Fred Bowen
The Score

Young Redskins fans will learn that playoff football can be exciting

John McDonnell/THE WASHINGTON POST - Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III isn’t the only rookie who has lead his team to the playoffs.

Are you ready for some football? I mean playoff football.

The Washington Redskins will host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. in the first round of the National Football League playoffs.

(Charles Rex Arbogast/AP) - Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has had an amazing season as a rookie as well. Griffin and Wilson (and their teams) face off on Sunday.

Kids who root for the Redskins might not know much about the NFL playoffs. After all, the Redskins have not played in one of these big post-season games for five years. Washington hasn’t hosted a playoff game for 13 years. That’s a long time.

So what’s so different about the playoffs?

First, playoff football is just more exciting than regular season games. That’s because if you lose, your season is over. So, the excitement builds with every game. The Redskins have to win three games to get into the Super Bowl. But let’s not talk about the Super Bowl yet.

Winning even a single playoff game is tough because the 12 teams that make the playoffs are the best in the 32-team league.

The Seahawks are a lot like the Redskins. They had a regular-season record of 11 wins and five losses. The Redskins were 10-6. The Seahawks finished the season with five straight wins. The Redskins are riding a seven-game win streak.

The Seahawks are led by an exciting rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson. Sound familiar? Some football experts thought Wilson was too short (he’s 5 feet 11 inches tall) to be a first-rate NFL quarterback. But Wilson fooled them. He threw for more than 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns.

Wilson may not be as good as the Redskins’ Robert Griffin III, but he’s close.

The Seahawks have a dependable, grind-it-out runner, just as the Redskins have in Alfred Morris. Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch ran for 1,590 yards and 11 touchdowns. Morris was just a little better, with 1,613 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The biggest difference between the two teams is defense. Seattle gave up the fewest points of any team in the NFL: just over 15 points a game. The Redskins’ defense, although it improved during the second half of the season, allowed more than 24 points a game. That’s more than most teams.

Luckily, the Redskins are playing the Seahawks at FedEx Field. The Seahawks had a perfect 8-0 record when they played at home. They were only 3-5 away from home.

Seattle is very good. Can the Redskins beat them? Sure! Anything can happen in the playoffs. That’s what makes the games so much fun. Last year the New York Giants, who had a regular-season record of 9-7, got red-hot and won the Super Bowl.

So get excited. Watch the game. Root for the Redskins. It’s the playoffs.

Fred Bowen writes the sports opinion column for KidsPost. He is the author of 18 sports books for kids, including “Touchdown Trouble” and “Quarterback Season.”

 
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