Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson had two of the best rookie campaigns for quarterbacks in NFL history in 2012. Now, one of them is guaranteed a trip to the second round of the playoffs.
The two rookies will close out wild card weekend with a first-round matchup. The Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks will face off on Sunday at FedEx Field. You can watch the contest live on FOX at 4:30 p.m. ET.
The winner of the game will go on to visit the Green Bay Packers next weekend. It’s the third time since 2005 that these two teams have met in the postseason. The Seahawks eliminated the Redskins in both years.
Despite playing at home and winning the NFC East, the Redskins are underdogs. Seattle is giving Washington three points, who hasn’t lost since before Thanksgiving.
It’s the first time either Griffin or Wilson will play in the postseason, but neither one performed like a rookie in the regular season. Both signal callers were in the top four in passer rating in 2012. Wilson tied Peyton Manning’s record of 26 passing touchdowns for a rookie, while Griffin threw just five interceptions.
The Seahawks and Redskins have two of the best rushing attacks in the NFL. Other than their quarterbacks who can make plays with their legs, the teams’ running backs were both in the top three in yards on the ground. Alfred Morris trailed just Adrian Peterson with 1,613 yards. Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch was right behind him with 1,590.
While the rookie quarterbacks are the biggest story, the defenses will likely decide the outcome. The Seahawks spot the league’s best defense, allowing 15.3 points per game. Washington is below average defensively, and sports one of the worst pass defenses in football.
The Seahawks starting cornerback tandem might be the best in the NFL. Seattle can concentrate on stopping Griffin and Morris, and still not sacrifice much in the secondary. If Wilson can complete a few big pass plays, the Seahawks should be one step closer towards the 2013 Super Bowl.
Prediction: Seattle 24, Washington 13