The Seattle Seahawks will travel to take on the Washington Redskins in what will prove to be an epic playoff contest.
Both of these teams are red hot. The Redskins have won their past seven, and the Seahawks have won their past five and seven of their last eight. They also both just so happen to feature two dynamic rookie quarterbacks who have been at the heart of their late-season resurgence.
This one is going to come down to the wire. Here is how I see it playing out.
Alfred Morris Will Have Another Big Day
While Robert Griffin III is hogging the majority of the headlines in Washington, it is fellow rookie Alfred Morris that has been carrying this offense lately.
Morris' great rookie season was good enough to set a team-record 1,613 rushing yards, which was the NFL's third-highest ever rushing total for a rookie.
There was no hitting the rookie wall for Morris, either. He ran for 200 yards on 33 carries in the season finale and he didn't have a game where he rushed for fewer than 87 yards over his last six games.
The Seahawks enter this game having allowed the 10th fewest rushing yards in the league. However, at 4.5 yards per carry, they are 23rd, and over their last three games, they have allowed 4.7 yards per carry.
The Redskins will give Morris a healthy dose of carries in this game and he will produce.
RGIII Will Struggle
It is a good thing that Morris will be producing because the Redskins are going to have a hard time throwing the ball.
While the Seahawks have not been stellar in rush defense, they have been on pass defense. They are sixth in passing yards allowed and a better fourth in yards allowed per pass.
Seattle will get Brandon Browner back for this game, following his suspension, and he will team with Richard Sherman to give the Seahawks excellent, big and physical corners.
They are going to make it hard for the Skins' receivers to get off the line and get open. That will throw off the rhythm of the 'Skins' passing game, and that passing game has been struggling to find its rhythm anyway.
In two of his last three games, Griffin has completed 57.7 percent of his passes or less.
Griffin will be able to get some yards with his legs, and he will undoubtedly make some clutch plays in the passing game, but he will not find consistent success through the air against this defense.
Russell Wilson Will Orchestrate Game-Winning Drive
Unlike the Seahawks' passing defense, the Redskins have had a terrible time stopping teams through the air.
However, Washington's defense has made decent strides in this area. For the season, the Redskins are 23rd in the NFL in yards allowed per pass at 7.1. Over their last three, they have allowed 6.1 per pass.
Those improvements, along with a decent rush defense, will help them keep this game close and low-scoring.
This will all find the Seahawks with the ball late and needing a touchdown to win. That is no problem for Russell Wilson—the rookie has already orchestrated four game-winning drives this season. Wilson is often at his best when the game is on the line, and he will flash that clutch acumen in his first playoff game.
Seahawks win, 20-17.