The Washington Redskins have lost six in a row and must fly across the country to stand in a cold rain. A three-game Seahawks win streak, a first since 2007.
The Seahawks begin a stretch of three consecutive home games that include nationally televised contests on the NFL Network and ESPN.
The Seahawks take on the Redskins, losers of six consecutive games, with a chance to run their winning streak to three games, something Seattle has not accomplished since 2007.
“This is the same bunch of guys that lost some games earlier in the year — we were giving opportunities away,” said coach Pete Carroll. “Were starting to close in on it now. Were playing more consistently and in enough areas to give us a chance to win. Were just getting going.
“To me, the season is just starting and we havent done anything yet. But the opportunity to capture what it takes on a week-to-week basis and the focus and the attention to detail is at hand. Thats why each one of these weeks are so cool and exciting to go after it again.
“Can we do it again? Can we find all of the right elements that it takes to execute a play really well with a young bunch of guys? They can feel it. They can sense that something is going on and its turning.”
The Seahawks gave themselves a chance to win three in a row by defeating St. Louis last week after sputtering at the start. Tarvaris Jackson’s first two throws were intercepted, but the Seahawks recovered for a 24-7 victory.
As bad as I felt like we played as an offense last week, we were still able to get a win,” said Jackson. “It shows that were a team. We can play more as a team and still get victories. When one phase is slacking a little bit weve got guys that kind of help pick us up. But to get two in a row is big for us we havent done it all year.”
RIVALRY: The Seahawks-Redskins rivalry dates to Sept. 19, 1976, when Washington put a 31-7 whipping on the expansion Seahawks at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The Redskins have won five consecutive games against Seattle dating to 2001, but the Seahawks are 2-0 against the Redskins in the postseason, beating Washington in 2005 and 2007.
LAST MEETING: On Nov. 23, 2008, Shaun Suisham broke a 17-17 tie with a 27-yard, fourth-quarter field goal, lifting Washington to a 20-17 victory over the Seahawks at Qwest (now CenturyLink) Field. Jason Campbell threw for 206 yards and a touchdown and Clinton Portis rushed for 143. Matt Hasselbeck threw two touchdown passes for Seattle, but also tossed two interceptions. Maurice Morris ran for 103 yards for Seattle, which fell to 2-9. The Redskins were coached by former Seattle quarterback and assistant head coach Jim Zorn.
LAST WEEK: The Seahawks overcame two early interceptions by Tarvaris Jackson and four sacks on the quarterback for a 24-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. Seattle’s defense sacked Sam Bradford five times, three by Chris Clemons, and held the Rams to 185 total yards, the best effort for the Seahawks’ defense in 2011. Marshawn Lynch ran for 88 yards and scored a TD, but saw his 100-yard rushing streak end at two . . . The Redskins lost in overtime to the Dallas Cowboys 27-24 when Dan Bailey kicked a 39-yard field goal. Rex Grossman threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns for the Redskins.
TRENDS: The Seahawks have won two in a row after losing three in a row. Washington has dropped six games in succession since defeating St. Louis 17-10 Oct. 2.
COACHES: Pete Carroll is in his second season as head coach of the Seahawks. In 2010, he directed Seattle to the NFC West title, the Seahawks becoming the first team in NFL history to win a division with a losing (7-9) record. Prior to joining the Seahawks, Carroll served as head coach at Southern California, where his Trojans won seven national championships.
Mike Shanahan, a long-time coach of the Denver Broncos, has been head coach of the Redskins since 2010. He went 6-10 in his first year. Shanahan coached the Broncos from 1995-08, winning Super Bowls following the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Shanahan also served as head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders in 1988-89.
SEAHAWKS STATS/NOTES: The Seahawks have signed OT Allen Barbre and placed OT James Carpenter on injured reserve. Barbre has played in 29 games (seven starts) for Seattle, including three in 2010. He most recently spent time with the Miami Dolphins (released in September). Carpenter, Seattle’s No. 1 pick in the 2001 draft, suffered a season-ending knee injury last week . . . The Seahawks rank 28th in the NFL in total offense at 298.5 yards per game, 27th in rushing offense at 91.5 yards per game, and 24th in passing offense at 203.4 yards per game . . . Pete Carroll has never coached against the Redskins.
