Seahawks Insider

Morning links: 5 keys for Hawks vs. Redskins

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 6, 2013 at 8:10 am with 27 Comments »
January 6, 2013 8:15 am
Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman motions to fans after intercepting in the end zone against the San Francisco 49ers in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 42-13. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

It’s game time. The Seahawks will catch a beak in the weather here in the nation’s capital. It’s expected to be dry and about 50 degrees at game time, so weather will not be a factor this morning.

That said, here are my five keys for the Seahawks as they look to earn they’re first playoff road win in 29 years against Washington in this NFC Wild Card matchup.

Win the turnover battle: I think the team that wins the turnover battle will win the game today. Both teams have done a nice job taking care of the ball and forcing turnovers in the second half of the season. In the last eight games, Washington has forced 15 turnovers while giving it away only five times (+10 turnover differential). The Seahawks have forced 20 turnovers and only turned it over five times (+15 turnover differential) in the last eight games.

Stop the run: With two of the top running attacks in the league facing off, the focus will be on which defense can control the line of scrimmage and shut down the running lanes. Robert Griffin III should be a little healthier going into this one, but Seattle did a good job of containing running quarterbacks like Carolina’s Cam Newton and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick, and I expect them to do the same thing here.

Create big plays: While the Seahawks lean on Marshawn Lynch to move the chains, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell also uses the play action game to create big plays in the passing game. And with Washington giving up 31 passing touchdowns this season, I expect the Seahawks to test the Redskins’ secondary with Sidney Rice and Golden Tate down the field. The Seahawks have had 28 passing plays of 20 yards or more in the last eight games. They had just 16 of those plays in the first eight games.

Limit Penalties: The Seahawks had at least five games where they had double digit penalties, and that can’t happen if they want to win on the road today. Seattle has to play with an edge, but also play under control emotionally, particularly with guys like cornerback DeAngelo Hall and offensive tackle Trent Williams, who like to stir things up. A matchup to watch will be Seattle fullback Mike Robinson and Hall, who obviously did not exchange Christmas cards last year.

A fast start: One scenario that could be hard for Seattle to deal with is getting down by a couple touchdowns early in the game. The Seahawks offensively are not built to score fast, and could get away from the running game if they are pressured to play from behind. So Seattle has to keep that Washington offense from getting some early scores and making the game a track meet.

Here’s my advance for today’s game. A good matchup to watch today will be the chess match between rookie quarterback Russell Wilson and Washington iron man linebacker London Fletcher.

Dave Boling of The News Tribune takes a closer look at Washington’s Robert Griffin III and Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who are raising the bar for rookie quarterbacks.

Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times offers some things to watch for in today’s game.

Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times writes that the future is now for the Seahawks.

Clare Farnsworth of breaks down the game here.

Check out the “playoff version” of The Real Rob Report in the video below.

Craig Cracker of the Tri-City Herald talks with Dana Brunsdon, who served as a host family for Russell Wilson when he played minor league baseball for the Tri-City Dust Devils.

Kent Babb of the Washington Post breaks down the deception in Washington’s offense.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 27
  1. pabuwal says:

    5b. Have a double digit lead in the 4th quarter.

    If the Seahawks encounter a situation where they have the lead, are 3 yards or less from a first down, in borderline Washington territory and can end the game with 1 last first down, they should just go for it. Let Wilson win the game instead of RG3.

  2. Dukeshire says:

    There he is! As far as limiting what Griffin can do on the ground, got to keep him inside the numbers; force him to climb the pocket because he is at his most dangerous when he gets to the edge.

    I also agree about the penalties. They simply must play more disciplined than we saw last week, and I expect them too.

    I have to say that I expect a Seattle win today. History is certainly not in support of that view, but they are the bigger, faster team and I just have the sense that playing on this stage is exactly what this young, “confident” group lives for. I’ll be surprised to learn there is a spotlight too bright for them.

  3. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Win the turnover battle! Totally agree.

    Just like the Bears, the Redskins thrive on turnovers. If they don’t get them they don’t likely win.

    Also The double digit penalties raised their ugly head again last week against the Rams. Hopefully we won’t get baited into any personal fouls.

    Also the Redskins haven’t won against any top pass defending teams this year.

  4. Ewalters7354 says:

    What has gotten into Meril Hodge? I actually liked him at one time.Now he’s sounding like a douche.

  5. GeorgiaHawk says:

    At the very worst I believe this game will come down to the last drive.

    BTW- I was so bored with the two playoff games yesterday that I stopped watching them and rewatched the last Seahawk-49er game.

  6. Dukeshire says:

    Real Rob calls Sherman “Ringworm”. lol. That is somehow so fitting.

