2012 was a fun season for the Washington Redskins, but it all ended on the first game of 2013, when the Seattle Seahawks came to town, talking big and backing it up. Seattle struggled early, but eventually took control of the game and proved themselves the better team. Redskins QB Robert Griffin III was injured and ineffective for most of the game before finally leaving late in the fourth quarter when he re-injured his knee. Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson wasn't spectacular, but he was efficient and avoided mistakes while his great running game and fearsome defense tightened its grip on the game.
The Redskins got the ball first and started from the 20-yard line. Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan leaned on TB Alfred Morris early, running him over the left side twice on the first few plays for 17 yards. QB Robert Griffin III picked up an early first down with his feet with a 3-yard read option run over the left side. From the Washington 49-yard line, RG3 ran play-action and hit WR Pierre Garcon at the 21-yard line, near the left sideline, a beautiful, leaping 30-yard catch by Garcon. The next play went to the three yard line when Morris picked up great blocks from RT Tyler Polumbus and TE Niles Paul. The Redskins ran left on the next play and lost a yard. On second down and goal RG3 hit WR Josh Morgan in the back of the end zone, but he couldn't get his second foot down before the Seahawks' defensive back pushed him out of bounds. On third and goal from the four yard line, RG3 hit TB Evan Royster in the end zone for the score. Royster just ran out of the backfield and sat down in the zone for the six points.
SCORE: Redskins 7 Seahawks 0
The Redskins got a stop on 3 downs on Seattle's first possession, which ended when ILB London Fletcher and DE Stephen Bowen met at the quarterback for a sack of Seattle rookie signal-caller Russell Wilson. Richard Crawford returned the Seattle punt to near midfield and the Redskins set up for their second possession.
Alfred Morris ran right for six yards on first down and RG3 hit Santana Moss for 10 yards on first down to set the Redskins up at the 37 yard line of the Seahawks. Seattle lined up in the neutral zone on second down, giving the Skins five free yards. RG3 ran the read-option to the right on the next play and picked up seven yards for the first down, thanks to a great lead block from FB Darrel Young. Morris got three yards on first down, setting the Skins up at the 21-yard line with a 2nd and 7. Morris ran right on the next play for five yards to set up a third down and 1 yard to go on the 15 yard line. RG3 faked the handoff to Morris and rolled out to his right, hitting TE Logan Paulsen in the flat. Paulsen lowered his head and bashed into the Seahawks, moving the ball down to the four yard line.
RG3 rolled out on first down, but threw incomplete to Garcon in the end zone. Morris up the middle gained one yard on second down. On third and goal from the three yard line, Griffin found Paulsen to the left, near where Royster caught the first touchdown, for the second score of the game. Griffin was hit late by Seahawks DE Bruce Irvin on the touchdown pass, drawing a personal foul penalty that was enforced on the kickoff.
SCORE: Redskins 14 Seahawks 0
On second and six yards to go from the Seattle 24, ILB Perry Riley blitzed from the left side, slid past Pro Bowl LT Russell Okung, and brought down Wilson for a 6-yad loss. However, Wilson hit TE Zach Miller on a short pattern and Miller broke a tackle to pick up the first down on third and 12. Marshawn Lynch ran right for about a yard on the final play of the first quarter.
The Redskins held the ball for 11:01 of the first quarter and ran up 129 yards to just 9 for the Seahawks.
SCORE AFTER FIRST QUARTER: Redskins 14 Seahawks 0.
On the first play of the second quarter, Wilson ran the read-option for 19 yards to midfield and Marshawn Lynch caught a screen pass on the next play for nine yards. On first down, Wilson hit WR Sidney Rice on a deep out pattern, a great pass and catch by QB and receiver. It was first down on the 12 yard line. Seattle TB Turbin ran for 3 yards to bring up second down at the 9 yard line. On second down Wilson held the ball for about eight seconds, as a Redskins three man rush got no push. Wilson forced the ball to WR Doug Baldwin and it was almost picked off by SS Reed Doughty. That brought up third and 7 at the 9 yard line. Seattle then picked up a delay of game penalty to move the ball back to the 14-yard line and 3rd and 12. Seattle then called their first timeout of the game.
