The Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins are set to square off in NFL playoff betting action this week at FedEx Field. But before you make your NFL picks for the big game on Sunday, check out some of the great NFL betting trends that we have for the duel!
Seattle Seahawks Notes: The Seahawks knew that they were going in the right direction under Head Coach Pete Carroll last year, as they finished 7-9 and were really playing well at the end of the year. A new quarterback, an outrageous hybrid defensive end/linebacker that most know nothing about, and a year later, and that Seahawks are in the playoffs at 11-5 and are coming in as one of the hottest teams in football. They outscored their foes in Weeks 14-16 by the aggregate score of 150-20, and they ultimately went on to win their final game of the year against the St. Louis Rams as well. Seattle won its final five games of the season to get into the playoffs, but it wasn’t enough to run down the San Francisco 49ers. The punishment is having to go on the road, almost certainly three straight times to get to the Super Bowl. It’s a task that has been pulled off before, and it seems to be a lot easier to do that in the NFC than in the AFC, but it still takes a very special team to be able to do it, especially with that flight back to Seattle very single week.
There is a chance that the Seahawks could have both the Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year on their team. LB Bruce Irvin led all rookies this year in sacks, and he really helped transform this defense into one of the nastiest in football. Seattle ranked first in the league in scoring defense thanks to that flat out awesome run at the end of the season. On the other side of the ball, QB Russell Wilson has been amazing down the stretch. He broke the rookie record for the most touchdown passes in a season with 26, and he ended the campaign with 3,118 passing yards and 489 rushing yards for the season. The offense runs through the man they called “Beast Mode,” though. RB Marshawn Lynch made a name for himself two years ago when he ran right through the entire New Orleans Saints defense in the first round of the playoffs, and he definitely has not disappointed since that point. Lynch rumbled for 1,590 yards on 315 carries this year with 11 trips to the end zone.
Lynch is listed as having a back injury, but there is no doubt in our minds that he is going to be playing in this game, and he’ll likely end up with at least 20 carries as well. DB Brandon Browner is going to be back in the fold after serving his four-game suspension for substance abuse. Aside from that though, Carroll has a healthy team to bring on the road with him to DC.
Washington Redskins Notes: Just over two months ago, Head Coach Mike Shanahan declared that the season was said and done with after the team lost at home to the Carolina Panthers. However, Washington went on its bye, came back as a determined team, and hasn’t lost a game since that point. The Denver Broncos aside, this is the hottest team in football with seven straight wins and covers. In that mix came five games against division rivals, a win over the Cleveland Browns, and a very notable triumph over the Baltimore Ravens. In the end though, that win over Baltimore was one of just two victories this year that the team had against playoff teams, with the other ‘W’ coming against the Minnesota Vikings at home. The team hasn’t won a home playoff game in quite some time though, and the city is going to be eager for this one even though its Redskins are the decided underdogs in this game.
If you thought that the numbers that Wilson put up this year, you’ll love what QB Robert Griffin III did in his first campaign. 3,200 passing yards, a 20/5 TD/INT ratio, 815 rush yards, and seven scores are nice, but what really made RG3 spectacular this year was the fact that he just refused to lose. Right from that first game of the year against the New Orleans Saints in the Bayou, we all knew that this was a special player that had the ability to put up some huge numbers both with his arm and his legs, and he hasn’t disappointed four months later. Of course, RG3′s rushing yards were only a part of the No. 1 rushing attack in the league. RB Alfred Morris put up numbers this year that would have made him the Rookie of the Year in most other seasons, but this year, he might not even finish in the Top 5 let alone the Top 3. Morris was the steal of the NFL Draft, and he rushed for 1,610 yards and 13 scores in spite of the fact that he didn’t have a single carry of 40+ yards this year.
Defensively, we do have to remember that both DE Adam Carriker and LB Brian Orakpo have missed most of the season injured, and that isn’t going to change in this one. S Brandon Meriweather is on the IR as well with a torn ACL, and TE Fred Davis suffered a torn Achilles in October that ended his season. T Jamaal Brown is also finished for the campaign. It’s amazing that the team was able to survive all of that, but Washington almost got better with every injury that it suffered. The team was resilient all year long for sure. LB London Fletcher, arguably the team’s best defensive player in 2012, has an ankle injury, but he should be giving it a go in this one.
Head To Head: Last year, when both of these teams missed out on the second season, the Redskins went up to CenturyLink Field and beat the Seahawks by two field goals as slight underdogs. It was their second straight win in Seattle dating back to 2008. This is the first time that these two are going to meet in DC since 2005. Seattle hasn’t won a game in this venue since 1995 when it was playing in the AFC. There has been one all-time playoff meeting between these two, a 20-10 win for the Seahawks at Qwest Field in 2006 when the team made it to the Super Bowl.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.