In a battle of red hot teams led by first year quarterbacks, Russell Wilson led the Seattle Seahawks past Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins, 24 – 14. The Redskins came out of the gates on fire and early on it looked as though Seattle would be run out of FedEx field. Seattle found their composure after falling behind 14 – 0 as they stormed back to score 24 unanswered points and punch their ticket to Atlanta next week. After a remarkable season led by two dynamic rookies, Washington’s season ends on a sour note with their franchise quarterback seriously injured.
The game started with Washington getting the ball first and engineering what was probably their best opening drive this year, keeping the Seahawks defense on their toes. But, as the game progressed it became more apparent that RGIII was in worse shape then he had been all season. Seattle’s outside speed was able to contain RGIII on read options and pressure the quarterback to the point that it took him out of his comfort zone. While Griffin III did make some positive plays, someone was always on his heals pressuring and hitting him.
Mike Shanahan decided to roll the dice and stick with RGIII even though the young quarterback was visibly injured and making uncharacteristic bad decisions. There were lanes that Griffin III didn’t hit because he was unable to run at full speed. There were numerous overthrown passes as well as a deep pass attempt thrown into double coverage to Pierre Garcon that was intercepted. It wasn’t until a gruesome twist of the knee knocked RGIII out of the game that Shanahan was forced to put Kirk Cousins into the game. But, by then it was a case of too little, too late.
After the game, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said, “I’ll probably second guess myself” regarding his decision to leave RGIII in the game. While it’s easy to second guess Shanahan in hindsight, one can see why the coach decided to leave his franchise quarterback in the game, probably thinking that he would pull out another late miracle. Perhaps the most important question should be asked to the other Shanahan coach, Kyle. Why wasn’t Alfred Morris given the ball more? Morris ran for 60-yards on 11 carries in the first half, but was only given the ball 5 times in the second half.
The Seahawks on the other hand continually fed the ball to Marshawn Lynch, even after he fumbled on the Redskins 1-yard line. Russell Wilson was pivotal as well, making some key passes in tough situations and ripping off some big runs when he needed to. Wilson added to his remarkable season, leading his team to a road win in his first career playoff game. Seattle travels to Atlanta next Sunday to face the top seeded Falcons.
Russell Wilson finished the game 15 of 26 for 187 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions.
Marshawn Lynch ran for 132 yards on 20 carries with 1 touchdown.
Robert Griffin III finsihed 10 of 19 for 84 yards, 2 touchdown and 1 interceptions.
Robert Griffin III is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his knee on Monday.