Wilson threw the ball out the back of the end zone on third down and PK Steve Hauschka came on to kick the 32-yard FG.
SCORE: Redskins 14 Seahawks 3
RG3 left the field after Washington's second touchdown, leading some to speculate he would not return to the game, at least not immediately, when Washington got the ball back. However, Griffin was back on the Redskins sideline before the Seattle kickoff and he entered the game as usual, with the ball on the 23-yard line after a short return by Niles Paul.
Griffin was stripped of the ball by DE Chris Clemons on first down, but it was recovered by LG Chris Chester. However, illegal contact was called on Brandon Browner, who was covering Pierre Garcon. First down at the 28 yard line. Morris carried the ball, broke a tackle and picked up 7 yards over the middle on first down. Morris ran right on second down for about half a yard, bringing up 3rd and 2.5 yards. Griffin threw late and low and across the field for Logan Paulsen and the Skins had to punt. Sav Rocca got off a decent punt and PR Leon Washington called for a fair catch at the Seattle 27-yard line.
Marshawn Lynch began Seattle's third drive with a run over the left side for 8 yards to the 35. On second down Lynch ran left again for five yards and a first down at the 40. Wilson avoided a pass rush from FS Madieu Williams on first down, but OLB Rob Jackson lined up offsides and Seattle got five free yards to the 45 yard line.
Wilson fumbled the handoff to Lynch on the next play, but Lynch picked up the loose ball and gained 18 to the 36 yard line. On first down, rookie TB Robert Turbin gained one yard. FB Michael Robinson caught a short pass on 2nd and 9 and picke dup a first down, moving the ball to the 16 yard line. Russell Wilson ran the read option to the right and picked up 11 yards to the five yard line before Madieu Williams knocked him to the turf. Reed Doughty tackled Marshawn Lynch after a one yard gain to the four on first down. Wilson threw a short TD to FB Michael Robinson in the left flat, who was wide open.
Seattle PK Steven Hauschka left the field with an injury and the punter had to kickoff.
SCORE: Redskins 14 Seahawks 10
Washington's fourth drive started at the 26 yard line with a toss to Morris running right for three yards. RG3 threw long for Garcon, but it was picked off by Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas. It was a poor pass by Griffin, underthrown into double coverage.
Sidney Rice got wide open, but dropped a good pass from Russell Wilson on first down from the 26-yard line. Wilson came back with a read-option run for five yards on second down before Fletcher tackled the rookie quarterback. The Redskins blitzed on third down but Wilson calmly hit Doug Baldwin for a 6-yard gain and a first down to the 41. Doug Baldwin was wide open in the middle of the field on the next play and caught a slick Wilson pass and turned it into a 33-yard gain as the game went to the 2-minute warning.
From the Redskins 30 yard line, Lynch took the handoff and carried two Redskins tacklers for five yards. Lynch broke two tackles and got to the 19-yard line to pick up a first down on the next play. With first down at the 19-yard line, Wilson faked a handoff to Lynch and threw to his tight end Anthony McCoy, but McCoy dropped it, bringing up 2nd and 10 at the 19. Lynch took the handoff on second down and broke several tackles to pick up 3 yards before Fletcher could drag him down. That brought up 3rd and 7 at the 16 yard line. Wilson hit WR Golden Tate for a short completion, but short of the first down marker, bringing up 4th and 2 at the 11 yard line.
With four seconds left, Steve Hauschka kicked a 29-yard FG to move within one as the game went to halftime.
HALFTIME SCORE: Redskins 14 Seahawks 13
Seattle got the ball to start the second half after a squib kick by Kai Forbath was returned by Leon Washington to the 31-yard line. Marshawn Lynch took the handoff, started left, found nothing and turned the run to the right to pick up 26 yards to the 44 yard line. Wilson completed a short pass for 6 yards to FB Robert Turbin for second down and five at the 38 yard line. Turbin ran left to pick up 3 yards and bring up 3rd and 1. Fullback Michael Robinson picked up a first down on the next play.
