In the battle of the rookie QBs, RGIII can get one over on RW
Both the 'Skins and the 'Hawks come into this one on impressive winning streaks, having won seven and five games in a row respectively in order to book their places in the post-season.
It must be a lot of fun to be a fan of either of these two teams - a lot more fun than being a sad Jets fan like some of us, that's for sure.
Both came into this season with rookie quarterbacks, high hopes for their long-term futures but not too excited about immediate success (after 7-9 and 5-11 records last year).
What a difference four months can make. Robert Griffin III, a college sensation taken second overall in the draft was expected to be the future of the franchise. Well he's not just the future, he's also the present, having finished the regular season with 3,200 yards passing, 815 yards rushing, 20 touchdowns and a QB rating of 102.4.
Much less heralded but also rapidly assuming similar stature (figuratively at least) is Seattle QB Russell Wilson, incredibly drafted 75th overall but equally impressive this season with 3118 yards passing, 489 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns with a QB rating of 100.
RGIII has had all the attention because of his high draft position, the fact that he won the Heisman Trophy (awarded to the best college player of the year), and his style of play. He's extremely evasive in the pocket and if a pass isn't on he's always looking to utilise his lightning speed and gain yardage on the ground.
Wilson is similarly talented and more than competent on the move; the difference is he's less concerned with gaining rushing yardage and always has an eye on the long ball, which he can deliver spectacularly on the run.
These two exciting young quarterbacks are lucky to have a couple of studs at the running back position; handy weapons with which to neutralise the pass rush that can unsettle the best of rookies. Marshawn Lynch, ranked third in the league has racked up 1,590 yards for Seattle; Alfred Morris for Washington is a hop, skip and a jump ahead with 1,615 yards.
Both are highly effective but it's here that I just give the Redskins the edge. Chris Clemons is an undersized lineman for Seattle and he will be targeted by Mike Shanahan's offensive line. Look for Washington to constantly pound the ball to the left and exploit this weakness while mixing it up with the bamboozling fake hand-off that RGIII has made his own all season.
This has the potential to be an absolute classic, a definite Sky Plus job, but I'll take the man from Okinawa, Japan (look it up) with the 1,000 megawatt smile, to just shade the little fella with the big game.
Back Washington Redskins @ 2.47/5 to win
Back Washington Redskins to win on handicap (+3pts) @ 1.9520/21