- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 3, 2013

1. How effective will QB Robert Griffin III be? Griffin rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown on six carries against Dallas in his second game back from a sprained right knee. He’s still limited, though, by the injury and the knee brace. The Redskins need him to be able to run in order to keep Seattle’s front off-balance.

2. Which team will best protect the ball? The Redskins led the NFL this season with only 14 turnovers. Seattle, however, ranked seventh with only 18. That is largely the product of both teams’ preference to run the ball. Griffin III (five interceptions) and Seattle QB Russell Wilson (10) combined for fewer than Indianapolis rookie QB Andrew Luck (18).

3. Can the Redskins contain Seattle QB Russell Wilson? He is similar to Griffin in that he is adept at extending the play and finding receivers downfield off schedule. The Redskins must keep Wilson in the pocket by maintaining the integrity of their rush lanes. Defensive backs must realize they could have to cover for five or more seconds.

4. Which team will best stop the run? Only one team ran the ball more often than Washington this season: Seattle. The Seahawks (55.03 percent) and Redskins (52.21 percent) were among the three teams that rushed more than half the time. Whoever stops the run, then, has the advantage. Seattle MLB Bobby Wagner is a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

5. How will Redskins receivers fare against Seattle’s tall cornerbacks? Richard Sherman (6-foot-3) and Brandon Browner (6-4) break the mold for corners because of their height. That will put a premium on separation and timing by Redskins receivers and Griffin. Sherman has eight interceptions.

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