On first down from the 32 yard line, Wilson completed a beautiful sideline pass to WR Golden Tate to the 17-yad line. Josh Wilson arrived too late to stop the completion and the Seahawks were right back in the red zone. Lynch took the next handoff up the middle to the 2-yard line and the Redskins defense was in full collapse. Lynch ran right and cut upfield to get inside the one yard line, bringing up second down. However, Marshawn Lynch fumbled on the next play on a hit by NT Barry Cofield and the DE Jarvis Jenksins of the Redskins recovered inside their own five yard line.
Washington's first possession of the second half began at their own 3 yard line. FB Darrel Young took the handoff up to the 6-yard line for three yards on first down. On second down it appeared Washington had a broken play, but RG3 threw a quick pass to WR Pierre Garcon for two yards, bringing up 3rd and five. Griffin hit Santana Moss for six yards on third and five, giving the Skins a first down and some much-needed breathing room.
Alfred Morris ran left on first down and picked up five yards to the 19, bringing up 2nd and 5. Morris ran right on the next play and picked up 7 yards to the 26, giving Washington a first down. On first down Griffin threw to Josh Morgan for no gain, as Logan Paulsen couldn't get the block to set up a good screen play. Morris ran right on the next play and lost a yard as Seattle DL Alan Branch knocked RG Chris Chester into the running back, bringing up 3rd and 11. Griffin's pass on third down was late and behind Morgan, who was wide open over the middle. It should have been an easy first down, but Griffin's bad pass ended the drive and Washington punted to Leon Washington, who returned the ball to his own 30 yard line.
Wilson scrambled on first down before finding Tate for 8 yards on the sideline. Wilson scrambled to his left on second down, too, but Reed Doughty raced up and tackled him one yard behind the line of scrimmage, bringing up 3rd and three. The Redskins blitzed on third down, but CB DeAngelo Hall was called for pass interference on Sidney Rice, giving Seattle an automatic first down.
On first down Wilson went back to pass and, seeing nothing, ran right up the middle for 28 yards to Washington's 30. Lynch gained one yard on second down and Wilson missed Doug Baldwin in the end zone on second down, bringing up 3rd and 9 at the 29 yard line. Josh Wilson raced into the backfield on a corner blitz and sacked Russell Wilson for a 9-yard loss, forcing Seattle to punt.
LB Bryan Kehl held, for some reason, on the punt, which was down near the 10 yard line. This put the Redskins at the five yard line, starting their second straight drive in the shadow of their own end zone. On first down from the 6-yard line, RG3 was sacked at the 2-yard line by Alan Branch, bringing up 2nd and 14 at the 2 yard line. Griffin threw a very dangerous pass on second down to Josh Morgan that was incomplete, bringing up 3rd and 14. Garcon caught a pass over the middle, but was tackled at the 10 and Washington had to punt, having done almost nothing in the entire third quarter. Rocca crushed a 53-yard punt out of bounds and Seattle started at their own 37 yard line.
Marshawn Lynch ran for three yards on first down on the final play of the third quarter.
The final period of regulation football began with the Redskins clinging to a precarious 14-13 lead. Seattle had the ball, with second down and seven yards to go on their own 40 yard line. Wilson had to scramble on second down and gained five yards, bringing up 3rd and 2 at the 45. Wilson faked a handoff and rolled to his right, but Reed Doughty came unblocked on a safety blitz and caught Wilson before he could throw the ball away. The sack forced a Seattle punt, which was caught by rookie CB Richard Crawford at the 22 yard line.
Griffin took a read-option run to the left and limped for nine yards, clearly laboring to run. On second down Alfred Morris took a toss and ran right up the middle to the 36 yard line for a first down. Griffin then faked a handoff to Morris and threw high and wild to Josh Morgan on the sideline, bringing up second and 10. Morris took a toss and gained three yards up the middle, bringing up 3rd down and 7 at the 39 yard line. Griffin threw over the middle to WR Leonard Hankerson, who was open and just dropped a ball thrown right in front of him. [It looked like Hankerson had a case of alligator arms on that third down pass.] Rocca punted again, a 52-yarder returned for 11 yards by Leon Washington.
