2012 NFC Wild-Card Picks: Seahawks over Redskins

Jake WestrichSenior Writer IJanuary 2, 2013

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 30:  Marshawn Lynch #24 (L) of the Seattle Seahawks runs from the St. Louis Rams defense in the first half at CenturyLink Field on December 30, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Kevin Casey/Getty Images)
Kevin Casey/Getty Images

This season's rookie quarterback class has dominated on the field as well as the Monday morning headlines. Two members of the NFL's freshman quarterback class square off in this Wild Card Weekend matchup.

However, as great as Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson have been, it's Washington's rookie running back, Alfred Morris, I'd like to focus on for a second.

In Week 17, Morris showcased to casual NFL fans what fantasy football owners knew all along: This rookie can play some ball. More impressive than his 33 carries for 200 yards with three touchdowns against the Cowboys has been the consistency in which Morris ran all season long in a Mike Shanahan backfield (for those who aren't familiar, Shanahan has been known to rotate several running backs in and out during the 16-game stretch).

Morris received 20 or more carries in 10 out of the Redskins' 16 games with at least 22 carries in each of the team's last six games. He finished with 76 or more rushing yards in 14 out of 16 games. All of  this was accomplished with RG3—a running quarterback—behind center.

The Redskins lucked out, because their 30th-ranked pass defense (281.9 pass yards allowed/game) shouldn't be tested too much, as the Seahawks remain rush-first behind Marshawn Lynch (99.4 rypg) and don't force Wilson to win the game with his arm (184.9 pass yards/game).

Wilson, the defense and special teams helped the team average 32.6 points per game in their five-game winning streak to end the season (finished plus-167 in point differential). However, they were 8-0 at home and 3-5 (with plenty of east-coast trips) on the road. Falling short of the NFC West title may cost them in the end.

If you look at the statistical DNA of both squads, the result should come down to who takes better care of the ball. Imagine that. The Redskins finished plus-17 in turnover margin, second-best in the NFL, while the Seahawks finished plus-13, fourth-best in the league.

We simulated the Redskins and Seahawks 501 times, and it's the Seahawks winning 53.8 percent of the time by an average score of 18-17.

NFC Wild Card: Seahawks at Redskins
Matchup Win% Avg Score WIS Interactive
Seattle Seahawks 53.8 18 Boxscore
@ Washington Redskins 46.2 17 Simulate Game

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