Seahawks Defense Does in Redskins in 35-14 Wild Card Win

Seattle Seahawks (from left) Will Herring, Kevin Bentley, and Josh Scobey tackle Washington Redskins kick returner Rock Cartwright (31) as Redskins saftey Reed Doughty (37) looks on in the first quarter of an NFL football wildcard playoff game Saturday, Jan. 5, 2008, at Qwest Field in Seattle.

In an entertaining playoff opener, the Washington Redskins had the Seattle Seahawks by the throat in the fourth quarter.  But, instead of putting them away, the gave the Seahawks just a little bit of life, and Seattle ran with it, all the way to 14 points to put the Redskins away and move to the Divisional round next weekend vs Green Bay with a 35-14 win.  Washington had a 14-13 lead with 12:38 left after a Todd Collins TD to Santana Moss from 30 yards, then on the kickoff they recovered a muffed kick that the Hawks failed to pick up.  Instead of putting the game away though, kicker Shaun Suisham shanked a 30-yard field goal that allowed Seattle back in the game.

Matt Hasslebeck took over, completing two passes and wrapping up the drive with a huge TD pass from 20 yards out to D.J. Hackett to make it 19-14.  The team went and got the two with a Hasslebeck pass to Marcus Pollard to make it 21-14.  Washington still had life, but Collins, who had played so well in previous outings, threw one fatal mistake, a jump ball pick that Marcus Trufant took back 78 yards that iced the game at 28-14. Jordan Babineaux wrapped up the solid Hawks effort with a 57-yard INT return in the final minute that made it 35-14.

Give the Skins credit, as they trailed 13-0 to start the fourth, but fought their way back with a TD from Collins to Antwaan Randle-El that made it 13-7 with 14:53 left.  Then after a bad Hasselbeck interception by LaRon Landry, the Skins quickly came back as Collins hit Moss with the 30-yard score to give them the lead.  After gaining the kickoff after Seattle failed to pick it up, they were unable to move and then failed on the kick by Suisham.

Seattle showed enough moxy to gain a win over a game Redskins team.  They built the 13-0 lead with Leonard Weaver going for 17 yards on a TD run with 3:45 left in the opening quarter to make it 7-0.  With the Redskins offense in total stall mode, the Hawks were able to move down the field midway though the second quarter, and kicker Josh Brown boomed a 50-yard field goal to make it 10-0.  Brown in the third quarter added to the lead with a 33-yard field goal before the Skins started clawing their way back in.

Hasselebck ended the night 20-for-32 for 229 yards and a score.  He put forth a solid effort considering he was playing with a banged up hand before the game.  Collins was 29-for-50 for 256 yards, with two touchdowns and two fatal picks.  He was pressured quite a bit by the Hawks linebacking and front four, and was not able to be as successful as he was during the teams late winning streak.

The Skins in the first half had eight drives, 6 which ended with a punt, one on downs and another to end the half.  They gained just 111 yards on 40 plays, unable to get the running game in effect and with Collins being harassed, it was a long first half for Washington.  The power running game that got them to this wild card game was not there against an underrated Seahawks defense that did a great job.

So the Seahawks will return to the scene of the crime of their OT playoff loss of 2004.  They seemed to be in control that afternoon at Lambeau Field, but in the end a bad Hasselbeck pick in overtime that was taken back for a score did in the Hawks.  Now they will see if they have that road magic to dethrone King Favre and the Packers in what should be an interesting divisional contest.

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