The Seattle Seahawks became the only road team to win during the Wild Card Weekend with a 24-14 victory over the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field. Their first road playoff win in franchise history in nearly 20 years, the Seahawks had a rough start but came back to score 24 unanswered points after allowing two early touchdowns to the Redskins.
After the first quarter, the Seahawks defense was absolutely dominated their opposition. Allowing touchdown receptions to unassuming options in Evan Royster and Logan Paulsen, the Redskins were unsuccessful in their eight following drives and allowed just 68 total yards for the rest of the game. Key players for the Seahawks defense included Alan Branch, who recorded a sack and provided some pressure to the Redskins offensive line, and Earl Thomas, who had the game’s only interception at a key moment in the second quarter.
While the Seahawks had a very good game that extended their hot streak from the regular season, the big reason for Seattle’s success was the waning health of Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. With concern from renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrew about his condition for the game, he was ineffective for most of the game and was unable to play like he typically does due to his lack of mobility. The final straw for a rough end to Griffin’s season came in the fourth quarter when a bad shotgun snap caused him to buckle his right knee and restrain his injury. With a healthy RG3, the entire outcome of the game may have been different, for the Seahawks defense would have had a tougher time containing arguably the most dangerous running quarterback in the league.
The Seahawks now look forward to next week where they’ll continue their road crusade at the Georgia Dome against the Atlanta Falcons. With momentum on their side, the No. 1 seed in the NFC will provide a tough test for Seahawks, as the offense of Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez will be a formidable group for anyone. After a slightly-easier matchup due to the ailing Griffin, the Seahawks will need a repeat performance if they want to move onto the NFC Championship Game.
Austin Chang is a Writer for Sports Out West and a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports journalist. His work can also be found on Yahoo! Sports and Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.