Seattle Seahawks At Washington Redskins Preview: NFC Wild Card Battle Between Two Teams Who Are Mirror Images

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The final game of the Wild Card round of the 2013 NFL playoffs, is arguably the most intriguing matchup. The Seattle Seahawks will battle the Washington Redskins in a contest between two teams who are mirror images.

Both are entering the game with major momentum. The Redskins won seven straight to claim their first NFC East title since 1999 and a return to the postseason for the first time since 2007.

The Seahawks meanwhile, have won five consecutive games and scored 193 points in the process. However, that is just the start of the similarities between these two.

Dual-threat rookie quarterbacks

Both teams have been inspired by the play of rookie, dual-threat quarterbacks. Robert Griffin III has rewarded the gamble the Redskins took when they gave away three prime draft picks to select him.

He has sparked a remarkable revival of the Redskins offense. Griffin has been the catalyst for the NFL's best running game. He set a rookie record for rushing yards by a quarterback and ran for seven scores.

Griffin's athleticism and ball skills also keyed the option-read, play-action attack that has terrorised defenses this season. The Redskins offense finished fourth in points and fifth in yards.

Much of that was due to the confusion Griffin was able to create with his play fakes and movement. His efficiency and big play capability off play-action passes has led to huge gains through the air.

As good as Griffin has been, the less heralded Russell Wilson can boast similar success. Taken in the third round of the 2012 draft, the Seahawks ignored concerns about Wilson's lack of prototype size.

The diminutive passer has certainly rewarded that faith. He threw 26 touchdown passes and added three additional scores on the ground.

Wilson's playmaking skills have provided the spark the physically tough Seahawks needed. His late game heroics produced wins against the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Chicago Bears. With Wilson at his best, the Seahawks are a very dangerous team.

The duel between Griffin and Wilson will garner most of the attention. However, it is the two running backs who could prove decisive.

Battle between zone-running schemes

The Seahawks and the Redskins both rely on the famed zone-blocking scheme to create a dominant running game. The beneficiaries are intelligent and powerful runners Marshawn Lynch and Alfred Morris.

Lynch is a battering-ram runner who has pounded defenses for 1,590 yards this season. He is the key to the Seahawks' offense. With Lynch wearing down a defense, Wilson is free to use his athleticism outside the pocket to create big plays.

The Redskins boast a similar, but arguably more potent combination. The key man is rookie rusher Alfred Morris. Yet another late-round steal from head coach Mike Shanahan, Morris cut and powered his way to 1,614 yards.

He broke the Redskins rookie rushing and scoring records. He also set the franchise mark for rushing yards in a single season. Morris's exploits set up the Redskins deadly play-action passing attack.

He is an intuitive and decisive zone-runner who knows exactly when to make his cut. The partnership between Morris and Griffin is a nightmare for defenses to combat.

It's difficult to give a clear edge to either the Seahawks, or the Redskins. They both rely on the same methods of attack. Both teams must make eliminating the run their top defensive priority.

Whichever team dominates on the ground, is sure to advance to the NFC Divisional playoffs.