kyle Rudolph were sidelined by injuries.

“Their fans are rowdy,” Griffen said. “It rains a lot throughout the year in Seattle, so they get very grumpy, a very depressed state there, I’m thinking. But it’s going to be loud. It’s going to be (Monday) Night Football. It’s going to be a chance for us to go get a win in Seattle.’’