Seahawks vs. Redskins 2013 NFL Playoff Preview
Seahawks at Redskins
(11-5) #5 seed Seattle Seahawks at #4 seed Washington Redskins (10-6)
The Seahawks are 3-5 on the road, while the Redskins are 5-3 at home.
Both teams made the playoffs by going 7-1 in the second half of their season. These are two mega-hot teams going at it in Washington on Sunday.
Seattle opened the season by scoring less than 20 points in five of their first seven games. The offense since then has caught fire as they have averaged 30 points per game over their last nine games, and during their current five game winning streak they are averaging a whopping 39 points per game.
The Redskins are averaging 30 points per game during their current seven game winning streak.
These two teams are each very good for turnover ratio. The Seahawks are at +13, and the Redskins are at +17.
Both teams are in the top-11 for getting into the red-zone.
This slideshow article will take a look at both teams passing games (Wash 20th overall for passing, Sea 27th overall) and also look at both teams rushing attacks (these two teams are both in the top-3 for rushing attacks).
These are two of the most penalized teams in the NFL, but the Redskins have been significantly better in this area lately.
This game will feature the 2012 NFL Draft's #2 overall pick (Robert Griffin III) #15 overall (Bruce Irvin) #75 overall (Russell Wilson) and #173 overall (Alfred Morris).
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan has a 8-5 playoff record, but his last playoff win was way back in 2005. His counterpart Pete Carroll last won a playoff game in 2010, and his overall playoff record is just 2-3.
Seattle Passing Game
On the season Russell Wilson tossed just nine touchdowns and eight interceptions on the road, but he has been on fire lately. In his last eight games Wilson has 20 touchdowns (16 passing and four rushing) vs just a pair of interceptions. His hot second half got his quarterback rating all the way up to 100.0 which was #4 in the NFL.
Sidney Rice is dealing with a wonky knee, but I am sure he will play. He and Golden Tate each have seven touchdowns this season, but they have combined for just five on the road.
Both of those guys are a threat on 3rd down, as is Doug Baldwin. The Seahawks convert 3rd downs pretty well, and the Redskins defense is the worst in football at getting off the field on 3rd down. That is a sure #RML area to keep our eyes on as the NFL is all about 3rd down conversion and turnovers.
Speaking of turnovers this Redskins team picked off a whopping 21 passes in 2012 (only two teams had more interceptions, and 21 is the most of any playoff team). The interesting thing about Jim Haslett's crew is the interceptions come from the linebackers. London Fletcher has five (team-high) and Rob Jackson has four.
Another linebacker, Ryan Kerrigan, is their sack leader at 8.5, but only 1.5 of those have come at FedExField. This is a Redskins defense that has earned just 16 sacks at home. Wilson has been sacked just 15 times on the road. Haslett will have to find a way to dial up the pressure vs a suddenly en fuego Wilson on Sunday.
Seattle Rushing Attack
Marshawn Lynch is awesome. 1,590 rushing yards (#3 in the NFL) 68 rushing first downs (fifth most in NFL) and a 5.0 yards per carry average (sixth best in the NFL). Only four players rushed for more than Lynch's 11 touchdowns, but only four of those came on the road.
Lynch eclipsed 100+ rushing yards four times on the road, and he had 90+ yards from scrimmage in seven of his eight road games this season.
The modus operandi of Lynch is he scores points in the first three quarters, and then brings the victory home in the 4th quarter.
Lynch is not the only ground-game threat on this Seahawks team. Wilson is second on the team with 489 rushing yards which is #35 in the NFL, and #3 for quarterbacks. Wilson averages 5.2 yards per carry, and he has 30 rushing first downs.
Overall the Seahawks are ranked as the third best running game in the NFL.
Overall the Redskins are #5 vs the run. Teams attempted to run vs Washington less than any other playoff team. This game promises to be the exact opposite of that as no NFL team ran the football more than Seattle in 2012.
Redskins Passing Game
Robert Griffin III had a wonderful rookie season. His 102.4 quarterback rating was third best in the NFL. He tossed 20 touchdowns vs just five interceptions. At FedExField he had eight touchdowns and just one interception.
The 'Skins passing attack is pretty balanced. Josh Morgan, Leonard Hankerson, Santana Moss, and Pierre Garcon all have between 510-633 receiving yards. Moss leads the club with eight touchdown catches, and the Redskins are a whopping 9-1 when Garcon plays.
Putting together a good passing game vs the Seahawks in Seattle is almost impossible, but this game will be in the nation's capital. Regardless where the game is I would have to think that this Seahawks secondary always has a chance to be effective.
Brandon Browner is back, and he gets paired with fellow starting cornerback Richard Sherman to make a formidable cornerback-duo. Sherman is #2 in the NFL with a whopping eight interceptions.
Sherman and Browner each go 6'3", as does safety Kam Chancellor. Their other safety is Earl Thomas. He is 5'10" and he is awesome (Pro Bowl player the last two seasons). This secondary has size and skill, and are a nightmare to throw against in the red-zone.
Seattle has just 15 sacks on the road, but they are #6 overall vs the pass thanks to that secondary.
A #RML area to watch will be the Seahawks defensive-line led by Chris Clemons vs Trent Williams and the Redskins offensive-line. Clemons leads the Seahawks with 11.5 sacks, and Williams made his first Pro Bowl this season.
Redskins Rushing Attack
The Redskins running attack is the best in the NFL. Amazing to see that it is two rookies leading the way as RG III and Alfred Morris are both in the top-20 for rushing yards, yards per carry, 20+ yard rushes, and rushing touchdowns.
Morris has 12 of his 13 touchdowns in Redskins victories so we see he is a legit contributor to this teams pleasant surprise run to the playoffs.
At FedExField the rookies have gone for 5.2 yards per carry (Morris) and 7.2 (RG III).
Washington averages a whopping 187 rushing yards at home, and they averaged 182 rushing yards per game in their 5-0 December.
An amazing #RML stat is the Redskins have 81 rushing 1st downs at FedExField, which is more rushing 1st downs than 11 teams had in total.
The Redskins rushed for 2,709 yards in 2012, which is the fourth most rushing yards for any team in the 2000's.
Seattle yields a whopping 4.5 yards per carry, but they are #10 overall vs the run. They bend, but they do not break. Seattle allowed just eight rushing touchdowns which is top-5 in the NFL.
Seahawks at Redskins...NFC Playoffs
TOUGH game to call for me. The Seahawks are much better at home than they are on the road, but lately they have been awesome anywhere.
A team that has to rely on their passing game will be eaten by the Seahawks, but the Redskins running game will carry the day and get them the win.
Of all the (really good) rookies in this game I think that Alfred Morris will have a major impact, and I will take the Redskins to win this game which would be their first home playoff victory in the 2000's.
Thank you for reading my work, much appreciated! I am honored to be the 2013 NFL Playoffs Insider for Rant Sports. All playoffs long I will have game preview's and other articles pertaining to the playoffs so I hope you will check out my work further.
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