Zac Boyer will be entering his third season covering the Washington Redskins for The Free Lance-Star this fall. Make sure to follow Zac on Twitter (@ZacBoyer) for the latest updates or e-mail him with any questions at email@example.com.
What To Watch For: Three Seahawks, Redskins Storylines
1. Rookie Quarterbacks: Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson have been two of the most remarkable players this season – and not just as first-year quarterbacks. Griffin finished the regular season completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns with five interceptions while also running for 815 yards and seven touchdowns. Wilson completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 3,118 yards and 26 touchdowns while throwing 10 interceptions, and he also ran for 489 yards and four touchdowns. Both operate out of similar offenses, both are threats to take off and run when receivers aren’t open and both have shown an ability to swing the momentum of the game with one dynamic play.
2. Relentless Running Backs: For as similar as their quarterbacks are, both Seattle and Washington have running attacks that are just as comparable. Alfred Morris and Marshawn Lynch finished as the second- and third-leading rushers in the NFL, each carrying the ball roughly 20 times a game. They’re physical, bruising runners who have an ability to churn out yards after contact. They’ll also encounter defenses that are stout against the run – the Redskins rank fifth, the Seahawks 10th – and the team whose back is able to lessen the burden on the passing game should be the more productive.
3. Rushing Linebackers: The Redskins finally started generating pressure on opposing quarterbacks as their seven-game winning streak continued and was a large part in why Dallas’ Tony Romo was intercepted three times a week ago. Washington, like Seattle, has 33 sacks on the season, but managed to drop the quarterback 11 times in the last four games. The key with Wilson will be similar to what it was with Romo – apply pressure up the middle, but make sure to contain him on the edges to prevent him from rolling out and extending plays.