Final Grade: B
Russell Wilson had a very good game, doing just enough to ensure the Seahawks advanced. He made a few mistakes that could have been costly if not for the stellar play of the defense.
He balanced missing a few open receivers with several key throws, including throwing a block to help Lynch score in the fourth quarter. His post-game press conference, televised on NFL Network, included a discussion on how Lynch always tells Wilson he has his back. Wilson said this was his opportunity to have his runner's back.
Wilson found success without finding his wide receivers often on Sunday. He had open targets but had trouble getting them the ball.
The Redskins brought a good pass rush, repeatedly flushing Wilson from the pocket. He normally is able to lock onto receivers while scrambling but was not able to do so on Sunday.
He turned some of those pressures into nice gains with his legs. His longest run on the game was a play where he didn't see a wide open target in the end zone.
There is little doubt that Wilson is already working on studying the Atlanta Falcons and their tendencies, strengths and weaknesses.
Final Statistics: 15-of-26, 187 YDS, 1 TD, 92.9 QBR, 8 carries, 67 YDS
4th Quarter: B+
Every day I’m Russellin’! Fans were accustomed to DangeRuss making plays with his arm and legs. The last few weeks, though, he’s been making them with his hands.
While not a thing of beauty, Russell Wilson hustled down the field to lay a two-hand-touch-level block on Marshawn Lynch’s touchdown run. It was likely the difference in a touchdown and being brought down just short of the goal-line.
Wilson was able to make plays when needed in the fourth quarter. He found Zach Miller while under a heavy pass-rush to keep a drive alive.
The two connected again to convert the two-point try.
3rd Quarter: B-
As much as there is to like with Wilson’s 26-yard run, it was somewhat uncharacteristic. He normally has his eyes downfield until he reaches the line of scrimmage, but he somehow didn’t see a wide-open Sidney Rice for what would have been an easy touchdown toss.
Two plays later Doug Baldwin was open near the goal-line but Wilson overthrew him. He took a sack on the following play, nullifying the entire drive as the team moved outside field-goal range.
Wilson is doing a lot right, but come playoffs it is the little things that can turn a win into a loss. Those little things drove down his grade for this quarter.
2nd Quarter: B+
If there were any that doubted Wilson’s ability to rally and perform in his first NFL playoff game their concerns have been quieted. He led three impressive drives in the second quarter to keep the Seahawks competitive.
The biggest concern with Wilson at this point is he seems to have spent a bit too much time watching Griffin. Instead of getting down as he normally does, Wilson has been fighting for extra yards on a few runs.
He has taken a few big hits, but he can’t risk an injury.
Perhaps the most telling sign of Wilson’s maturity is the adjustment made at the end of the half. He was able to quickly adjust the play at the line of scrimmage and get the ball snapped just before the play clock expired.
The inability to convert at the goal line doesn't fall squarely on Wilson's shoulders, but he is the one that needs to make the plays. The failure to score touchdowns drives this score.
Halftime Stats: 9-of-14, 124 YDS, 1 TD, 116.1 QBR, 4 Carries, 35 YDS
1st Quarter: C+
As expected, Wilson looked to pass early and tested the Redskins’ secondary with a deep pass to open the game. The throw was off target, though.
He had to rely on his legs when blocking collapsed but wasn’t able to escape the Redskins’ pass rush.
Wilson hasn't had much time to work the offense. Look for the team to move the ball and stay in the game.
Russell Wilson won't likely be the key to this game for Seattle. He'll be asked to make a few plays, but the Seahawks will look to win the game with defense and a strong ground game.
But don't be surprised to see Darrell Bevell start the game with a heavy dose of No. 3.
The Redskins will be expecting Beast Mode early and often and figure to open the game prepared to stop the run. What better time for the Seahawks to reach into their offense and let Wilson open the field with his arm?
The St. Louis Rams were effective with pressuring and sacking Wilson last week, particularly when Seattle was facing passing downs. Throwing early should help mitigate what could be a very strong push from the Redskins.