By Brady Henderson
Notes and thoughts on the Seahawks’ 24-14 win over the Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
The lead. The Seahawks overcame a brutal start and scored 24 unanswered points for their first road playoff win since 1983. Seattle advances to the divisional round for the second time in three seasons and will travel to Atlanta to face the Falcons, the NFC’s No. 1 seed. That game is set for Sunday at 10 a.m. PST.
The good. The Seahawks didn’t deviate from their preferred offensive strategy despite falling behind 14-0, their largest deficit of the season.
Marshawn Lynch finished with 132 yards on 18 carries, and his 27-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter gave Seattle the lead. He also made a key play that helped the Seahawks avoid disaster, dangerously scooping up a fumbled snap with one hand and picking up 18 yards.
Russell Wilson fared well despite constantly being pressured and forced out of the pocket by Washington’s blitz-happy defense. He finished with 187 yards passing and a touchdown and ran eight times for 67 yards. He picked up 28 of those yards on one play. He also provided a key block on Lynch’s touchdown run.
Zach Miller led the Seahawks with 48 yards receiving on four catches, all of which came at critical moments. Three of them moved the chains on either third or fourth down, and the other was a two-point conversion that gave Seattle a seven-point lead after Lynch’s touchdown.
Defensively, the Seahawks clamped down after allowing those two early touchdowns, allowing just one more third-down conversion. They took advantage of Robert Griffin III’s limited mobility after his knee injury appeared to worsen in the first half.
Earl Thomas sprinted from his free safety position to intercept a deep pass from Griffin III. Seattle took over and kicked a field goal on the ensuing possession.
Seattle finally got to Griffin III after failing to generate much of a pass rush in the first half. Alan Branch recorded a sack. Bruce Irvin chased down Kirk Cousins when he replaced Griffin III.
The bad. The Seahawks got off to a slow start and missed too many scoring opportunities, which is usually not exactly a winning recipe in a road playoff game. Seattle showed little resistance defensively as Washington scored touchdowns on its first two possessions. Alfred Morris did most of the work, confirming the notion that Seattle’s shaky run defense could be exploited by the league’s top rushing offense.
The Seahawks couldn’t generate much pressure in the first half even though Griffin III was limping around and barely able to run.
Wilson missed a prime scoring opportunity when he overthrew a wide open Doug Baldwin in the end zone. Seattle punted on that possession.
Lynch more than atoned for his third-quarter fumble, but coughing the ball up on the goal line also cost the Seahawks points.
Clemons injured. Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons went down in the third quarter with a knee injury and did not return.