The Seattle Seahawks might be the hottest team entering the playoffs. They’ve won their last five games, including a drubbing of the NFC West division champion 49ers in week 16. They have a monstrous running game, a very stout defense, and a rookie quarterback showing poise beyond his years. So how do you stop a team that is nearly firing on all cylinders and has talent across the board?
You make Russell Wilson become a passer. Running back Marshawn Lynch has continued to be a “beast,” and has solidified his position as one of the top running backs in the league. Teams will obviously look to stop him first and foremost. Should they find some success slowing down the run game, Wilson will be put into a situation where he’ll have to throw more often than the Seahawks would like. Wilson has played well, but hasn’t found himself in many situations where his team needs him to throw for a lot of yards and points or to engineer comebacks primarily with his arm. Despite the poise he’s shown, he’s still a rookie and will still be prone to ‘rookie mistakes.’ If you have to “pick your poison,” make the rookie quarterback beat you, not the pro-bowl running back.
Bonus key: Play the Seahawks at home. Seattle was just 3-5 on the road, including multiple losses to teams with losing records. They are a major threat when they are at home, but are a huge question mark on the road. Good news for Washington.
Stats obtained from nfl.com