Scouting the Seahawks

1 Marshawn Lynch is rugged » He's of the toughest running backs in the league to bring down. Lynch showed that in the playoffs against the Saints two years ago when his bruising 67-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter sent multiple defenders to the turf and sealed an improbable victory. He was third in the league in yards (1,590) and tied for fifth in rushing touchdowns (11). He did put the ball on the ground four times. Only two running backs fumbled more. Seattle's offensive line -- like Washington's -- was not highly regarded entering the season, but it, too, employs zone read tendencies and has been better than the sum of its parts.

2 Russell Wilson is a keeper » Drafted to be a backup quarterback to Matt Flynn, Wilson instead won the job outright during training camp. He doesn't have prototypical NFL size at 5-foot-11 but makes up for it with dynamic athleticism that keeps defenders on their toes. He also has a knack for throwing on the run, and Seattle likes to move the pocket to let him do so. Only six quarterbacks were more accurate (64.1 percent completion). Wilson passed for 3,118 yards and 26 touchdowns. He also had 489 rushing yards and four touchdowns with 10 interceptions.

3 Not a secondary unit » Part of what makes the Seahawks one of the league's better defenses is their size in the secondary. Brandon Browner is 6-foot-4, and Richard Sherman is 6-3. The problem? For a while it looked like they wouldn't be playing together this weekend. Browner was suspended in late November for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Sherman needed to win an appeal last week to avoid the same fate. But Browner's suspension is over, and he has been activated. Sherman is second in the NFL in interceptions with eight. That poses a challenge to Washington's wide receiver corps.

4 In a rush on defense » Seattle is also big up front on the defensive line with the added benefit of quickness getting to the ball. That could work against the Seahawks, however, given Washington's zone read offense and ability to use pursuit against opponents with quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris. Formers Redskins lineman Chris Clemons has found a home with the Seahawks at right end. He has had at least 11 sacks in each of the last three seasons.