By Eric Umphrey
The Times 

Inside the matchup Seahawks vs. Washington


December 17, 2020

This week Seattle travels to Landover, Maryland, to play the Washington Football team. Washington is 6-7 for the year and is now in first place for the NFC East after winning their last four games. Seattle can clinch a playoff spot with one more victory during the regular season. While Seattle’s three remaining games are important for playoff seeding, this is a game the Seahawks could lose and still win their division by finishing off the season with wins against the Rams and 49ers.

Starting quarterback for Washington Alex Smith was pulled from last week’s game against the 49ers. He is questionable for this week against Seattle with muscle soreness in his surgically repaired right calf. Back in 2018, Smith suffered an awful compound fracture of his right leg. A single surgery was expected to address the fracture. Still, Smith’s leg became infected with flesh-eating bacteria that required a total of sixteen more surgeries to address the infection. Understandably, Washington is cautious with Smith due to his injury history with that leg. If Smith can’t play, then Dwayne Haskins Jr., Washington’s first-round pick last year, will likely suit up. Haskins Jr. is a solid backup averaging a similar number of yards per game and an overall quarterback rating close to Smith.

Washington’s top running back, Antonio Gibson, is also injured. He has not played since the Pittsburgh game two weeks ago and is listed as out for this week’s game. Taking over for Gibson will be the combination of J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber. McKissic averages 4.5 yards per carry and will likely get most of the attempts. Barber averages 2.7 yards per carry and will be used in short-yardage situations.

Terry McLaurin is Washington’s top receiver and a standout player in his second NFL season. This season he has 73 receptions and 1001 yards receiving, both career highs. With five touchdowns, tight end Logan Thomas is the top receiver for Washington.

Washington’s strength is its defense. They are fourth in the NFL in yards allowed per game with 313 yards, third in passing yards allowed with 206 yards, and fourth among NFL teams with 40 sacks. Unlike last week this should be a tight, low-scoring game.

Here is the current injured list for the Seahawks. The players listed as out for this week are Rashaad Penny RB, Cedric Ogbuehi OT, Ryan Neal CB, Jamarco Jones OT, Phil Haynes G, Carlos Dunlap DE, and Travis Homer RB. Brandon Shell OT is listed as questionable after an ankle injury in last weeks game against the Jets.


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