Golden Tate caught a short pass over the middle from Wilson on first down at their 21-yard line. Tate picked up a couple more yard sto bring up second and 3 at their own 28. Lynch took a handoff from Wilson and smashed through the Redskins, carrying multiple tacklers for 18 yards, up to Seattle's 46-yard line. Wilson faked a handoff on first down and tried to run the read-option, but Doughty sniffed it out and threw Wilson to the ground for no gain. On second down Wilson rolled to his right and had to throw the ball into the dirt to avoid a sack. That brought up 3rd and ten at the 46. The Redskins blitzed, but the Seahawks picked it up perfectly and Wilson hit Zach Miller on a short pass that Miller turned into a 26-yard gain before Lorenzo Alexander dragged him down.
On second down Marshawn Lynch made up for his earlier fumble by cutting back several times, picked up a great block by QB Russell Wilson on CB Josh Wilson, and scored on a 27-yard touchdown run. Lynch dragged several Redskins into the end zone with him, a common sight on the day.
Leading 19-14, Seattle went for 2 points for the first time all year and converted easily on a quick pass from Russell Wilson to Zach Miller. The conversion capped 21 straight points by the Seahawks.
SCORE: Seattle 21 Redskins 14
Niles Paul returned the kickoff to the 24 yard line. Griffin faked a handoff on first down and had plenty of time to throw, but refused to release the ball and was sacked for a loss of 12 yards by Bruce Irvin. On second and 22 from the 12 yard line, a bad snap got loose and was recovered by the Seahawks at the 5 yard line. Griffin struggled to recover the ball, but injured his knee on the play and had to be helped off the field.
Lynch gained one yard on first down, bringing up second and goal at the 4 yard line. Wilson threw incomplete to Zach Miller on second down, bringing up third and goal from the four yard line. Wilson threw incomplete on a slant pattern to Golden Tate on third down and while Tate complained about contact, he didn't get the call, nor should he have. Hauschka came on and hit the 22-yard field goal to extend Seattle's lead to 24-14.
Niles Paul returned the kickoff to the 18 and Kirk Cousins came on with 5:30 left. Cousins hit Hankerson over the middle to the 34 yards line on first down. On second down Cousins was hit by Bruce Irvin as he threw and the ball fell to the ground incomplete. Cousins threw a beautiful sideline pass to Hankerson, who got his feet down before Marcus Trufant could push him out and it was first down at the Redskins 45. Another bad snap by Will Montgomery -- his second of the day -- led to a four yard loss on first down. The refs missed pass interference on Santana Moss on second down and it brought up 3rd and 14 at the 41. Beset by a ferocious rush on third and long, Cousins threw desperately to Josh Morgan, who dropped the ball. That brought up 4th and 14. Seattle blitzed again and Cousins had to just throw the ball, which floated harmlessly to the turf, with no football player in sight. Evan Royster missed the block on the blitz and it ruined the play.
Seattle ran three times for nine yards and then, on fourth and one, Wilson tossed an easy pass to Zach Miller for the first down on the 26 yard line. With 2:40 left, Seattle went back to the ground game. On fourth and four the Seahawks went back to the air, with Wilson rolling to his right. However, his pass was caught out of bounds and Washington took over with 1:08 on their own 20 yard line.
Cousins threw to Hankerson on first down, but he alligator-armed it again and the ball fell incomplete. Josh Morgan dropped a slant pass on second down, bringing up third and 10. A short pass to Moss at the 25 brought up 4th and six at the 24. Cousins overthrew a wide open Logan Paulsen over the middle and the ball went over to Seattle on downs.
The Seahawks kneeled down to end the game.
FINAL SCORE: Seahawks 24 Redskins 14