Russell Wilson, Seahawks Squeeze Past Redskins

Russell Wilson, Seahawks squeeze past Redskins
Some observations from the Seattle Seahawks' 27-17 win against the Washington Redskins on Monday night.

Why the Seahawks won: Washington never managed to impede Seattle's rushing attack on a night when QB Russell Wilson was the lead dog and Marshawn Lynch was in the back seat. Wilson constantly exploited holes the Redskins left him, and his chunk runs only made it easier for him to pass later in the game. Seattle's special teams, particularly secret weapon P Jon Ryan, also made life hard for Washington.

Why the Redskins lost: Conversely, they never got RB Alfred Morris (29 yards) going against the league's No. 2 run defense. QB Kirk Cousins did exploit Seattle S Kam Chancellor in a mismatch while connecting on a 60-yard TD to DeSean Jackson. But aside from that and another 57-yard hookup with Jackson, the Cousins-led attack only managed 232 yards.

BOX SCORE: Seahawks 27, Redskins 17

Turning point: Wilson set the tone on the game's opening drive with two scrambles for 45 yards, one of them converting a third down. With the Redskins defense on its heels, he lofted an easy 15-yard touchdown to Jermaine Kearse on the sixth play, and Seattle never really looked back.

Key player: Wilson was his typically efficient self (18-for-24 passing, 201 yards, TD). But his career-best 122 rushing yards, including a 9-yard TD run, made all the difference. His last big play was a 30-yard completion to Lynch, set up as Wilson pirouetted away from defenders, to put the game on ice.

Stat that tells the story: Ryan kept the 'Skins pinned in their end much of the night, dropping five of his six punts inside the Washington 20-yard line. (Ryan, also Seattle's holder, extended the game-clinching fourth-quarter drive by running 5 yards on fourth-and-inches off a fake field goal attempt.) Penalties (13 of them) did hurt Seattle. WR Percy Harvin had three touchdowns negated by flags, two of them courtesy of LG James Carpenter.

Next for the Seahawks: They return home to face the surging Dallas Cowboys in a battle of first-place teams. However the Legion of Boom may have to take a backseat to the defensive front seven as it prepares to combat NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray and an offense converting a league-high 56% of the time on third down.

Next for the Redskins: They head to Arizona, where the Cardinals have won six of seven at University of Phoenix Stadium. However the 'Skins may be catching them at the right time given the Cards' growing injury concerns at quarterback and a defense that continues to hemorrhage key starters now that DE Calais Campbell is out a few weeks.