The Washington Redskins were rolling in the first quarter of today’s NFC Wild Card round matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
But the main concern heading into the second quarter was about quarterback Robert Griffin III and his knee, as the rookie Pro Bowler began limping towards the end of the first quarter and was examined by medical personnel on the sideline.
Griffin III was able to stay in the game, but it will take another half of action to determine exactly how effective he’ll be for the rest of this game.
The good news? At halftime, the Redskins lead the Seahawks, 14-13.
The Seahawks got cooking for the first time all game on their first drive of the second quarter.
On the first play of the quarter, quarterback Russell Wilson broke free for a 19-yard run. On the very next play, Wilson found running back Marshawn Lynch for a nine-yard pass-and-catch. Three plays later, wide receiver Sydney Rice made a great catch along the sideline, keeping both feet in for a 27-yard gain.
The Seahawks faced a 3rd and 7 from the Washington 9-yard line three plays later. With the FedExField crowd rockin’, Wilson was unable to get the snap off before the play clock reached zero. On 3rd and 12 from the Washington 14, Wilson, lined up in the shotgun, was forced to throw his pass out of the back of the end zone, forcing a 32-yard field goal from kicker Steven Hauschka to get the Seahawks onto the board, 14-3, with 12:05 remaining in the half.
The Redskins began the ensuing drive from their own 23-yard line with Griffin III leading the offense. On their first play, cornerback Brandon Browner was flagged for illegal contact on wide receiver Pierre Garcon, who was left wide open down the field. On the next play, running back Alfred Morris chugged his way down for a seven-yard run, as he left his first would-be tackler in the dust.
But two plays later, Washington faced a 3rd and 2 from their own 36 when Griffin III was unable to connect with tight end Logan Paulsen, setting up the team’s first punt of the game. Griffin III appeared to have an open running lane for the first down, but didn’t take it.
The Seahawks had a bit of luck on their next drive. Wilson kept the ball on a read-option play and fumbled — but the ball was recovered by Lynch, who ran 20 yards to the Washington 36-yard line. Safety Madieu Williams was right there when the ball was bouncing on the ground, but Lynch barely beat him to it.
They continued their drive into the red zone with a 16-yard pass to fullback Michael Robinson, and then Wilson got to the 5-yard line on a read-option play that resulted in 11 yards. They scored two plays later on a five-yard touchdown to a wide open Robinson, and, after the extra point, cut the Washington lead to 14-10 with 4:38 remaining in the half.
Seattle is showing that it can run the read-option just as well as Washington can. Although Wilson fumbled on one of the exchanges, he also gained 11 yards on a similar play in which he was able to draw outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan into the run-fake.
Washington began its next drive from its 26, as Griffin III pitched to Morris for a three-yard gain. But on the next play, Griffin III tried to pass deep into double coverage to Garcon, and was picked off by free safety Earl Thomas at the Seattle 26-yard line. Griffin III was looking Garcon’s way the entire play, which must’ve been an easy ready for Thomas.
Seattle faced a 3rd and 5 three plays into its ensuing drive when Wilson squeezed off a six-yard completion to Doug Baldwin. With the middle of the field wide open, Wilson, again, found Baldwin on the next play for a 33-yard completion to the Washington 30. The Seahawks got into the red zone on a five-yard run by Lynch, who is every bit the tough runner that Morris is. But just a couple plays later, the Seahawks faced another 3rd down, this time with seven yards to go. Wilson, in the shotgun, completed his pass to Golden Tate, but the five yards wasn’t enough for the first down.
On 4th and 2, Hauschka hit his second field goal of the quarter — this time from 29 yards — ending the first half.
CHIME IN: What are YOUR thoughts from the first half of action? Feel free to comment below.
Tags: 2012 postseason, Seattle Seahawks, washington redskins
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