Although the Redskins are spectators in this year’s NFL playoffs, we know you’ll still be watching. So let’s have some fun predicting the outcomes, shall we? Here’s how Redskins Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler see the games unfolding:
Saints at Seahawks
Saturday 4:35, FOX
Seahawks favored by 8
Tandler: I liked the Saints to pull the road upset last week and I hit that one right. Can they do it again? I think not. New Orleans won in Philly by running the ball. The Saints usually travel by air but they kept it on the ground last week, rushing for 185 yards on 36 attempts. But the Eagles had the 29th-ranked defense this year. The Seahawks are numero uno in the NFL in defense and the Saints’ backs will find the going much tougher. New Orleans has a decent defense, too (ranked 4th) but you have to think that Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch and company will find a way to score enough points to win. Seahawks 21, Saints 13
El-Bashir: Nothing about this matchup, on paper at least, suggests the Saints have a shot. Drew Brees and Co. got blown out, 34-7, at ear-splitting CenturyLink Field on Monday Night Football last month. But you know why everyone loves the NFL? It doesn’t always follow a predictable script. Thirteen-win teams stumble. All-world secondaries get the hiccups. And massive underdogs prevail on a weekly basis in this league. Does it sound like I’m trying to convince myself of an upset? Perhaps. But I’ve just got this hunch that Saints’ fourth-ranked defense will keep it close and Sean Payton and Brees will find some answers against a Seahawks’ team that yielded a scant 14.4 points per game during the regular season. Crazy? Maybe. But I’m a man of conviction. Saints 20, Seahawks 17.