This Sunday, the Washington Redskins will once again face the Seahawks in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. It is all too tempting to point out similarities, or coincidences depending on how you look at them, between this Sunday and the 2007 season, where the Redskins lost to the Seahawks in round 1 of the playoffs. Sure, last time the Redskins post season fate was decided in Week 17, also against the Cowboys, and sure the ground game was a major factor. But if you really think about it, there were so many variables and intricacies about the 2007 season that really makes it impossible to compare it to anything that had happened before, or since. I mean the quarterback was Tod Collins at that point. Tod Collins.
But what can be compared are the similarities between the 2012 Redskins and the 2012 Seahawks. So I’ll examine those instead as well as what the Redskins need to do to have a chance of finally beating Seattle in the post season.
One of the biggest similarities, despite the existence of an outstanding rookie quarterback, is that both teams are coming in having won 5 or more consecutive games. Hopefully, hopefully, the Redskins give the Seahawks everything we know they are capable of in the most important game of the year.
As it stands right now, it looks as though Robert Griffin III will continue to wear his knee brace for the foreseeable future. This will obviously limit his mobility as well as his speed, two of the biggest threats he has posed to defenses in the past. It is up to Kyle Shanahan to once again get creative, so there will probably be some interesting plays again today. Although RGIII has said the knee brace is not to blame for his less than perfect (or normal for him) accuracy. Hopefully whatever is to blame has been corrected, as he will need to have a much stronger performance this week.
Alfred Morris had a huge game last week, proving yet again that he is anything but a rookie. The challenges the Redskins face against a strong Seattle defense necessitates the ability to run the ball fast, often and consistently.
At the moment it is not known whether Kory Lichtensteiger will play, but either way a near flawless performance from the offensive line is essential this week, both in protecting an already vulnerable RGIII and allowing the Redskins to establish a strong ground game.
The Redskins receivers will face, quite literally, their biggest challenge this year. Some of the Seahawks defensive backs are enormous, with surprising quickness despite their size. The wide receivers have done a good job thus far of blocking and will need to do the same today in order for the offense to find success. As I said before the game against Dallas, every player will have play selflessly and fight the urge to want to be the player to make the big play, instead doing what’s necessary for the team to succeed.
It may seem strange but one thing that may help make the defense more ready to take on rookie Russell Wilson is his similarity to RGIII. Both are exceptional passers who are more than capable of running the ball. Wilson however stands at 5-11 and has 33 sacks this season. He was sacked 6 times last week. In spite of that the Seahawks won that game against the Rams, proving that they are not a team that gets rattled up easily. The Redskins will need to play 60 minute football, as they are facing a team that will put up a fight for all 4 quarters, despite what momentum either team has at the moment.
Another similarity between the two teams is with their ground game. Marshawn Lynch is a fantastic player who has had 4 straight games with 100 yards or more. Each week he proves harder and harder to stop. The same goes for Wilson’s rushing abilities. Add in a good offensive line and the Redskins have their work cut out for them.
Last week DeAngelo Hall did an exceptional job of shutting down Dez Bryant, almost by himself. Although Sidney Rice and Golden Tate don’t seem to be as much of an obvious threat, they have proven to be dangerous if given the opportunity. Therefore, the Redskins need to employ an aggressive pass-rush, and utilize every advantage that a shorter quarterback provides. Hopefully Hall prepared as diligently as he had for Bryant.
Cedric Griffin will be returning to the field after being out with a suspension. His performance could go either way and one can only hope that his desire to prove himself does not interfere with his ability to play a clean, precise game.