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    Seahawks-Redskins scouting report

    Marshawn Lynch key to Seahawks-Redskins

    Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks will be in Washington on Sunday.
    Kevin Casey/Getty Images
    Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks will be in Washington on Sunday.

    Seahawks on offense: Veteran tailback/beast Marshawn Lynch is the key to this attack. The 5-foot-11-inch, 215-pounder is playing the best football of his six-year career. Lynch has always had a nifty blend of speed and strength, but when he was cutting his NFL teeth in Buffalo, he too often danced in the backfield waiting for the perfect lane. He is now much more decisive and will burst through creases — and defenders — with authority. Lynch is indefatigable, and if he’s gulping down bags of Skittles on the sideline, the Redskins are in trouble. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson (5-11, 206) is already a great leader. He lacks height, will lock on to receivers, and will abandon the pocket too early. But he’s also supremely confident and makes plays when it counts. Receivers Sidney Rice (he’s tall and fast) and Golden Tate (he has strong hands) bear watching.

    Redskins on defense: London Fletcher is an incredibly instinctive and durable linebacker. The 15-year veteran (not a typo) seemingly is in on every tackle and his teammates feed off his energy. Ryan Kerrigan is an excellent pass rusher with a nonstop motor. DeAngelo Hall and Madieu Williams stand out in the secondary.

    Redskins on offense: Alfred Morris has rumbled for 1,613 yards and 13 TDs, but not only will he not win NFL Rookie of the Year, he won’t win Redskins Rookie of the Year. He probably should, though. The 5-9, 218-pounder has thick, muscular legs that are always churning. He runs low and with excellent balance and power. He lasted until the sixth round (Mel Kiper Jr., please explain) and though he had a propensity to fumble in college, he lost only three in 335 carries this season. Quarterback Robert Griffin III is an incredible athlete. The 6-2, 217-pounder can make all the throws. He has a deft touch on short and medium routes and has the strength to go deep. He is poised in the pocket, has quick feet, and is a fluid runner. Pierre Garcon (he has impressive acceleration and hand strength) is Washington’s best receiver.


    Seahawks on defense: Chris Clemons (11½ sacks) is a destructive pass rusher off the edge who hits with great force. Rookie Bruce Irvin will soon be the best DE in the league. He has an incredible, explosive first step and gets through blockers in a flash. Linebackers Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright are tackling machines. Cornerback Richard Sherman is outstanding.

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    Special teams: Seattle boasts one of the best return men in the business in Leon Washington. He has tremendous vision and explosiveness. He averaged 29 yards per kickoff return (including a 98-yarder for a TD) and 8.7 yards on 41 punt returns (including a long of 52 yards) . . . Seahawks’ Jon Ryan averages 45.6 yards per punt . . . Seattle’s Steven Hauschka hit on 24 of 27 field goal tries, including all five attempts from 40-49 yards. His three misses were all from 50-plus yards. He did miss 2 of his 48 extra-point attempts . . . Washington’s slippery Brandon Banks averaged 24 yards per kickoff return and 6.8 yards on punt returns . . . Sav Rocca averaged 43.9 yards per punt and is a willing tackler; did you see that (illegal) hit on Dallas’s Dwayne Harris last week? Yikes! . . . Kai Forbath (he replaced Billy Cundiff after five games, but really, who hasn’t replaced Billy Cundiff at some point?) has nailed 17 of 18 attempts.

    Miscellany: Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is 8-5 in the postseason . . . Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is 2-3 . . . Seattle has won three straight wild-card games . . . Washington enters postseason on a seven-game winning streak.