In my story today, the Seattle Seahawks’ top priority on Sunday will be figuring out how to slow down Washington’s offensive rookie of the year candidate, quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Seattle’s defense did a nice job of holding other running quarterbacks in check like Carolina’s Cam Newton and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick earlier this season.
But Griffin is a different deal. He’s completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. His 102.4 passer rating is No. 3 in the league among starting quarterbacks.
Also, he has rushed for 815 yards and seven touchdowns, tops in the league for quarterbacks.
“It helps a lot,” Seattle outside linebacker Leroy Hill said about having already faced Newton and Kaepernick, quarterbacks who have similarities to Griffin. “We sort of have a basis and a game plan that we can go back to and see exactly what they did. The read option is the read option, you know what I’m saying? The Pistol is a little different, but San Francisco did it a little bit three weeks ago with Kaepernick. So we have a basis to go off of, with just a couple modifications.
“But it’s going to be a tough test. (The read option) always pokes at the discipline of the defense. I think that’s the biggest thing. This is another game where we have to be disciplined, tackle well and be assignment correct.”
Don Ruiz of The News Tribune gives us an update on Brandon Browner’s first day back at practice.
Art Thiel of Sportspressnw.com wonders if the Robert Griffin III-Russell Wilson matchup is the start of something special. Thiel: “The matchup of the Seahawks and Redskins Sunday providentially brought together for the first time two of the most remarkable figures of the NFL season. As quarterbacks, of course they don’t play against each other. That doesn’t stop anyone who is impartial yet passionate about pro ball from savoring this game more than the other three on wild-card weekend. Nor does it stop Seahawks and Redskins fans from imagining years of success starting Sunday.”
Larry Stone of The Seattle Times writes that Robert Griffin III has won over his teammates the same way Russell Wilson has in Seattle.
Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports also weighs in on the similar approach of Griffin and Wilson.
Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times notes that Pete Carroll picking a San Francisco defensive coordinator job over the same offer with Mike Shanahan it Denver after he got fired as the New York Jets head coach helped to shape his career. Brewer: “t’s also a tale from the past that Carroll and Shanahan can reminisce about this week, as their teams prepare to meet in the playoffs Sunday. Carroll, now the 61-year-old coach of the Seahawks, chose San Francisco back then. Shanahan, now the Washington coach, was disappointed 18 years ago. But Shanahan hired a Carroll protégé, Greg Robinson, to guide the defense, and Shanahan went on to build a championship team with quarterback John Elway.”
Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com writes that Seattle’s secondary is back in tact with the return of Brandon Browner.
Dave Wyman of 710 ESPN Seattle says that the Seahawks have a recipe of success heading into the postseason. Wyman: “The Hawks excel in three areas that get you wins in the playoffs: the running game, defense and turnovers.”
ESPN’s Mike Sando writes that Seattle’s secondary may face a play-action threat with Washington’s ability to effectively run the ball.
ESPN’s Stats and Information provides eight things you need to know heading into Sunday’s Hawks-Redskins matchup. There’s some good nuggets of info here.
Brian Burke writing for The New York Times Fifth Down blog gives the Seahawks a 52 percent win chance against Washington.
Matt Bowen of the National Football Post uses All-22 film to provide a nice breakdown of the diversity of runs the Seahawks and Marshawn Lynch can beat you with.
Russell Wilson is mic’d up. Check out the video. Good stuff here.
Kerry Byrne writing for Sports Illustrated says the Seahawks are getting hot at the right time.
Jason Reid of The Washington Post writes that Santana Moss has thrived in his new role as the Redskins’ slot receiver.