What happened: The teams traded three-and-outs to start the game after Washington took the opening kickoff via touchback; the longest gain on the first eigh plays was a six-yard scramble from a healthy-looking Matt Hasselbeck. Then the Seattle defense continued a recent trend, getting to Jason Campbel to start and end the next drive. Seattle took advantage of the field goal position to drive for a quick field goal from Olindo Mare, giving the Seahawk the 3-0 lead. The Redskins responded with another solid drive that stalled in field goal range, but Shaun Suisham’s 43-yard field goal attempt hit the crossbar.
Analysis: The Redskins outplayed the Seahawks, but the inability to convert the field goal and continued problems in pass protection left Seattle ahead after the opening session. Portis looked healthy after another week of question marks, but Seattle’s Maurice Morris had the highlight run, a 44-yard jaunt up the gut that ended when Laron Landry tracked him down at the 16.
What happened: Washington continued a drive with an awkward Campbell scramble and a heavy dose of Clinton Portis that lasted nine plays but traveled just 31 yards and ended in a punt. Seattle’s next drive was a train wreck — Two incomplete passes, two five yard penalties and a 10-yard Morris run that couldn’t make up the difference. Malcolm Kelly made an appearance on then next drive, catching a short pass and under-running a deep ball. The Redskins made the most progress with Portis and a pass interference penalty on the Seahawks, the latter of which reset the drive on Seattle’s 14. Ladell Betts relieved Portis and scored on a 1-yard plunge. Seattle answered with a barrage of handoffs to Morris and Julius Jones that ended on a short scoring pass to Morris.
Analysis: Both teams had success running the ball in the first half. The Seahawks came in averaging 108.3 yards rushing a game, and despite the presence of a healthy Hasselbeck they nearly topped that in the opening half with 97 yards. Each quarterback, meanwhile, completed right around 50 percent of their passes. Washington dominated time of possession, but Seattle made more of its chances, averaging 9.7 yards per carry, on the way to the halftime lead.
What happened: Josh Wilson opened the half with a 55-yard kickoff return for the Seahawks, but a rare Redskins sack stalled Seattle’s drive at the 35; Mare’s 53-yard attempt, the longest of his season, sailed wide right. Portis took the field after an injury scare near the end of the first half and immediately took a handoff. But, his presence opened things up for Campbell, who completed all three pass attempts on the next three plays to get the Redskins in scoring range. The drive stalled six plays later and Suisham nailed a 26-yarder to tie the game. Hasselbeck threw a pass to no one that Landry picked off on the fifth play of the ensuing drive, and Washington took advantage of the field position by scoring on a pass to Antwaan Randle El.
Analysis: This quarter would look a lot more lopsided in favor of the Redskins were they able to cover kicks; Wilson, the former Terps star, had three returns for a total of 99 yards in the third quarter. But after an inept start to the half, Hasselbeck finally had his Seahawks marching at the end of the quarter, completing two passes and scrambling for a five-yard gain to move into Washington territory. Portis showed no ill effects from his first-half injury.