Perhaps the most stunning part of the Redskins' playoff scenario is that we already know so much. They will play their first playoff game at FedEx Field and they will be the No. 4 seed. Whom Washington's faces in the NFL Wild-Card weekend round, that remains a mystery.
Breaking Burgundy senior Chris Russell began his potential opponent preview with the Green Bay Packers. Next up, the Seattle Seahawks...
The resume is wow. Back-to-back Super Bowl appearances. One championship and perhaps one play from a second. The Seattle Seahawks are back for a three-peat, but the reigning NFC champions aren't exactly the same. They're not as dominating defensively as they have been, but they are still very talented, physical and aggressive. On offense, they're even better than before, but they are also different. Seattle ranks top-five in the NFL on both sides of the ball.
The history is known. Each of Washington's last three playoff appearances ended with a loss to Seattle. If fourth time is the charm, the Redskins will have figured out to slow down quarterback Russell Wilson and pass through a nasty secondary.
Wilson is dynamic, explosive and very difficult to contain with his ability to extend plays and run away from trouble. Despite those attributes, he's been sacked a whopping 44 times this season. Weak offensive line play can bring down eve the most ellusive of options. In the air, Wilson's numbers are impressive entering the final week of the season: 31 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.
What makes those passing stats even ore staggering is how they've largely come without tight end Jimmy Graham, who struggled in his first season with Seattle before suffering a season-ending injury.
As Graham went down, the passing game rose up. Wide receiver Doug Baldwin emerged in recent weeks as true playmaker. He enters the finale at Arizona with 73 catches for 1,023 yards and 14 touchdowns in 15 games. Redskins corner Bashaud Breeland gets the toughest weekly matchups and with Seattle, that's Baldwin.
Rookie Tyler Lockett can hurt opponents as a speed threat wide receiver and a dynamic kick and punt returner. The Seahawks drafted Lockett with the pick they acquired from the Redskins in the 3rd round of last year's draft.
The passing numbers ticked up in recent weeks, but Seattle remains a proponent of the ground game. Marshawn Lynch could be back for the playoffs after hernia surgery.
On defense, the Seahawks' secondary received the headlines during the Super Bowl runs. Cornerback Richard Sherman remains a Pro Bowl staple, but the overall play dipped this season. Strategically, Seattle used more man-to-man coverages this year. Safety Kam Chancellor is banged up and has missed the last two games while dealing with a middle core body injury.
Defensive lineman Michael Bennett gets after the QB as evidenced by his 9.5 sacks. Cliff Avril (7.5) flies off the other edge while speedy edge threat Bruce Irvin often plays in nickel situations.
The Seahawks aren't dominating this season because of injuries. Chancellor missing the first two games of the year with a contract holdout didn't help. Still, a team with the kind of championship meddle and pedigree like Seattle has is not an ideal opponent.
Can the Redskins take them down? Of course. No team is unbeatable, but the fewer mistakes. However, there's no matching Seattle's brash confidence. In other words, desire a revenge matchup at your own risk.
Next up: Minnesota Vikings
Chris Russell is a senior writer for Breaking Burgundy, longtime reporter on the Redskins beat and radio host for 1067 The Fan. Follow Chris on Twitter @russellmania621https://twitter.com/Russellmania621.
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