LANDOVER, Md. — Russell Wilson raced ahead to throw the final block on Marshawn Lynch’s go-ahead touchdown run, and the Seattle Seahawks finally had a victorious road show.
Robert Griffin III’s knee buckled as he tried to field a bad shotgun snap, leaving the Washington Redskins an offseason to worry about their franchise player’s health.
The last rookie quarterback standing in the NFL playoffs is Wilson — the third-round pick who teamed with Lynch on Sunday to lead the Seahawks to a 24-14 victory over the Griffin and the Redskins.
Lynch ran for 131 yards, and Wilson completed 15 of 26 passes for 187 yards and ran eight times for 67 yards for the Seahawks, who overcame a 14-0 first-quarter hole — their biggest deficit of the season — and will visit the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons next Sunday.
“It was only two touchdowns, but it’s still a big comeback and in this setting and the crowd, it’s a marvelous statement about the guys’ resolve and what is going on,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “It’s not about how you start but how you finish.”
Seattle will be riding a six-game winning streak, having left behind any doubts that the team can hold its own outside the Pacific Northwest. The Seahawks were 3-5 on the road in the regular season and had lost eight straight road playoff games, the last win coming in December 1983 against the Miami Dolphins.
The day began with three rookie quarterbacks in the playoffs, but No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck was eliminated when the Indianapolis Colts lost 24-9 to the Baltimore Ravens earlier in the day.
Lynch’s change-of-direction, 27-yard touchdown run — with Wilson leading the way with a block on safety Madieu Williams near the goal line — and a 2-point conversion gave the Seahawks a 21-14 lead with 7:08 remaining.
“Marhsawn always tells me, ‘Russ, I got your back, no matter what,’” Wilson said. “So I just try to help him out every once in a while when he gets downfield.”
Then came the play that essentially put the outcome to rest.
On the second play of the Redskins’ next possession, Griffin’s heavily braced right knee buckled badly as he tried to field a bad shotgun snap on a second-and-22 at Washington’s 12-yard line. He lay on the ground, unable to recover the ball as the Seahawks pounced on it.
Griffin walked off the field under his own power, but the Redskins announced he would not return. After a few minutes, Griffin walked back to the sideline and watched the end of the game. The extent of the injury was not immediately known.
Griffin was playing in his third game since spraining his right knee about a month ago against the Baltimore Ravens, and he had been looking gimpy since tumbling backward following an ill-advised sidearm throw in the first quarter.
Nevertheless, he stayed in the game. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he didn’t pull Griffin because the quarterback wanted to continue.
“I think I did put myself at more risk,” Griffin said. “But every time you get on the field, you’re putting yourself on the line.”
Griffin was scheduled for an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.
Having recovered the fumble, the Seahawks kicked a short field goal to give them the insurance they needed. Fellow rookie Kirk Cousins, subbing for Griffin, was unable to rally the Redskins in the final minutes.
Griffin, the No. 2 overall pick and last year’s Heisman Trophy winner who set several rookie quarterback record this year, finished 10-for-19 for 84 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also had five carries for 21 yards, including a laboring 9-yard run that made him look 32 years old instead of 22.
The loss ended a seven-game winning streak for the Redskins, who recovered from a 3-6 start to win the NFC East.
The Redskins opened the game threatening to make a mockery of the NFL’s top scoring defense. Simple toss-to-the-right stretch plays netted 8, 9 and 18 yards for Alfred Morris in an 80-yard drive, and tight end Logan Paulsen barreled into linebacker Malcolm Smith after a catch to highlight a 54-yard drive.
Both possessions ended with 4-yard touchdown passes: one to Evan Royster for his first NFL TD catch and the other to Paulsen.
The Redskins led 14-0 in the first quarter against a team that allowed a season-low 15.3 per game in the regular season, but Griffin had tweaked the knee on that second drive.
Seahawks 24, Redskins 14
Seattle 0 13 0 11 — 24
Washington 14 0 0 0 — 14
Was—Royster 4 pass from Griffin III (Forbath kick), 9:57.
Was—Paulsen 4 pass from Griffin III (Forbath kick), 2:26.
Sea—FG Hauschka 32, 12:05.
Sea—Robinson 4 pass from Wilson (Hauschka kick), 4:38.
Sea—FG Hauschka 29, :00.
Sea—Lynch 27 run (Miller pass from Wilson), 7:08.
Sea—FG Hauschka 22, 5:32.
First downs 22 15
Total Net Yards 380 203
Rushes-yards 37-224 23-104
Passing 156 99
Punt Returns 2-19 2-12
Kickoff Returns 2-46 5-97
Interceptions Ret. 1-2 0-0
Comp-Att-Int 15-26-0 13-29-1
Sacked-Yards Lost 5-31 2-16
Punts 3-34.7 4-48.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-Yards 4-30 3-15
Time of Possession 34:20 25:40
RUSHING—Seattle, Lynch 20-132, Wilson 8-67, Turbin 8-22, Robinson 1-3. Washington, Morris 16-80, Griffin III 5-21, Young 1-3, Cousins 1-0.
PASSING—Seattle, Wilson 15-26-0-187. Washington, Griffin III 10-19-1-84, Cousins 3-10-0-31.
RECEIVING—Seattle, Miller 4-48, Tate 4-35, Baldwin 2-39, Robinson 2-23, Rice 1-27, Lynch 1-9, Turbin 1-6. Washington, Garcon 4-50, Moss 3-19, Hankerson 2-27, Paulsen 2-15, Royster 1-4, Morgan 1-0.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.