Once again, it comes down to one game where all of the planning, the long days in the weight room, the endless hours spent in the film room, at OTA’s, in training camp and in practices all lead one game that determines if you will be able to play for one more week to advance one step closer to the Super Bowl or if you will pack it in and start planning for next September.
Last Sunday it was the Redskins and Cowboys and the good guys won. This time it’s the Seattle Seahawks, the second-hottest team going into the NFC playoffs, trying to end Washington’s season. The hottest team, of course, is Washington, the winner of seven straight games.
That game kicks off on Sunday at about 4:30. Until then, we’ll help you count down the hours and minutes until kickoff with this blog. We’ll update with the latest new, notes, nuggets, thoughts, and analysis right up until the start of the game. Check by frequently throughout the day and refresh the page for the latest.
Time is in hours and minutes until kickoff.
Gomes, Lichtensteiger active
-1:15—Per our Tarik El-Bashir, DeJon Gomes and Kory Lichtensteiger will be active for the Redskins. It is safe to assume, then, that Lichtensteier will start at LG.
The inactives are: QB Grossman, KR Banks, WR Briscoe, LB So'Oto, LB Muckelroy, OL Compton, OL Gettis.
Twitter question on RG
2:10—This on is from @ncmixx
I think albert morris @Trey_Deuce will be the key today...your thoughts?
I think the Redskins’ ability to run the ball will be critical and so, yes, agree 100%. If the Redskins can establish the run that will set up the play action passes and misdirection plays that will keep the Seahawks off balance.
Twitter question on the secondary
-2:25--Got this one from @DNordoft:
Who plays nickel. Griff or Craw?
I think Crawford will play some but I think Griffin’s experience will have him in the majority of the time in nickel. I think next year is Crawford’s year but, assuming that Griffin is not too rusty, I think he’s the nickel back as long as the Redskins are playing this season.
Twitter question on O-line
-2:40—A Twitter question from @Chris_Boulay:
Any fresh word on 'steiger?
Yes, and it’s not necessarily good. Lichtensteiger was limping somewhat while coming into the stadium. Now, that does not necessarily mean that he won’t play. Some tape and some medication can work wonders. But limping is never a good sign.
If I had to say right now, I'd say Josh LeRibeus at left guard.
Heading to FedEx
-4:55—I’m on my way out the door to FedEx Field, will pick this back up about -3:00. More coming then and don’t forget to join in our chat at 4:00.
And CBS picks
-5:00—CBSsports.com is even less bullish on the Redskins than are the guys at ESPN. They have eight humans and one computer program picking the game. Pete Prisco—yes, the guy who picked the Redskins to go either 0-16 or 3-13—picks the Redskins as does Ryan Wilson. The rest of the humans and the program go with Seattle.
6:00—I got a question on Twitter from @rwj64:
Do you expect the Skins to blitz alot like last Sunday?
Yes, I think they will. If they’re going to do it with Dez Bryant getting covered one-on-one I don’t see why they wouldn’t do it and put DeAngelo Hall and Josh Wilson on Golden Tate and Sidney Rice and bring some heat to Russell Wilson.
They will need to be careful, however, to keep Wilson in the pocket and not let him roam around. That’s where he is dangerous (or Danger Russ, as his Twitter handle reads) both passing and running the ball.
If you have a questions, feel free to hit me up in the comments here or on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.
6:40—The ESPN talking heads come down decidedly in favor of the visiting team. Of the 12 heads, only three—Merrill Hoge, Seth Wichersham, and Mike Ditka—take the Redskins. The Accuscore program also takes Seattle.
NFL Network First on the Field crew picks the game
7:20—Logging the “expert” picks from the NFL Network First on the Field crew.
Redskins win: Sterling Sharpe, Melissa Stark, Brian Billick
Seahawks win: Michael Lombardi, LaDainian Tomlinson
Winner goes to Atlanta
8:15—Since the Packers eliminated the Vikings last night, the winner of today’s Redskins-Seahawks game will be the lowest remaining seed in the NFC playoff bracket. So the winner of today’s game will play at the top seed, and that means a trip to Atlanta to play the Falcons.
The Redskins lost to Atlanta 24-17 at FedEx Field in Week 5. They knocked Robert Griffin III out of the game with a concussion in the third quarter. Still, a 77-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Santana Moss gave the Redskins a 17-14 fourth-quarter lead. But the Falcons rallied with 10 unanswered points for the win.
OK, we’re done with getting ahead things. Back to focusing on today’s game.
This is a shot?
19:00—I’ve never known USA Today to try to stir things up for some page views but they are up to something like that. The headline read:
Redskins Pierre Garcon disses Seahawks cornerback
Pierre Garçon was asked if he thought that Seattle CB Brandon Browner would be rusty after being suspended for use of performance-enhancing drugs.
"I couldn't even tell you his first name, really, so I couldn't tell you if he's going to be rusty or not,'' Garcon said.
Not sure how Garçon not knowing Browner’s first name (he’s not exactly a high-profile star) or not knowing if he’ll be rusty qualifies as a diss. But there you go with somebody’s idea of “controversial” stuff coming out of the Redskins’ locker room.Yes, the playoffs are really here
22:30--This is a sight we haven't seen in 4,746 days.
Both teams will play on the same dirt
23:30—There has been some concern about the condition of the field at FedEx. It was starting to look a little rough before the even they even started last week’s game and it go worse between the hashmarks very quickly.
Mike Shanahan was asked if the field would be resodded and he said it would not.
“Sometimes resodding is good. I’ve had resodding that’s worked quite well. I’ve been on some resods that were very, very poor. We rushed for a lot of yards last week and the surface was good enough to not slip, so that’s a pretty good sign. I know it doesn’t look that good but relative to the footwork, I didn’t think it was bad at all from a running back standpoint as well as the wide receivers. I didn’t see people slipping and so that’s a good sign. Anyway, both teams have to play on the field.”
Weather forecast is fine
25:00—There wasn’t much talk about the weather for this game earlier this week and there still isn’t as we get closer to kickoff. It’s going to be in the mid-40’s at kickoff and it will drop to around 40 by the time the game’s over. Winds are going to be around five m.p.h. so they probably won’t even be felt inside.
So if you’re going, dress in layers and stay warm. But the elements should not have any effect down on the field.