Redskins-Seahawks position matchups

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,Kevin Dunleavy

Quarterback

Seattle

With 26 touchdown passes, Russell Wilson tied Peyton Manning's rookie record. Running Seattle's option spread, Wilson has an efficiency rating of 100.0, fourth best in the NFL.

Washington

Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III has played brilliantly, rushing for 815 yards and compiling the best efficiency rating (102.4) for a rookie since Otto Graham (112.1) in 1946.

Advantage » Redskins

Running back

Seattle

Marshawn Lynch (315 carries, 1590 yards, 11 touchdowns) has had the finest season of his seven-year career but has been limited this week in practice by a back ailment.

Washington

Sixth-round draft choice Alfred Morris (335 yards, 1,613 yards, 13 touchdowns) set a single-season franchise rushing record. It was the third most yards ever by a rookie in the NFL.

Advantage » Redskins

Receivers

Seattle

Sidney Rice (50 catches, 748 yards) is a big target at 6-foot-4. Speedy Golden Tate (45-688) is a big-play threat at the other spot. Tight end Zach Miller (38-396) is reliable.

Washington

Pierre Garcon (44-633), Santana Moss (41-573), Leonard Hankerson (38-543) and Joshua Morgan (48-510) give the Redskins more depth. But Seattle has star power and an edge at tight end.

Advantage » Seahawks

Offensive line

Seattle

Pro Bowl starters Max Unger (center) and Russell Okung (tackle) lead one of the smaller but quicker units in the league, with all five starters between 298 and 318 pounds.

Washington

This was a supposed weakness in the preseason, but Trent Williams has emerged as a Pro Bowl selection, while four journeymen have jelled in a stretch scheme that favors brains over brawn.

Advantage » Even

Defensive line

Seattle

Three huge vets (combined 959 pounds) start in a 4-3 set along with former Redskins player Chris Clemons (11.5 sacks), an undersized but disruptive end. The unit has been intact for two years.

Washington

Free agents Barry Cofield (nose) and Stephen Bowen have been solid, and Jarvis Jenkins, coming off ACL surgery, has improved as the season has progressed.

Advantage » Seahawks

Linebackers

Seattle

Rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner, a second-round pick, and second-year man K.J. Wright, a fourth-round selection, are emerging in a unit that plays assignment football, rarely freelancing.

Washington

Rob Jackson has been a stellar replacement for injured Brian Orakpo. London Fletcher, 37, just keeps making tackles (139 this year). And Ryan Kerrigan is an emerging star.

Advantage » Redskins

Secondary

Seattle

Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, Richard Sherman and Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas form one of the hardest-hitting units in the NFL, ranked No. 3 in pass defense efficiency, according to Football Outsiders.

Washington

With improved play up front, the much-maligned unit has performed better during the Redskins' seven-game winning streak. Still, Seattle has an overwhelming edge in this department.

Advantage » Seahawks

Special teams

Seattle

Pro Bowl selection Leon Washington gives Seattle the edge in the return game, but the Redskins are stellar in coverage. Kicker Steven Hauschka (24-for-27) is perfect inside 50 yards.

Washington

Rookie kicker Kai Forbath (17-for-18) missed for the first time last week. The Redskins have lacked big-play potential in the return game but have been sure handed.

Advantage » Seahawks

Coaching

Seattle

Pete Carroll has gone 2-3 in the playoffs, never getting beyond the divisional round. Few teams have coordinators as inexperienced as Casey Bradley (defense) and Darrell Bevell (offense).

Washington

Mike Shanahan has an 8-5 playoff record with two Super Bowl titles. Coordinators Kyle Shanahan (offense) and Jim Haslett (defense) have received high marks for their work this year.

Advantage » Redskins

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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Author:

Kevin Dunleavy

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner