Russell Wilson and the Seahawks rallied past gimpy Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins in a battle of rookie quarterbacks, with Seattle earning a 24-14 wild-card victory Sunday at FedEx Field.
The Seahawks quickly fell behind by two touchdowns, and they allowed Wilson to be sacked five times, but they still advanced to an NFC divisional-round game next Sunday at Atlanta against the top-seeded Falcons.
Adding injury to insult, Griffin, who had been bothered by a sprained right knee for four weeks and was limping earlier in the game, exited with 6:19 left after hurting the same knee. He was re-injured while trying to corral a bad snap two plays after Marshawn Lynch's 27-yard touchdown run finally erased the lead the Redskins held since the 5:03 mark of the first quarter.
Stephen Hauschka's 29-yard field goal after the bad snap extended Seattle's lead to 24-14.
The Seahawks scored the final 13 points of the first half and had all the momentum when Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield knocked the ball from Lynch (20 carries, 132 yards) at the Washington 2-yard line on the first series of the third quarter. Defensive end Jarvis Jenkins made the recovery.
On Seattle's next series, Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson sacked Russell Wilson (15-for-26, 187 yards, eight carries, 67 yards) for a 9-yard loss at the Washington 27 to turn a likely field-goal attempt into a punt. Safety Reed Doughty finished Seattle's following possession with his second sack of day.
The Redskins marched 80 yards in nine plays and 54 yards in 11 plays on their first two drives, each of which culminated in a 4-yard touchdown pass from Griffin. The first scoring strike went to backup running back Evan Royster, the second to tight end Logan Paulsen. Washington led 14-0 after just 12:34.
However, after being outgained 129 yards to 9 in the first quarter, the Seahawks dominated Washington 172 yards to 11 in the second quarter. Hauschka's 32-yard field goal 2:55 into the second quarter concluded a 12-play, 66-yard series that featured a toe-dragging 27-yard grab by receiver Sidney Rice and a 12-yard catch and run by tight end Zach Miller on third-and-12.
When Seattle got the ball back, Lynch picked up a fortunate bounce of Wilson's pitch and raced 20 yards to the Washington 35. It took five plays for Wilson to find fullback Michael Robinson open for a 4-yard touchdown with 4:38 remaining in the half.
Two plays later, safety Earl Thomas intercepted Griffin's bomb for receiver Pierre Garcon at the Seattle 24. After Wilson avoided to the blitz and found Doug Baldwin for 6 yards and a first down on third-and-5, Baldwin was left alone and took a catch 33 yards to the Washington 30 at the two-minute warning. Hauschka's 29-yard kick on the final play of the half narrowed the gap to 14-13.
NOTES: Redskins left guard Kory Lichtensteiger lasted less than a series after missing all three practices last week with the sprained left ankle he suffered in the regular-season finale against the Dallas Cowboys. Rookie Josh LeRibeus replaced him. ... Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons exited with a left knee injury in the third quarter. ... Griffin III passed for more yards (43) on the first series than veteran Mark Brunell (41) did in Washington's last playoff victory seven years earlier at Tampa Bay, but he finished just 10 of 19 for 84 yards. He ran five times for 21 yards.