Redskins lead Seattle 14-13 after 3rd quarter

Redskins lead Seattle 14-13 after 3rd quarter
January 6, 2013, 7:10 pm
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Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris carries the ball during the first half of an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Landover, Md., Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(APWF)

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Robert Griffin III threw two 4-yard touchdown passes in his first career playoff game to give the Washington Redskins a 14-13 lead over the Seattle Seahawks after the third quarter of their NFC wild-card game on Sunday.

Griffin capped the Redskins' only two drives of the first quarter against the NFL's top-rated scoring defense with short tosses to running back Evan Royster and tight end Logan Paulsen.

The Seahawks allowed 15.3 points per game this season and the 14-point deficit was their largest of the season.

Seattle rallied with 13 points in the second quarter, including rookie Russell Wilson's 4-yard TD pass to running back Michael Robinson.

Steven Hauschka's 32-yard field goal with 12:05 remaining put the Seahawks on the board and he added a 29-yarder as the half expired.

The right-footed Hauschska was playing with a left ankle injury and limped off the field to the locker room.

Seattle maintained its offensive efficiency starting the third quarter, driving 69 yards to the Redskins 1, but Marshawn Lynch fumbled and Washington's Jarvis Jenkins recovered.

After forcing a Redskins punt, Wilson moved the Seahawks to the Washington 28, but overthrew Doug Baldwin in the end zone. Wilson was sacked on the next play, moving the ball back to the 37. With Hauschka limited, Seattle punted.

Griffin was 10 of 17 for 84 yards, but after the first quarter he threw for only 16 yards plus an interception. The Redskins quarterback also ran three times for 12 yards.

On the second drive, the rookie fell awkwardly while backpedaling on a pass and came up limping, but stayed in the game. He sprained his right knee in Week 14 and sported a brace for the third straight game.

Wilson led three consecutive scoring drives in the second quarter, though Seattle settled for two field goals on its two other red zone trips. The Seahawks rookie finished 9 of 14 for 123 yards and also ran for 35 yards.

Lynch rushed 14 times for 79 yards, including for 41 on the drive which ended with his fumble. In the second quarter he scooped up a Wilson fumble and raced for 19 yards, leading to the Seahawks touchdown.

Rookie Alfred Morris, the league's second-leading rusher, had 72 yards - 34 of them on four carries during Washington's opening drive that resulted in the TD pass to Royster.

Paulsen's touchdown catch finished off an 11-play, 54-yard drive in 5:58.

Washington's offense slowed in the second quarter with two drives resulting in a punt and an interception by Seattle Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas.

Seattle was moving the ball in the first quarter, but a promising drive ended when the Redskins' Stephen Bowen and London Fletcher combined to sack Wilson on third-and-2. It was one of two sacks for the Redskins in the quarter.

Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons suffered a knee injury in the third quarter. The team said his return doubtful.

The playoff meeting between the two teams was the third, but first outside Seattle. The Seahawks won 20-10 in January 2006, and 35-14 in January 2008.

Those were the last two postseason games played by the Redskins, who entered the playoffs on an NFC-best seven-game winning streak.

Seattle has won five straight, outscoring opponents 193-60, but finished the season with a 3-5 road record and has lost eight straight road playoff games. Their only road playoff win came in its first postseason road game, Dec. 31, 1983, at Miami. The streak is the second longest in the NFL behind Detroit.

Washington, NFC East champions and No. 4 seed in the conference, became the first team since the Jaguars in 1996 to reach the playoffs after starting 3-6. The Redskins went worst-to-first after finishing last in the division for four straight years.

This was the second playoff game in NFL history with two starting rookie quarterbacks.

Last year in the first rookie QB meeting, T.J. Yates led the Texans to a 31-10 victory over Andy Dalton and the Bengals.

Wilson tied Peyton Manning's 1998 NFL rookie record with 26 touchdown passes. Griffin set the league mark for yards rushing by a rookie quarterback (815) and had the best single-season rookie passer rating in NFL history (102.4), followed by Wilson (100).

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