In four days, the Washington Redskins will take on the Seattle Seahawks in their first home playoff game in nearly 12 years. We still have plenty of coverage in store as we preview the big wild-card matchup, but before we get to game plans and predictions, let's get a better feel for how Seattle will approach this Washington team.
For that, I checked in today with B/R NFC West lead writer Tyson Langland.
Brad Gagnon: Pierre Garcon has become close to an elite-level wide receiver of late. How do you think the Seahawks will go about covering him? Will he see a ton of Richard Sherman or will Gus Bradley mix things up?
Tyson Langland: Gus Bradley rarely makes Richard Sherman cover one specific receiver. Most of the time Sherm is solely playing left cornerback—the only time he stuck to one receiver was against the Bills' Stevie Johnson. It didn't really end well as Johnson got the better of him, so expect plenty of man with Sherman and Browner rotating coverage. Based on Garcon's speed it wouldn't surprise me if rookie Jeremy Lane spent some time covering him as well.
BG: That defense is so good, and now it gets Brandon Browner back, too. Is there anything that Washington can exploit offensively? Any player they should consider targeting?
TL: That defense is so good, but there are a few weak links. Despite being named to the Pro Bowl, safety Earl Thomas has struggled in coverage this year. More than once he has let the deep ball get behind him, which could really play into RG3 and Garcon's deep connection.
Also, the Seahawks' defensive ends have struggled against the run. Running the ball off tackle at Chris Clemons, Red Bryant and Bruce Irvin would be Washington's best bet. Far too many teams try to pound Seattle right up the middle—their defensive ends are pass rushers, not run defenders.
Who should the Redskins assign to Golden Tate most often?
BG: The Redskins' secondary can be had, but does Seattle have the wide receivers to win those battles against DeAngelo Hall, Josh Wilson and Cedric Griffin if the 'Skins are able to hold Marshawn Lynch in check?
TL: The only receiver that would scare me if I was Jim Haslett would be Golden Tate. Tate has quickly become Russell Wilson's favorite target by catching 70 percent of his targets and snagging seven touchdowns. Not to mention he has five plays of 40 yards or more and 12 plays of 20 yards or more. Sidney Rice has been missing in action since Week 13 and has only caught two passes over the last two weeks.
BG: Who should the Redskins be more concerned about, Lynch or Russell Wilson?
TL: Marshawn Lynch; make the rookie quarterback win on the road in the playoffs. Lynch is Seattle's offense and the 'Hawks are the least pass happy team in the league. They have only attempted 405 passes all season long. That's about 25 attempts a game.
SEE ALSO: Seahawks vs. Redskins By the Numbers