2012 NFC Wild-Card Picks: Seahawks over Redskins

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2012 NFC Wild-Card Picks: Seahawks over Redskins
Kevin Casey/Getty Images

This season's rookie quarterback class has dominated on the field as well as the Monday morning headlines. Two members of the NFL's freshman quarterback class square off in this Wild Card Weekend matchup.

However, as great as Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson have been, it's Washington's rookie running back, Alfred Morris, I'd like to focus on for a second.

In Week 17, Morris showcased to casual NFL fans what fantasy football owners knew all along: This rookie can play some ball. More impressive than his 33 carries for 200 yards with three touchdowns against the Cowboys has been the consistency in which Morris ran all season long in a Mike Shanahan backfield (for those who aren't familiar, Shanahan has been known to rotate several running backs in and out during the 16-game stretch).

Morris received 20 or more carries in 10 out of the Redskins' 16 games with at least 22 carries in each of the team's last six games. He finished with 76 or more rushing yards in 14 out of 16 games. All of  this was accomplished with RG3—a running quarterback—behind center.

The Redskins lucked out, because their 30th-ranked pass defense (281.9 pass yards allowed/game) shouldn't be tested too much, as the Seahawks remain rush-first behind Marshawn Lynch (99.4 rypg) and don't force Wilson to win the game with his arm (184.9 pass yards/game).

Wilson, the defense and special teams helped the team average 32.6 points per game in their five-game winning streak to end the season (finished plus-167 in point differential). However, they were 8-0 at home and 3-5 (with plenty of east-coast trips) on the road. Falling short of the NFC West title may cost them in the end.

If you look at the statistical DNA of both squads, the result should come down to who takes better care of the ball. Imagine that. The Redskins finished plus-17 in turnover margin, second-best in the NFL, while the Seahawks finished plus-13, fourth-best in the league.

We simulated the Redskins and Seahawks 501 times, and it's the Seahawks winning 53.8 percent of the time by an average score of 18-17.

NFC Wild Card: Seahawks at Redskins
Matchup Win% Avg Score WIS Interactive
Seattle Seahawks 53.8 18 Boxscore
@ Washington Redskins 46.2 17 Simulate Game

Each Tuesday, WhatIfSports.com's NFL simulation engine will provide you with predictions, box scores and statistics for every NFL game that week. The NFL simulation engine generates detailed information including the home team's chances of winning (Home Win Percentage), average score and comprehensive box score link. If you want to share your new found NFL knowledge with friends and family, make sure to check out our NFL Widgets on the WhatIf To Go page or click on the social networking share bar located at the top and bottom of the article.

The statistical inputs to the thousands of NFL games simulated are based on rigorous analysis of each team's roster, depth chart and statistically based player ranking. Roster modifications have been made for injuries and suspensions and those players are not part of their team's game simulation.

To account for injuries and roster moves announced late in the week, we will be re-simulating some games on Thursdays throughout the 2012 NFL season.

Check out our 2012 NFL Season-to-Date page to follow our accuracy week-to-week and find Locks and Upsets of the Week.

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