Seattle 24, Washington 14: It's fair to debate Mike Shanahan's decision to keep a hobbled Robert Griffin III in the game today: For much of the first half, it looked like a gamble in the process of paying off, and Griffin has been so stellar for so much of this year that it's hard to imagine Kirk Cousins taking over for the better part of Washington's first sniff of the playoffs in five seasons. That said, Dr. James Andrews's stomach was in knots before the game even started, and even if the Redskins had pulled the game out, Griffin likely would have been, as Joe Buck described him many times this afternoon, "a compromised quarterback" for the rest of the playoffs. A tough end to a brilliant year for Griffin, but one thing is clear: That GIF up there is nauseating and I'm sorry I made it the top one. Scroll down.
There was light-heartedness before things (and the franchise quarterback's knee) fell apart for the Redskins, like this moment in which an overthrown ball from Russell Wilson ricocheted directly into the hands of a Redskins' defender for the defensive rebound:
And even into the second half, luck seemed like it was on Washington's side. After the Seahawks received the kickoff in the third quarter, their possession ended with a Marshawn Lynch fumble and, naturally, Lynch (24) rolling around on the ground and face-palming:
Still, there were hints that Russell Wilson had gathered his bearings and the tide was starting to turn. This amazing catch by Sidney Rice at the start of the second quarter put the Seahawks in position to score their first points of the day, a field goal that hardly seemed threatening at the time, but presaged 21 more points:
Then: Beast Mode. In what was probably the all-around play of the game, and one that eventually proved to be the last score the Seahawks needed to get past the Redskins, Marshawn Lynch dragged Washington 27 yards downfield and got an impressive (if not all that useful) block from his own quarterback before he hit the endzone. The things a non-compromised QB can do!
How did Russell Wilson even keep up, much less finish the play ahead of Lynch? After the game, Richard Sherman—no stranger to talking trash after victories—got a little to close an emotionally fragile Trent Williams, and paid the price for it: He's the star of a GIF that's sure to become a standby for dealing with annoying people.
Now the Seahawks head to Atlanta and Dr. James Andrews coughs loudly in Mike Shanahan's direction in the Washington locker room. Hey, if there's enough anger with Shanahan in DC, there might be someone else looking for a good NFL offer.