REDSKINS STATS/NOTES: The Redskins rank 24th in total offense at 312,7, 30th in rushing at 84.0, 16th in passing at 228.7 and 27th in scoring at 16.0 . . . Quarterback Rex Grossman has thrown for 1,636 yards and 12 touchdowns, and has a passer rating of 70.1 . . . Roy Helu is currently Washington’s featured back. He has rushed for 248 yards, one reason why the Redskins rank 30th in the NFL in rushing offense . . . Mike Shanahan is 11-9 all time against Seattle.
ART THIEL’S TAKE: The Redskins are busy falling off the edge of the earth, replete with a quarterback controvery, injuries and doubts about Shanahan. And then they get to fly across country on a holiday weekend to stand in a cold rain for four hours. The Seahawks couldn’t ask for better in an opponent’s situation — even better than the Rams last Sunday.
The only way this gets messed up is if Jackson gets hurt. His torn pectoral muscle is one pass away from bringing on his backup, Charlie Whitehurst. But the Seahawks have developed enough efficiency on defense and special teams that the offense just needs to avoid losing the game. The Seahawks’ youth continues to make them the most penalized team since Laurel and Hardy. Another half-dozen false starts and a few pass interference penalties and the Redskins can steal one. Still, the defense should prevail. Seahawks 16, Redskins 6.
STEVE RUDMAN’S TAKE: For the Seahawks, this is the perfect opponent at exactly the right time. Seattle has won two in a row for the first time since early in 2010, while the Redskins have dropped six straight, including a 20-17 overtime loss to the Cowboys. Sunday.
With the Seahawks playing the first of three in a row at home, Seattle has a great opportunity to pounce upon a reeling team and put it away.
Most impressive about the Seahawks recently has been the performance of the defense, which limited the admittedly hapless Rams to just 185 yards.
But Seattle’s offense has emerged in the last two games. Although Jackson came out sputtering against St. Louis with interceptions on his first two throws, he didn’t lose his composure and actually finished well. Even better, the Seahawks are running the ball much better than they did early. We’ll see Seattle’s first three-game winning streak since 2007. Seahawks 24, Redskins 17.
ARRIVE EARLY: Seahawks fans are encouraged to plan ahead and arrive early. Touchdown City opens at 10 a.m. and gates open at 11 a.m. In addition to regular game-day activities, more than 17,000 participants have signed up for the Seattle Marathon that begins at 7:15 a.m. at the Seattle Center. As part of the course, the I-90 express lanes will be closed until 11 a.m. This will also be the first Seahawks game that security personnel will begin using hand-held metal detectors as part of the screening process.
COMING UP: The Seahawks have consecutive home games at CenturyLink Field against the Philadelphia Eagles and St. Louis Rams. The second game against St. Louis is Monday night, Dec. 12. Seattle plays two of its final three (at Chicago Dec. 18 and at Arizona Jan. 1) on the road.
2011 Seahawks Schedule/Results
|9/11/11||at San Francisco||1:15 p.m.||FOX||L||33-17||0-1|
|9/18/11||at Pittsburgh||10 a.m.||FOX||L||24-0||0-2|
|9/25/11||vs. Arizona||1:15 p.m.||FOX||W||13-10||1-2|
|10/2/11||vs. Atlanta||1:05 p.m.||FOX||L||30-28||1-3|
|10/9/11||at N.Y. Giants||10 a.m.||FOX||W||36-25||2-3|
|10/23/11||at Cleveland||10 a.m.||FOX||L||6-3||2-4|
|10/30/11||vs. Cincinnati||1:15 p.m.||CBS||L||34-12||2-5|
|11/6/11||at Dallas||10 a.m.||FOX||L||23-13||2-6|
|11/13/11||vs. Baltimore||1:05 p.m.||CBS||W||22-17||3-6|
|11/20/11||at St. Louis||1:05 p.m.||FOX||W||24-7||4-6|
|11/27/11||vs. Washington||1:05 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/1/11||vs. Philadelphia||5:20 p.m.||NFLN||—||—||—|
|12/12/11||vs. St. Louis||5:30 p.m.||ESPN||—||—||—|
|12/18/11||at Chicago||10 a.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|12/24/11||vs. San Francisco||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|
|1/1/12||at Arizona||1:15 p.m.||FOX||—||—||—|