2013 NFL Playoffs Preview: Redskins vs. Seahawks
The Washington Redskins will host the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card weekend’s final game on Sunday, January 6th. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30pm. The Redskins earned the NFC’s last remaining playoff spot with a 28-18 home victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the finale of the 2012 NFL season.
Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III did not have his usual stellar game, passing for only 100 yards. However, Redskins running back Alfred Morris was more than capable of shouldering the offensive load. Morris rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns against an ailing Cowboys team that needed to win this game to qualify for postseason play. However, it was Washington that secured the victory, capturing their first NFC East title since 1999.
The Seahawks needed no such dramatics, considering they had already clinched a playoff berth. Seattle finished its 2012 season with a 20-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams. Seattle’s season finale was a virtual nail biter, considering that in the previous three games, the Seahawks outscored their opponents 150-30. Against the Rams, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was efficient. He rushed for 58 yards, and ran for the game-winning touchdown to seal the victory.
Washington carries the number one rushing offense into their game with the Seahawks. However, they will also need to get their passing attack involved in an effort to beat the Seahawks. Seattle ranks fourth overall in the NFL in total defense, and ranks sixth overall in pass defense. The Seahawks boast a pair of stellar defensive ends in Chris Clemons and Bruce Irvin, who finished 2012 with 11.5 and eight sacks, respectively. In addition, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman paces a ball hawking Seahawks secondary. He finished tied for second in the NFL in interceptions with eight, so Griffin III had better be aware of where Sherman is.
The Redskins’ defense will have their hands full with Wilson (above) and running back Marshawn Lynch. Wilson threw 26 touchdown passes as a rookie, and Lynch finished third in the NFL in rushing with 1,593 yards. Needless to say, Wilson and Lynch fare comparably with Griffin III and Morris at the quarterback and running back positions respectively. Seattle receiver Golden Tate and Sidney Rice are proven receivers that have recorded seven touchdown receptions each in 2012. They present a tough matchup for Redskins cornerbacks DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson, who are ordinary at best.
Prediction: This is a bad matchup for the Redskins. They are facing a Seahawks’ team that has been downright dominant at times in 2012. While Washington is riding the wave of a seven game winning streak, they haven’t faced a team with the talent that Seattle has on both sides of the ball all season. Wilson and Lynch are hitting their stride, and the Seahawks’ pass rush will look to harass Griffin III and make him uncomfortable in the pocket. While the game will be close, Redskins’ fans will be disappointed after their first home playoff game since 1999.
Final score: Seahawks 27, Redskins 23.