The Washington Redskins have made it to the Playoffs for the first time since 2007, and are hosting a playoff game for the first time since 1999.
The last two time the Skins made it to the playoffs: you guessed it, they faced and were eliminated by the Seattle Seahawks.
Getting out in front early is going to be a huge key, and if the Redskins can do so they would hold a great advantage over the Seahawks who at times have struggled on the road this year, with all 5 of their losses coming in their opponents stadium. Once the Redskins establish themselves early in the game and take the will from the Hawks, it’s going to be very tough for the Seattle to make any kind of noise on Sunday.
Let’s take a look at 5 keys for a Redskins victory, outside of the big contributions the Skins will need from Morris and Griffin III:
1. Stop The Run Game
Will this be hard to do?….not really. The Redskins have been great this year against the run, but stopping Lynch is going to be a very trying task. Making the Seahawks one dimensional early would play to the Skins advantage. Stopping “Beast Mode” would take away a lot of the Seahawks play book. You take away Lynch, you don’t get sucked in with the play action.
2. Setting The Tone On Defense
Each and every week London Fletcher gives a speech to the linebackers before they come out of the tunnels on Sunday. What sticks out the most is “LINEBACKERS SET THE TONE, LINEBACKERS SET THE TEMPO” and that has to be the thought process to win this game. The Seahawks are a very physical team and are going to try to impose their will on the Skins offense early. Washington must keep the Hawks off balance and close in on the ball carriers as quickly as possible.
3. Beware of Seattle’s Corners
These guys can straight ball! Known for their incredible ball skills Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner are the top corner back duo in the NFL. The main thing the Redskins must do is run the ball effectively, thus opening up the play-action game to suck up those two CBs. Don’t give them many cracks at the ball and the Skins should be fine.
4. Offensive Line MUST Step Up
The Redskins have put together an offensive line that has done very well this year, but the true test will be this Seahawks front seven. Probably the fastest defensive line in the entire NFL but not the most fundamentally sound, these guys will get penalties. The Skins have to anchor down and protect Griffin and make holes for Morris. Establishing the line of scrimmage before they do will be a key to having the pistol offense succeed.
5. Get after Russell Wilson…ALL DAY
Pressure him to make mistakes. Easier said then done, Wilson has been a surprise to the NFL world. The kid has a great arm and has big time play-making ability. Containing Wilson will be the Redskins toughest task I think, but if they take the threat of his abilities away then the Redskins might just roll over the Seahawks. I think the Skins should have the same defensive game plan going into this game as the team had against the Cowboys. A lot of shifting at the line and blitzing will do the job.
If the defense can set the tone early and possibly get a take away or two, allowing the offense to do what they have done all year, there is a good possibility the marching band will be playing Hail To The Redskins at the end of the game just like last week.
Let’s just make sure that this Sunday is the loudest FedEx has been all year. Take them out of the game early and the Skins march to victory!