Five questions the Redskins face entering wild-card game vs. Seahawks

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

1 Can they beat Seattle? » Of course. The Seahawks were 8-0 at home but only 3-5 on the road (but with two straight wins). They have the NFL's top-ranked scoring defense, but it's not as if they have shut down teams every week. Several teams, including San Francisco, Minnesota, Chicago, Buffalo and Miami, all ran well vs. Seattle. The challenge will be slowing a hot offense that has scored 20 or more points in nine straight games -- and 23 or more in seven of those games. The Seahawks don't turn it over, and one way Washington's defense has survived is by causing turnovers.

2 Will the Redskins just be happy to be in the postseason? » That's highly doubtful. The players made it clear even last week that winning a division title was not their ultimate goal. And while the players were excited about winning Sunday, they felt that way because it provides them a chance to win a Super Bowl title. The Redskins are helped by having strong veteran leaders and young players in key spots who push themselves hard. They're not the sort of players who relax.

3 Will Robert Griffin III finally be himself? » Probably not, but he showed last week that he can still be a big factor with his legs. Once the Redskins established that he was a threat, it opened up even more opportunities for running back Alfred Morris. Griffin did not have the same explosiveness, but he doesn't have to run 40 yards to hurt a defense. However, Griffin will need a better game throwing the ball. Can he consistently plant and drive on his throws?

4 How different are the quarterbacks with their running style? » Both Griffin and Seattle's Russell Wilson have hurt teams running the ball and run elements of the zone read option. Griffin is a faster player, but Wilson rushed for 489 yards. However, he's most dangerous when he scrambles in the pocket. He will look long in those situations.

5 Will cornerback Cedric Griffin's return help? » If he stayed in shape during his four-game drug suspension, then, yeah, he should. But the Seahawks don't have great depth at receiver -- no one finished with more than 50 receptions, though Sidney Rice and Golden Tate are big-play wideouts. Still, Griffin was helping before his suspension, and the Redskins always could use a bigger, physical corner.

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner