It’s always special when fans get treated to a duel between top rookie quarterbacks, and even more so when it happens in the post-season. That rare occurrence will unfold Sunday afternoon as Russell Wilson and his red-hot Seattle Seahawks head to the nation’s capital to take on RG3 and the Washington Redskins. It wasn’t supposed to be like this in September, not at all. Matt Flynn was projected as the starting quarterback for Seattle, while RG3’s Redskins were supposed to struggle in his first season. Both teams wildly surpassed expectations in 2012 and on Sunday we’ll see which rookie is more primed for post-season success.
The Seahawks enter this contest as one of the hottest teams in the NFL, but their Achilles heel is often said to be playing on the road. Seattle has always been a dominant home team, but away from the friendly confines of the Pacific Northwest, it’s no secret that Pete Carroll’s squad tends to struggle. The Seahawks haven’t won a road playoff game since 1983, although with stud rookie Russell Wilson at the helm, there is a renewed sense of optimism within the Seahawks’ camp. Wilson has been brilliant of late, leading his team to five straight wins entering the post-season. Seattle will need more of the same on Sunday if they’re to end their road woes. On the injury front, head coach Pete Carroll proclaimed that his team is “about as healthy as we can get,” following practice on Friday. Everyone will be available for Seattle, including key cornerback Brandon Browner, who returns from a four-game suspension.
As hot as the Seahawks are entering this contest, the Washington Redskins have been doing equally as well down the stretch. And as a result of their performances, they’ll host their first playoff game in 13 years against Seattle. The Redskins concluded their season by winning seven consecutive contests, and did so while enduring key injuries to their star rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. Griffin was sensational for Washington in his first campaign as the team’s quarterback, but his status entering this contest is a point of serious concern. Many feel that Griffin will be playing on one leg come Sunday, especially since his return from injury he’s looked a tad gimpy in his previous two outings. If Griffin can’t perform up to expectations, the road-weary Seahawks could be leaving D.C. with yet another impressive victory.
Seahawks vs. Redskins Betting Odds:
Seattle Seahawks -3 (+100)
@ Washington Redskins +3 (-120)
Over 46 (-110)
Under 46 (-110)
Betting odds taken from Bovada.lv
Seahawks vs. Redskins Pick:
This should be a hard-fought, tight contest, between two teams led by promising rookie quarterbacks. Seattle and Washington are two of the NFL’s hottest teams, and unfortunately one solid team will have their season end on Sunday. Though the Redskins do seem to have a decisive edge at the quarterback position with RG3, it seems as if the Seahawks have the more complete football team, and expect that to make all the difference on Sunday afternoon.
Seattle has seemed to have flown under the radar in 2012, but after a dominant stretch in December they’ve been heralded as one of the Super Bowl favourites. This team did have a few hiccups early in their year, but since Week 6 the Seahawks haven’t trailed by more than seven points. Russell Wilson has been excellent as a first-year pro, and given his cohesive team a shot to win every game. The Seattle offense has been simply remarkable down the stretch, nicely complimenting an already solid defensive unit. Seattle possesses the fourth-best red zone offense in the NFL, whereas the Redskins rank just 24th in red zone defense. Look for that to be a big disparity between these teams, and Seattle’s efficiency should be able to carry them to a victory.
Marshawn Lynch has also been particularly effective in 2012, and should have minimal difficulty running all over a porous Washington run defence that has been plagued by injuries. The Redskins are just 18th in the league at stopping the run, and the man dubbed ‘Beast Mode’ should gash the Washington defence, offering a nice balance between the run game and Russell Wilson’s passing attack.
On the defensive side of the ball, Seattle will be buoyed by the return in the secondary of key cornerback Brandon Browner. Their defensive backs are among the best in the NFL, and RG3 will find that out early and often come Sunday. Seattle is particularly adept at covering the pass, but their run defense leaves something to be desired. If Seattle can contain Alfred Morris and RG3 from getting too much room, this won’t be much of a game.
Expect a very tight, low-scoring affair on Sunday. This game is riddled with intrigue, but ultimately the more complete Seahawks should prevail. Seattle is rolling right now, and has thrived against premier opposition. Posting an 11-5 record against the league’s fifth toughest schedule is an impressive feat, and Russell Wilson is getting better on a daily basis. Washington will struggle to stop Wilson and Lynch, and on defense look for the Seahawks to load the box to contain Morris and Griffin. Take the Seahawks in a tight one.
PICK = Seahawks -3 (+100)