The Seahawks held the NFL’s leading rusher, Adrian Peterson, to a season-low 18 yards on eight carries. He had had seven games with runs longer than 18 yards entering Sunday.

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MINNEAPOLIS — At their best, the Seahawks roam the field like a pack of wild dogs. No pass goes uncontested. No tackle is made alone. Nothing comes easy.

It looked that way in Sunday’s 38-7 dismantling of the Vikings. But it also felt that way on the field.

“Whooo!” safety Earl Thomas said. “It felt like the Denver game we played in in the Super Bowl. Just attack mode. We looked fast out there.”

Or, as linebacker K.J. Wright put it, “Everybody was eating out there.”

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The Seahawks held the NFL’s leading rusher, Adrian Peterson, to a season-low 18 yards on eight carries. He had had seven games with runs longer than 18 yards entering Sunday.

They held quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to just 118 passing yards, sacked him four times and picked him off once.

They didn’t give up an offensive touchdown — Minnesota’s only touchdown was a kickoff return — and played as well as they have all season.

“It did feel dominant,” Wright said. “The quarterback couldn’t even throw the check-down. He didn’t really try to test our secondary much.”

The Seahawks knew their main task was to stop Peterson, a player they respected. Peterson had rushed for a touchdown in each of his past four games and had run for 100 yards in four of his past five. But the Seahawks never let him get going.

His longest run was for 5 yards, and he caught four passes for just 6 yards. By the time the Seahawks took control at halftime, the Vikings had to go away from their biggest weapon.

It was telling that six of Seattle’s top seven tacklers were linebackers or defensive linemen, and the only member of the secondary among that group was safety Kam Chancellor, who Thomas called a “fourth linebacker.”

“Whenever Earl is making tackles, it’s not a good thing,” Wright said.

Thomas had just two tackles, an indication of how the defense played.

“It can’t get past the D-line, it can’t get past the linebackers,” Wright said. “If he’s making tackles, we’re not doing our job up front.”

The Seahawks gave up a franchise-record 480 passing yards to Pittsburgh last week. The Seahawks have been susceptible at times this season to the pass, but they have been ruthless against the run and were once again.

“This defense has been together so long, we know what we’re capable of,” Wright said. “So when we had our bad game, we knew we could come out and shut out our next opponent. Our coaches really challenged us. They challenged us with our performance last week to come out here and play better.”

Carroll pulls out stops

The Seahawks’ Pete Carroll coached for the Vikings from 1985-89, a period he has termed pivotal in his career. And he acknowledged after the win that a return to Minnesota and playing in front of former coaches Bud Grant and Jerry Burns made the game “really fun, personally.’’

And maybe that was why Carroll left no stone unturned in making sure the Seahawks were ready for Sunday’s game.

Carroll made changes to the practice tempo during the week that players said helped keep things fresh, and on Saturday night he showed the players a film that interspersed highlights of many players during their college years as well as clips of their Seahawks days.

“That was special,’’ quarterback Russell Wilson said. “That was one of the coolest highlights we’ve ever had, a mixture of some of our Seahawks highlights and some of our college plays, too. Just to watch the similarities and just realizing that we play the greatest game in the world, we get to play football.’’

Thomas said the message was that “it’s a child’s game, and we just have to continue to enjoy it. … He said that we’re still the same player that we were in college and said that we’re going to make the same plays in the NFL that we did in college.’’

Rookies shine

Sunday’s game might have been the biggest statement yet for the team’s 2015 rookie class, as Thomas Rawls rushed for 101 yards (his fourth 100-yard game), receiver Tyler Lockett had a season-high seven receptions and defensive tackle Frank Clark a season-high two sacks.

“Really exciting to see,’’ Carroll said. “That’s exactly what we hope happens, and we’re going to need a lot more from them as we go down the stretch.’’

Lockett takes big hit

Lockett’s longest reception came on a 29-yarder in which he was sandwiched by two Minnesota defenders, with safety Antone Exum Jr. being flagged for a personal foul for unnecessary roughness.

“I didn’t even see the guy,’’ Lockett said. “It shocked me when he hit me. But the biggest thing was holding onto the ball. I don’t know if it was a flag or not, but it was a good hit by him. … I thought it was a legal hit, but I’m not going to complain with another 15 yards.’’

Notes

• Carroll said after the game there were no new injuries.

• Cornerback Cary Williams, a starter the first 10 games, was a healthy inactive for the second consecutive game after being benched in the second half Nov. 22 against the 49ers.