Redskins-Seahawks: Game day notes


Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan seeks his first postseason victory since 2006. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Redskins host their first playoff game since 1999 today, when they face the Seattle Seahawks.

The game features rookie of the year candidates Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson and two run-heavy offensive attacks featuring backs Alfred Morris and Marshawn Lynch.

Washington boasts the fifth-best offense in the league after gaining a total of 6,131 yards (383.2 a game) in the regular season. Seattle ranked 17th in total offense with 5,610 yards (350.6 a game). The Redskins led the NFL in rushing  (169.3 yards per game) while the Seahawks ranked third (161.2). The Redskins ranked fourth in the league in scoring (27.3 points per game) and Seattle ranked ninth (25.8).

Defensively, the Seahawks led the league in fewest amount of points scored, limiting opponents to 15.3 points a game. The Redskins allowed 24.3 points a game (20th in the league). The Seahawks limited opponents to 306.2 yards a game (fourth in the NFL) while the Redskins ranked 28th in total defense, giving up 377.7 yards per game.

Both defenses excel in the takeaway department, forcing 31 turnovers apiece this season (tied for fifth in the NFL).

The Seahawks enter this game as three-point favorites.

Here are some facts about the game, and things to look for:

  • The game is the 41st playoff game in Washington history and the 16th home game.
  • The Redskins became the fifth team in NFL history to make the playoffs after starting the year with a 3-6 record. The last team to do so was Jacksonville in 1996.
  • This is the Redskins’ first playoff game since they lost to Seattle on the road in the NFC Wild Card Round on Jan. 5, 2008.
  • The Redskins’ last playoff victory came at Tampa Bay on Jan. 7, 2006, in the NFC Wild Card Round.
  • The Redskins are the first playoff team since the 1943 New York Giants to be led by rookies in both passing yards and rushing yards.
  • Robert Griffin III is the first rookie quarterback to start a playoff game for the Redskins since Sammy Baugh did so in the NFL Championship on Dec. 12, 1937.
  • Griffin enters this game with NFL rookie records in passer rating (102.4) and lowest percentage of passes intercepted (1.27).
  • Griffin set team rookie records in completions and attempts (258-for-393), passing yards (3,200), passing touchdowns (20), completion percentage (65.6), rushing attempts (120), rushing yards (815) and rushing touchdowns for a quarterback of any experience level (seven).
  • Alfred Morris enters the playoffs having set franchise single-season rushing record (1,613 yards) and the rookie records for rushing attempts (335) and touchdowns (13).
  • Morris will try to become the first Redskins running back to rush for 100 yards in a postseason game since Stephen Davis rushed for 119 yards against Detroit in the NFC Wild Card Round following the 1999 season.
  • A victory today would give the Redskins their eighth straight – the team’s longest streak since it won 11 consecutive games during the Super Bowl campaign of 1991.
  • A win also would give Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan his first in the postseason since Jan. 14, 2006, in the AFC Divisional Round. Shanahan can improve his playoff record to 9-5 today.

Connections between these teams:

  • Seattle general manager John Schneider spent the 2001 season with the Redskins as vice president of player personnel.
  • Assistant director of Pro Personnel Trent Kirchner served as the Redskins’ college scouting coordinator in 2002.
  • Seattle running backs coach Sherman Smith was Washington’s offensive coordinator from 2008-09.
  • Seattle defensive end Chris Clemons played for the Redskins in 2004 and 2005 and was a teammate at Georgia with Washington defensive end Kedric Golston.
  • Redskins tackle Tyler Polumbus played for Seattle from 2010-11 and cornerback Josh Wilson played for the Seahawks from 2007-09.
  • Seattle tight ends coach Pat McPherson served as an assistant in Denver under Mike Shanahan from 1998-2008.
  • Injured tight end Fred Davis played at USC when Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll held the top job there (2004-07).
  • Redskins running back Evan Royster played at Penn State with Seattle receiver Deon Butler.
  • Washington linebacker Perry Riley and running back Keiland Williams and Seahawks backup quarterback Matt Flynn were teammates at LSU.
  • Injured Redskins linebackers Brian Orakpo and Keenan Robinson and fellow linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy were teammates at Texas with Seahawks safety Earl Thomas.
  • Redskins lineman Maurice Hurt and Seattle defensive tackle Jaye Howard were teammates at Florida.
  • Defensive end Jarvis Jenkins and Seahawks cornerback Byron Maxwell were teammates at Clemson.
Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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