Week 12 Preview: Washington at Seattle

From: The Sports Network

Back-to-back losses for the first time this year have the Washington Redskins fading in the NFC playoff picture. Currently holding the final Wild Card slot in the conference, Washington heads across the country this weekend to take on the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field.

Washington began the season 4-1, announcing itself as a contender in the NFC East. However, the club has lost three of five since, including two straight to Pittsburgh and Dallas, respectively.

After getting thumped, 23-6, by the Steelers in Week 9, the Redskins led the Cowboys late in last Sunday’s home game before watching Dallas quarterback Tony Romo toss a 25-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown pass that lifted the Cowboys to a 14-10 win.

Jason Campbell was mediocre at quarterback for Washington, throwing for only
162 yards, while running back Clinton Portis ran for 68 yards on 15 carries
despite being a game-time decision due to a sprained MCL suffered in his left
knee during the Pittsburgh game.

Washington would love nothing more than to leave Seattle with a win, as its
6-4 record is tied with Dallas for second in the division, with both teams
trailing the 9-1 New York Giants. The Redskins host the Giants next weekend.

This Sunday’s game will mark a homecoming for both Washington head coach Jim Zorn and backup running back Shaun Alexander.

Zorn was Seattle’ first-ever starting quarterback, playing under center in the Seahawks’ inaugural season in 1976. He won NFC Offensive Rookie of the Year honors that year and played nine seasons with Seattle, getting inducted into the club’s Ring of Honor in 1991.

Alexander, meanwhile, signed with Washington in the middle of this season after being released by Seattle this past summer. The 2005 NFL MVP, Alexander spent his last eight seasons with the Seahawks and is the club’s all-time leading rusher with 9,429 yards.

Even a third-string role with the Redskins is better than what Seattle is going through this year. Winners of the past four NFC West titles, the Seahawks are just 2-8 this year, tied with St. Louis for last place in the standings.

Seattle has lost three straight and six of its last seven, and doesn’t even bolster the home dominance it once did. The Seahawks have the third-best regular-season home record since Week 16 of the 2002 campaign at 35-11, but have gone just 1-4 in the Emerald City this year.

The Seahawks’ third straight loss came in Arizona last week, a 26-20 setback. Both quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and wide receiver Deion Branch returned from injury, but Seattle still managed only 196 yards of offense. Hasselbeck was intercepted three times in his return from back and knee issues, including one late in the fourth quarter that ended a comeback bid against the NFC West-
leading Cardinals.

This is the first of back-to-back games against the NFC East for Seattle, which will travel to Dallas next week for a Thanksgiving Day game against the Cowboys.

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