An NFC wild-card playoff game and a wild game — both came together at Qwest Field as the Seattle Seahawks faced the Washington Redskins Saturday afternoon and won 35-14, securing their trip to Green Bay to face the Packers on Saturday.
Within 28 seconds, the game went from the Redskins looking for a win with a 14-13 lead, to the Seahawks scoring two touchdowns and taking a 28-14 lead in the fourth quarter.
"I was proud of the way they bounced back after losing the momentum in this game," Coach Mike Holmgren said. "That's what the playoffs and the NFL is all about. You persevere, hang in there, overcome injuries, keep believing and keep fighting and this team has done that."
The Seahawks first scored in the first quarter with a 17-yard touchdown run from fullback Leonard Weaver, the longest scoring run by a Seahawk in a playoff game. The Seahawks scored again in the second and third quarters with two field goals — 50 and 33 yards — by Josh Brown.
The Seahawks early 13-0 lead over the Redskins quickly diminished when they scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter putting them up 14-13. Instead of collapsing like a house of cards, the Seahawks rallied back and scored two touchdowns in just 28 seconds. After a missed 30-yard field goal attempt by Washington, the Seahawks took over and the 5-play drive ended with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's 20-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver D.J. Hackett, who has seen limited play due to ankle injuries but finished with six receptions for 101 yards. A two-point conversion to tight end Marcus Pollard put the Hawks up 21-14 with a little over six minutes remaining. Tacoma native Marcus Trufant intercepted Redskins quarterback Todd Collins' pass — his eighth of the season — meant for Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss and returned it 78-yards for a touchdown, sealing the win. At 28-14, the Redskins had little hope of regaining the lead.
"The quarterback was feeling the pressure … he kind of lofted the ball up there and I was waiting for it to come down, guys were blocking for me all over the place," Trufant said.
"It's the playoffs and you have to play all the way through the game whether it's a back and forth game or not, you have to keep fighting and the fourth quarter is where you have to go out and earn your money," Trufant added. "Guys on the team just kept playing hard and everyone did their job, it's the playoff time so emotions are riding high. The whole team is playing well, I take my hat off to them."
Nickel back Jordan "Big Play" Babineaux's 57-yard interception for a touchdown with only 27 seconds left sealed the win for the Seahawks.
"He threw the ball to me and when I got up and looked there was nothing but grass and white lines ahead of me so it was too inviting for me not to take advantage of that," Babineaux said. "We knew that they were gonna try to run a heavy package, try to run the ball against us," Babineaux said. "Our front seven did a great job of managing and taking away the running game. The greatest thing about it is the defensive line made Collins uncomfortable all day so we capitalized on that," Babineaux said.
Hasselbeck finished the game completing 20 of 32 passes for 229 yards.
The Seahawk defense led with linebackers Lofa Tatupu's 12 tackles, Julian Peterson's 10 tackles and a sack. Leroy Hill led the defense with a game-high 13 tackles, 11 unassisted and a sack. The dangerous trio unleashed 35 tackles and five quarterback hurries.
The Seahawks will travel to Green Bay and try to win a playoff game for only the second time in franchise history for a chance to advance to the NFC Championship game. They face the Packers who have lost only two postseason games at Lambeau Field. The game is a rematch of the 2004 playoffs Seahawks' overtime loss to the Packers in Green Bay. Hasselbeck will play despite a bruised right thigh he suffered in the game after a tackle by Washington's Fred Smoot.
Kickoff begins Saturday at 1:30 p.m.