NFC Wildcard Playoffs: Washington Redskins vs. Seattle Seahawks

Ending a 13-year drought, the Washington Redskins (10-6) will kick off their postseason run on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks (11-5). Two rookie quarterbacks will lead their teams and both have exceeded expectations for their freshman seasons.

The Seahawks concluded the regular season on a five-game win streak, including a 42-13 win over division foe the San Francisco 49ers, while the Redskins finished with seven straight wins including two with a rookie back up quarterback at the helm.

Both teams will bring strong running games that should deliver a high-scoring afternoon.

Redskins QB Robert Griffin

For the Redskins, it may have seemed like a slam dunk to select Heisman winner quarterback Robert Griffin III as its first pick. Coach Mike Shanahan knows a thing or two about quarterbacks and he could not have made a better selection with RG3.

The quarterback hit the ground running and as the season progressed, he did too with a record-setting year.

Griffin will enter Sunday’s game with a 102.4 passer rating, the highest number ever for a rookie and for the year, the third-best in the league. This comes from his 20 touchdown passes vs. five interceptions.

RG3 can also run, setting a rookie quarterback record for rushing yards with 815.

In addition to a coach who gushes about him, he has the respect of his teammates by getting a team captain vote.

Griffin said via ESPN of his season, “The one thing our coaches did was they didn’t baby me, they weren’t going to make it baby steps, they made me learn on the fly, they were really hard on me in OTAs and training camp and it’s paid off.”

The coaches have also showed their belief in another rookie, running back Alfred Morris.

With his 1,613 yards, Morris is second in the NFL. Last week against the Dallas Cowboys, Morris ran for 200 yards with three touchdowns to help his team land the NFC East title with its 28-18 win.

From play like this, the Redskins sit at the top of the league with their ground game at 2,709 yards.

A similar picture has emerged from the Seattle Seahawks.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson

The team initially thought the future may lie with quarterback Matt Flynn but by the preseason a three-way quarterback battle emerged between him, Tarvaris Jackson and Wilson, the No. 6 quarterback in the third round from the 2012 draft.

Wilson eventually won the battle and has also received praise and gushing by Pete Carroll–another coach who knows a good quarterback when he sees one.

For anyone who followed Wilson’s in his final NCAA season at Wisconsin, the rookie season shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

Wilson has also had a record-setting freshman year. He passed for 3,118 yards with a 100.0 passer rating. Had RG3 not exceeded him, it would have been his record.

The quarterback also has has his own running back weapon of choice, Marshawn Lynch. He brings more experience than Morris (season No. 5) and finished his regular season with 1,590 yards. This is right behind the rookie while helping the Seahawks reach the third spot in the NFL with their 2,579 yards.

Lynch ran for 100 yards in the last week’s game against the St. Louis Rams. This was his 10th game to rush 100-plus yards in 2012, giving him an average of 5 yards per carry.

Wilson also has two talented wide receivers: Sidney Rice (748 yards and seven touchdowns) and Golden Tate (688 yards and seven touchdowns).

History may be on the Redskins side for Sunday: they have won six consecutive games vs. the Seahawks in the regular season. But the postseason is a different story as Seattle is 2-0 in this match up.

Things happen in threes with Seattle getting the nod on Sunday (-3, 45.5 o/u).



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