It would be hard to argue that there is a team in the NFL that is hotter than the Seattle Seahawks. After blowing out three straight opponents (including their division rival and No. 2 seed San Francisco 49ers), they won a tough contest at home against the always pesky Rams. The Seahawks have done it all year with their defense, but in the latter part of the season have seen an offensive burst as Russell Wilson has led a balanced attack with hard-running Marshawn Lynch.
The Redskins, on the other hand, were fighting for their playoff lives last week against their division rival, the Dallas Cowboys. The Redskins have been led all year by the outstanding rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III and overlooked rookie running back Alfred Morris (1,600 total yards).
Conventional wisdom would say to go with the hot team and pick the Seahawks, but there are few factors favoring the Redskins. First of all, they are playing at home which means Seattle has to travel. Seattle is only 3-5 on the road this year while it is 8-0 at home. Both teams have outstanding rushing attacks. Washington ranks first in the NFL in rushing while Seattle is third. On the other side of the ball, Washington is the fifth-best rushing defense in the league while Seattle is the 10th.
The real test will be which team can pass on the other. Seattle has one of the best pass defenses in the league while Washington has one of the worst. Griffin III has led a more prolific passing attack than Wilson and both quarterbacks are dangerous running as well.
Look for this game to be a slugfest with both teams trying to establish the run and hit some timely passes from their stud rookie QBs. If Seattle’s defense travels well, its offense should do enough to pull out the win. Seattle will continue to roll and win 27-23.