The Redskins will be looking this weekend to continue their streak as they travel to Seattle to take on the NFC West Champion Seahawks in a NFC Wild Card Game on Saturday. The Skins have rallied to make it to the playoffs, and are hoping to build on their solid end of the season. Below are five keys for the Skins as they look to stop the Hawks in Seattle this weekend:
1. Have Success on First Downs – The Redskins late season push has been helped out by their ability to make plays on first downs to put them in manageable situations on second and third downs. With Todd Collins doing a good job not forcing things, the offense has to have some success with 3-5 yards on first downs to make things easier on those 2nd and 3rd down plays.
2. Attack the Left Side with the Run Game – There is no question that with Clinton Ports and Ladell Betts, the Skins strength on their offense is their running attack, and running behind left tackle Chris Samuels and left guard Pete Kendell will be their best bet to gaining yards. Portis can break the big ones, while Betts can pound out the tough yards inside. The run game will be the key to the offense.
3. Disrupt the Seahawks Run Game – With the West Coast offense, the Hawks have been awful for a large part of the season running the ball, and when they don’t run it well, they tend to have issues moving the football on offense. They have used more of Maurice Morris in the second half of the season, and have run it better. The Redskins cannot allow the Hawks to be able to mix it up on offense, or they will be hard to stop.
4. Attack the Pocket – Gregg Williams will use a lot of four-man rush schemes and some overload pressures to try and get to Matt Hasselbeck. The strong point of the Hawks passing game is Hasselbeck getting rid of the ball quickly, and if you can keep the wide outs contained at the line and get pressure up the middle on Hasselebeck, it will mess up the timing of the Hawks offense, which is a big key.
5. Don’t be Intimated by the Crowd – Seattle has long been known as one of the toughest places to play, and two years ago the crowd at Qwest Field was a big help in lifting the Hawks to the Super Bowl. Having early success would be great to quiet the crowd, but even if they don’t the Redskins cannot fold under the noise that would get louder as the day goes along.