The Washington Redskins hold a sizeable 9-4 edge over the Seattle Seahawks in their all-time regular season series. Washington has won four straight meetings, dating back to the 2001 season. The Redskins also won their only previous regular season contest in Qwest Field (14-3 on November 3, 2002)
Out: LB Marcus Washington (ankle)
Questionable: DT Anthony Montgomery (achilles), RB Clinton Portis (knee), WR Antwaan Randle El (ankle)
Probable: RB Ladell Betts (knee), G Pete Kendall (knee), T Chris Samuels (knee), CB Shawn Springs (calf)
Doubtful: S C.J. Wallace (hamstring)
Questionable: DT Redy Bryant (ankle), G Mike Wahle (shoulder), C Chris Spencer (back)
Probable: WR Deion Branch (heel), QB Matt Hasselbeck (back), LB David Hawthorne (calf), WR Koren Robinson (knee), CB Marcus Trufant (concussion), FB Leonard Weaver (ribs), CB Josh Wilson (ankle)
Stats & Rankings
Total: 13th (336.3 yards per game)
Passing: 20th (196.9 yards per game)
Rushing: 5th (139.4 yards per game)
Scoring: 27th (18.1 points per game)
Total: 4th (276.4 yards per game)
Passing: 10th (192.1 yards per game)
Rushing: 5th (84.3 yards per game)
Scoring: 7th (18.2 points per game)
Turnover Ratio: t-15th (+2)
Total: 31st (253.8 yards per game)
Passing: 31st (145.5 yards per game)
Rushing: t-19th (108.3 yards per game)
Scoring: 26th (19.0 points per game)
Total: 28th (380.7 yards per game)
Passing: 31st (265.2 yards per game)
Rushing: 21st (115.5 yards per game)
Scoring: 26th (25.7 points per game)
Turnover Ratio: 21st (-3)
Five Things to Watch
Here are five items to watch when the Seahawks host the Washington Redskins on Sunday:
Seahawks Patchwork Offensive Line – Left guard Mike Wahle is unlikely to play after injuring his shoulder against Arizona, and center Chris Spencer was downgraded to questionable on Saturday with a back injury. If neither can go, the Seahawks interior line will consist of Floyd “Pork Chop” Womack at left guard, Ray Willis at right guard, with Steve Vallos playing center. Vallos gained a lot of experience in the preseason, but hasn't played center in an official NFL game.
An Improved Matt Hasselbeck – Hasselbeck was 17-for-29 with 170 yards and a touchdown in his return after a five-game layoff. Unfortunately, Hasselbeck was also intercepted three times by the Cardinals. With a game under his belt to knock off the rust, Hasselbeck should be better than he was a week ago. With his former position coach on the opposing sideline, Hasselbeck will have some additional motivation to make plays.
Seahawks as Spoilers – At 2-8, the Seahawks have no realistic shot at the post-season. They can, however, take some of their frustrations out on teams fighting for a spot in the NFC Playoffs. After losing two straight, Sunday’s game is a must-win for the 6-4 Redskins. The Seahawks have an opportunity to inflict some damage to the playoff hopes of a franchise they eliminated from the playoffs in 2005 and 2007.
Former ‘Hawks Coming to Town – Much of the talk this week has focused on the Seattle returns of Redskins head coach Jim Zorn and running back Shaun Alexander. But there are several other former Seahawks returning to Qwest Field on Sunday. Redskins offensive coordinator Sherman Smith played for the Seahawks from 1976-82, and running backs coach Stump Mitchell was the Seahawks running backs coach from 2001-07. Both joined the Redskins staff when Jim Zorn took over as head coach. Cornerback Shawn Springs (1997-2003) and guard Pete Kendall (1996-2000) have made several return trips to where their careers began, but this will be the first time back for punter Ryan Plackemeier (2005-08), who was released by the Seahawks earlier this season. Safety Mike Green (2006-07) is another former Seahawk returning to town this weekend.
Familiar Systems – When Jim Zorn took over as the Redskins head coach, he brought the West Coast passing offense with him from Seattle, so the Seahawks should be familiar with what the Redskins do in the passing game. Seahawks quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor’s previous experience with Jason Campbell should also help the defense.
FOX will have Matt Vasgersian and J.C. Pearson in the booth. Nischelle Turner will work the sidelines.
Seattle’s familiarity with what the Redskins do offensively, and the iffy status of Clinton Portis, should be a benefit to the Seahawks. Although the shuffled offensive line is a cause for concern, I do expect Matt Hasselbeck to be better in his second game back, and to lead the Seahawks to a rare 2008 win.
Prediction: Seahawks 20, Redskins 17
Brian McIntyre lives in the Boston area. In addition to writing for Seahawks.Net, Brian maintains his own blog (www.macsfootballblog.com) and charts games for Football Outsiders. If you’d like to e-mail Brian, you may do so here.