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Sunday, January 6, 2013
How you feeling? Redskins-Seahawks

By Dan Graziano

LANDOVER, Md. -- As the Washington Redskins prepare to host the Seattle Seahawks in a wild-card round playoff game at 4:30 pm ET at FedEx Field, here's one reason for Redskins fans to feel good about the game and one reason for concern.

Feeling good: The game is at home, which matters when you play the Seahawks. Seattle was 8-0 at home this season, but just 3-5 on the road. They did win their last two road games as part of their season-ending hot streak, but they're just not quite as intimidating without their notoriously raucous home crowd urging them on. Robert Griffin III and the Redskins will be able to operate their offense in peace, and if anything, the energy of Redskins fans enjoying the team's first home playoff game since 1999 could help energize the players in a positive way. The Washington defense, which ranked 28th in the league in terms of yards allowed, has been getting by on emotion and intensity. That helps explain why it's been able to force 15 turnovers and collect 18 sacks during the Redskins' seven-game winning streak.

Cause for concern: As hot as the Redskins are, having won seven games in a row to conclude the regular season, the Seahawks might be even hotter. They won five in a row to end the season and outscored their final four opponents by the combined score of 170-43 (an average of 43-11 per game). They allowed an average of 15.3 points per game for the season, and haven't given up more than 17 points in a game since Week 12. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has outperformed RG III in the second half of the season, and actually ranks statistically among the best quarterbacks in the entire league over the past couple of months. If there's a team in the NFC that rolled into the playoffs feeling better about itself than Washington did, it might well be Seattle.