  7. Dukeshire says:

    Ewalters7354 – I posted this last night, but it’s fitting after your comment..

    “Speaking of stats, for those, like Merle (Merril) Hodge, who feel Seattle will struggle against Washington because they run the ball so well: Seattle has played 5 of the top 10 teams in the league in rushing (Seattle’s 3rd) and are 5-0 against them. Tomorrow at this time it will be 6-0.”

  8. Great Real Rob report as always Okung has a permanent smile on his face.I think out offensive line has to play great they must have the best game of the year.No penalties and huge holes for Marshawn. Defense needs to play fast and hit hard.

  9. Ewalters7354 says:

    Good stuff Duke! That’s some in-depth statistics right there.Love it!

  10. Dukeshire says:

    Anyone see Sherman and Browner just now on NFL Network with Irvin? Browner said “We played Santana Moss last year and he did a little bit of talking, and he got smacked around a couple times. And if that’s where he want to take it, we’ll take it to smackin’ him around a couple times, ya know?” lol. Love it.

  11. Im nervous as hell. Im not quite as intense as in 2005, because I dont feel this team is anywhere near as good as that team–yet. But I want to beat the Skins soooo bad…I cant even think straight right now.

    I think we’ll run on them, Im more worried about our O-line’s pass pro, and our D. Some games our D looks dominant, other games they cant stop a third and long to save their lives. Which one shows up today?! Can Browner play at a high level all game?

    Is RG3 as gimpy as they say, or are the Skins playing that up?!

  12. mocarob says:

    Eric, Are you excited for today’s game?
    Or is it just another working Sunday for you?

  13. thursday says:

    Yeah I just watched it. Love how he just came right out and said that. We don’t call them the Legion of Boom for nothing lol

  14. montanamike2 says:

    I was bored with yesterdays games too. After they announced Ponder wasn’t playing i turned it off completely, what was the point of watching? Now the Colts coach is in the hospital with the flu. I think our game is the best game by far.

  15. Dukeshire says:

    STTBM – Watching him against the Cowboys last week, I say he’s more dinged up than he (they) are saying, if anything.

    I predict Eric will say it’s just another working day for him. But come on, even for the most ethical sports journalist, the playoffs have to have a special feel.

  16. hawkfaninoklahoma says:

    It always seems this hawk team has little problem getting up and playing well in the big games. it is the games they are picked to win that scare me.

    i said this earlier in the week. washington is not the 9ers i see a 2 score win. GO HAWKS!31-20

  17. thursday says:

    Well the Niners game was a big game and I’d say the Bears one was too at the time. I feel like this is a different team from the beginning of the season and that they will be ready. Wilson will be for sure.

    Btw, anyone know if they’re wearing the white unis or wolf grey?

  18. Vegas56 says:

    It’s on a bad playing surface and it will be a smash mouth game. Next week in Atlanta will seem like a nice warm bowl game in comparison. Who could have thought the Seahawks would be road favorites in the playoffs on the east coast against the East Division champs?

    It’s damned good they are a young team and healthy. It takes fresh, healthy teams to run the table on the road. If they do it, I for one will be happy to shut up about this road thing and the travel miles during a season forever.

  19. SandpointHawk says:

    Damn, this place is like the locker room before a big game….quiet.
    Not to worry it’s going to be a great day on Planet Seahawk!!!

  20. HawkfaninMT says:

    And people wonder why Moffitt is in the doghouse?!? ‘Im definitely an Apple guy’. Does he not know what all that Bing stuff is?!

  21. Dukeshire says:

    Hahaha. I didn’t think about that irony, Montana.

  22. I’m nervous too . . . want them to win this one sooooo bad. If they do, no matter what happens thereafter, this whole season is a success.

    I also feel like we’re the better team, but I’m far from assured that we’ll get this one . . .hoping bigtime for a good start. no turnovers, and a grind it out opening drive score.

  23. Dukeshire says:

    This indy / Balt game is intense so far. Hard hitting to be sure.

  24. Ewalters7354 says:

    STTBM-Those are some valid points. But aside from last weeks fall off (Sweezy, Breno), they have been playing pretty good at all levels.Sometimes there’s a few breakdowns, but they’ve been pretty good imo

    Andrew Luck is stinking it up pretty bad right now.Aboslutely poor decisions.Look for them to blame it on Arains absence…

  25. confucious says:

    Vegas, Very true, lets hope that grass doesn’t turn out to be Washingtons mvp.

  26. Dukeshire says:

    Indy’s o line is so bad, I’m actually pretty impressed with Luck today.

  27. Indy is hanging in the game…boy, I wish the Redskins had a field like Baltimore’s.

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