NFC wild card: Seahawks at Redskins: Rookie QBs are focus of today's NFC game

2013-01-06T00:00:00Z NFC wild card: Seahawks at Redskins: Rookie QBs are focus of today's NFC gameThe Associated Press The Associated Press
January 06, 2013 12:00 am  • 

WASHINGTON - How convenient. Those who can't decide between Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson are literally getting a playoff.

RG3 or RW3? They've only had two of the best two rookie seasons for quarterbacks in NFL history, according to the numbers. Today, Griffin's Redskins host Wilson's Seahawks in the NFC's wild card round.

"I don't play against quarterbacks. It's not my job to compare us," Griffin told reporters this week. "You guys will do that. … I hope you guys have fun."

Let the fun begin: Griffin won a Heisman Trophy, was the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, was anointed starter from Day 1 of training camp and was selected a team captain at midseason. Wilson was a third-round pick who had to wrest the starting job from big-contract free agent Matt Flynn. Griffin's jersey is the No. 1 seller across the NFL this season, while Wilson's is a mere No. 19.

RG3's nickname stands alone. Wilson might have been "HW4" had he been born earlier, but it's his older brother who got the name Harrison Wilson IV. Wilson also has "DangeRuss" - which he includes in his Twitter handle - while "RW3" is an upstart attempt to play around with Wilson's jersey number.

Griffin is charisma personified, always ready with a humorous quip and the ready-made sound bite. Wilson can be engaging but often speaks in clichés. Or, as he put it: "I'm not about flash."

Griffin crashed coach Mike Shanahan's news conference Wednesday, asking the coach how he spent his New Year's. It's hard to imagine Pete Carroll getting the same shtick from Wilson.

Interestingly, the Redskins' stadium is in Landover, Md., so Sunday will feature a team called Washington that doesn't play in Washington playing a team from Washington that doesn't call itself Washington.

Today's game will be the second in NFL playoff history with two starting rookie quarterbacks, but this is a case where both the winner and loser are expected to prosper. Because of RG3 and RW3 (or whatever nickname sticks for Wilson), the Redskins and Seahawks have a chance to be very good for a very long time.

"Even though they have totally different styles in how they carry themselves," Carroll said, "in the core, they're really the real deal."

The breakdown

• What: Seahawks (11-5) at Redskins (10-6)

• When: 2:30 p.m. on Ch 11

• The line: Seahawks by 3

• Record vs. spread: Seattle 11-5; Washington 11-5

• Series: Redskins lead 11-6

• Notable: Redskins won NFC East and are No. 4 seed; Seahawks are seeded No. 5 as a wild card. … Seattle has won five straight, outscoring opponents 193-60. Washington has NFC-best seven-game winning streak. … Game features two of league's top three rushers: Washington rookie Alfred Morris finished second with franchise-record 1,613 yards. Seattle's Marshawn Lynch ranked third with career-high 1,590 yards. … Seahawks have lost eight straight road playoff games.

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