The Washington Redskins offense has set team records and NFL records this season. They have had 3 different rookies on offense win rookie of the week and RG3 has won rookie of the month several times. Their offense, and especially the defense, have overcome a lot of adversity with injuries. The Seahawks offense is similar but not quite as dynamic. The Redskins are better in almost every single statistical category. The Seattle Seahawks have enjoyed playing against a division that has average wide receivers except for Larry Fitzgerald and because of that, their secondary has looked amazing and has been dubbed the Legion of Boom.
RGIII has been everything that he was hyped up to be. If he is not OROY someone needs to be fired. Russell Wilson has had his good games, but they haven’t been the dramatic clutch plays that RGIII has had.
What problems do the Washington Redskins have?
The Redskins problem is the Defensive secondary. This may not be such a huge problem as DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson have been playing very well since the bye week and Cedric Griffin returns after serving a 4 game suspension. Cedric Griffin was playing the best of any of the Redskins Defensive backs before his suspension.
London Fletcher is all over the place and playing as motivated as ever. RG3 has motivated his 37 year old body and he’s been playing out of his mind since the bye week. He has 5 INTs from his ILB spot. Playing along side London is Perry Riley who has developed into one of the best run defending LBs in the NFL and is a big time force in the run game and as an inside blitzer. The Redskins have greatly missed Brian Orakpo and his pass rushing this season but they’ve found a diamond in the rough with Rob Jackson. He has proved that he is a solid OLB for the Redskins. He has 5 sacks, several game changing, and clinching plays as well as 4 INTs of his own, including a strip sack and INT for a TD in an unbelievable play vs the Bengals. He is one of the few Vinny Cerrato draft choices still here that is making a huge contribution. Ryan Kerrigan leads the team in sacks with 8.5 and also has an INT returned for a TD.
The linebackers have combined for 10 INTs, 2 of which were returned for touchdowns . How many LB corps can say that?
Barry Cofield is our stout NT who anchors the #5 run defense in the NFL. Steven Bowen is having a great year in run defense and as a pass rusher. Adam Carriker was lost to a torn quad vs St Louis and has been greatly missed but he was replaced by our 2012 second round draft pick Jarvis Jenkins and he’s played great as of late. Most of all, Jim Haslett, the most controversial figure in Washington DC sports, who most wanted fired before the bye week, has been dialing up the right game plans for the right situations, and I don’t expect that to be any different this week.
What problems do the Seattle Seahawks have?
On offense Russell Wilson can make plays because of his mobility to move outside the pocket and keep plays alive but he doesn’t have a strong arm. Marshawn Lynch is one of the best RBs in the NFL and much like Morris, no one brings him down on first contact. He’s a tough tenacious runner with explosion and break away speed. Golden Tate, Sidney Rice and Jonathan Baldwin are decent wide receivers but they struggle to separate from Corner backs. Rice has always been suspect with hands and injuries and Tate is a guy that can make plays in space but doesn’t do anything great. Their most consistent wide receiver is their number three wide receiver Doug Baldwin but he’s not explosive nor does anything exceptionally well.
The strength of Seattle is their defense. They have one of the toughest defenses in the league and their secondary is arguably the best in the NFL. They are called the Legion of Boom because they are bigger than most secondaries with 6’3 and 6’4 CBs and they hit like a ton of bricks.
Their DL is above average tough with Alan Branch, Red Bryant and Brandon Mebane playing to stop the run. They are good players, but will struggle to move well laterally and won’t fair well against the Redskins ZBS and read option. They will find themselves out of place and sealed out of plays quite often. Once upon a time, Chris Clemons was an undrafted rookie out of Georgia who played for the Washington Redskins. He took 6 years to finally reach his potential in the NFL. He will look just as lost as DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer did in the Redskins win against the Cowboys last week.
The strength of Washington is their running game with RGIII and Alfred Morris. RGIII has the best play fakes in the NFL. He’s so good at deceiving defenses and and disguising the plays that only he and Morris know who has the ball on most of the Redskins run plays, the other 10 players don’t know who has the ball, they just block. He is the best in the game at making defenders hold just long enough for he or Morris to create amazing plays. Dallas looked lost in Week 17 to where OLBs in DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer looked like a they were stuck in concrete from the ball fakes and read option. Alfred Morris is the NFL’s second leading rusher, Redskins season rushing record holder and they’ve been riding his tough runs to victories all year long. He ran for 200 yards and 3 touchdowns vs the Dallas defense in week 17, not bad for a 6th round rookie.
The Redskins passing game is going to be relied upon with short slants and screens in order to bring up the defenders to hit vertical routes. They also use their ZBS rushing attack to create misdirection in the passing game. They run a lot of bootlegs and play action. This is why RGIII is the best play action quarter back in the NFL. With all the Redskins misdirection in their offense it forces safeties and corner backs to peak into the backfield and freezes line backers. All of the quick slants, screens and misdirection in the run game freezes the defense and allows RGIII to throw it over the top to his game breaking wide receiver Pierre Garçon and young speedster Aldrick Robinson.
I think this is a very, very close game. The Seahawks do not play the same across the country, in cold weather, without their home fans and while playing on grass. In fact, the Seahawks only average 15 points a game on grass this year. Redskins fans will be pack the big post office like never before and I expect the stadium to shake like it did last weekend and like RFK used to 20 plus years ago.
Washington wants revenge on their home turf after their last two playoff runs ended in Seattle.
This time is Washington’s TIME. Seattle has done nice things this year and I like Russell Wilson but their luck has run out. They are running into a buzz saw and the hottest team in the NFL, YOUR Washington Redskins and their fearless rookie leaders RGIII and Alfred Morris. It’s time to send those birds home packing!
Skins win this hotly contested NFC Wildcard battle.
Seahawks – 20
Redskins – 24