JEFF: NFC Wild Card Preview Washington at Seattle
By Jeff Falconio
I've been touting the Seahawks for awhile and it looked like Seattle would keep Dallas and Green Bay company atop the NFC. But the Seahawks lost two of their last three, including a 44-41 loss to Atlanta in Week Seventeen. Yes, it was a meaningless game for Seattle but back in September it looked like Atlanta wouldn't score 44 points all year. How much will that affect the Seahawks in the playoffs? Much like the Packers, the Seahawks are a team of rhythm and that rhythm has been disrupted in losses to Carolina and Atlanta. The offensive weapons are in place and the Seahawks are healthy which still makes Seattle a dangerous team.
Meanwhile, Washington comes in as the hottest team in the NFC. Todd Collins shook off ten years of rust to lead the emotionally-charged Redskins to four straight wins. Normally an injury to the starting quarterback will derail a team's season. Jason Campbell was becoming a legitimate starting quarterback but his injury in early December might have helped the Redskins. After Campbell was replaced by Collins the Redskins went back to a successful strategy: a power running game mixed in with a safe passing attack.
Seattle has one big edge and that's home field advantage. Qwest Field is one of the toughest places to play and the Redskins must once again travel on a short week (this will be Washington's third road game in four weeks.) Washington has been a feel-good story over the last month as the 'Skins rallied together after the death of teammate Sean Taylor. However, the physical and emotional roller coaster will finally take its toll on the Redskins this weekend.