Seattle Seahawks vs. Washington Redskins: Preview & Prediction

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJanuary 4, 2013

Nov 27, 2011; Seattle, WA, USA; Pregame handshake between Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan and Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Time for one last look at Sunday's highly anticipated wild-card matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins. Thus far, we've broken down the key numbers for each team, examined the Seahawks and drawn up a game plan for the Redskins

Here's a final preview of the matchup, along with our official prediction.

Home-field advantage report

This is a big factor, because the Seahawks were only 3-5 away from home this season, while Washington has won four straight and five of six at FedEx Field. Then again, the 'Hawks have won their last two road games in fairly impressive fashion. A deeper look...

What Washington must do to win, offensive edition

Avoid turnovers, make Alfred Morris the centerpiece and maintain balance. 

What Washington must do to win, defensive edition

Stop Marshawn Lynch and continue to dial up blitzes. Trust your secondary.

How Washington can lose

By letting Lynch run wild and by losing the physical battles with Seattle's front seven.

Five most important non-quarterbacks: Alfred Morris, Chris Chester, Will Montgomery, London Fletcher, Perry Riley

Morris is the key to success on offense, and with Kory Lichtensteiger hurt, Chester and Montgomery have to step up in the interior offensive line. Fletcher and Riley will lead the charge in stopping Lynch while also being responsible to hold Wilson in check when the Seahawks use the pistol. 

Injury analysis, Redskins edition

Questionable: DeJon Gomes (knee), Kory Lichtensteiger (ankle)

Probable: Lorenzo Alexander (shoulder), Stephen Bowen (biceps), Kirk Cousins (illness), London Fletcher (ankle), Pierre Garcon (foot), Robert Griffin (knee), DeAngelo Hall (elbow), Ryan Kerrigan (ankle), Will Montgomery (knee), Josh Morgan (hand, foot), Jordan Pugh (ankle), Saverio Rocca (right knee), Madieu Williams (elbow)

Fletcher, Garcon and Griffin aren't 100 percent, but only RG3's injury could be a factor. With that brace on his right knee, the NFL's leading rushing quarterback has only 67 yards the last two weeks (although 63 of them came in Week 17).

Lichtensteiger is a reliable veteran who didn't practice all week and isn't likely to play, which will mean RG3 and Morris will have to go to work with a rookie at left guard. Not ideal, especially when you consider that, since the start of 2011, this team is 13-8 with Lichtensteiger and 2-9 without him. 

Injury analysis, Seahawks edition

Probable: Jeremy Lane (knee), Marshawn Lynch (back)

That's it. That's the entire Seattle injury report. No wonder this team is in such great shape. The only borderline-significant player the Seahawks don't have now that they had at the start of the season is guard James Carpenter. Must be nice. 

B/R NFC East Blog prediction

This is the kind of close, low-scoring game that is almost impossible to predict. If it were in Seattle, I'd have the Seahawks, but in Landover I'm taking Washington on a late field goal. 

Redskins 17, Seahawks 16

From earlier this week: Seahawks-Redskins by the numbers, getting to know the Seahawks, and a proposed game plan for Washington.


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