SEATTLE — Washington and Seattle carry the two longest winning streaks in the NFC into the playoffs, and each has a running back who exceeded 1,500 yards rushing this season.
But that’s not the reason their playoff game will be spotlighted Sunday.
RG3 vs. R-Dub 3.
It’s a showdown in a class of rookie quarterbacks that has already inspired comparisons to the best quarterback crops in NFL history. Washington’s Robert Griffin III finished the season with a passer rating of 102.4, highest ever for an NFL rookie. Seattle’s Russell Wilson was No. 2 at 100.0. Griffin was the second player chosen in the draft, a once-in-a-decade kind of prospect who just happened to enter the league in a year when there were two of those types of players. Washington gave up a second-round choice this year and their first-round selections in each of the next two years to move up four spots in the first round to select Griffin. Looks like a bargain after a year in which threw 20 touchdown passes, rushed for seven scores and was intercepted only five times.
All Wilson has done was win Seattle’s starting job when everyone expected it to go to Matt Flynn and then go on to match Peyton Manning’s record for the most touchdown passes by a rookie with 26. There’s a lot more to the playoff game Sunday than those two players, of course. Washington was the league’s top rushing team this season, led by rookie Alfred Morris, while the Seahawks ranked No. 2 with Marshawn Lynch.
This will be the third time in eight seasons these teams have met in the first round of the playoffs. Seattle beat Washington 20-10 in the divisional round in January 2006, and the Seahawks won 35-14 in the wild-card round in January 2008.
Both of those games were played in Seattle, though. Seattle has lost six consecutive regular-season games to Washington, three of those coming on the road. Seattle has not won a road game against Washington since 1995.
Washington has won seven consecutive games entering the playoffs, the Seahawks have won five in a row, which matches their longest winning streak to end any regular season.