LANDOVER, Maryland (Reuters) - The visiting Seattle Seahawks overcame a 14-0 first-quarter deficit to beat the Washington Redskins 24-14 and reach the second round of the National Football League playoffs on Sunday.
Seattle's Russell Wilson outdueled Robert Griffin III in the celebrated clash of outstanding rookie quarterbacks, but the dynamic Redskins' signal caller was hampered by a knee injury and forced to leave the game in the fourth quarter.
After a pair of four-yard touchdown passes by Griffin on Washington's first two possessions, Seattle's defense shut them down and Wilson brought the Seahawks back to 14-13 by halftime and added 11 points in the fourth quarter for the victory.
It was the first road playoff victory for the Seahawks in 30 years and propelled them to a divisional round clash against the NFC South champion Atlanta Falcons on January 13.
Washington moved through a Seattle defense that led the NFL in fewest points allowed in the regular season with ease at the start of the game as Griffin engineered scoring drives of 80 yards and 54 yards culminating in short touchdown passes to Evan Royster and Logan Paulsen.
The Seahawks took charge in the second quarter, dominating play with a pair of field goals and an eight-play, 73-yard touchdown drive capped by a four-yard TD pass from Wilson to fullback Michael Robinson.
Seattle continued to dominate after intermission, but squandered points when running back Marshawn Lynch fumbled at the one-yard line on an attempted scoring plunge in the third quarter.
Washington clung to their one-point advantage, despite failing to mount any offensive threats, with Griffin visibly limping and having trouble avoiding the pass rush.
A brilliant, 27-yard touchdown run by Lynch finally put the Seahawks ahead and tight end Zach Miller caught a Wilson pass in the end zone for a two-point conversion to make it 21-14.
Facing a second-and-22 in the shadow of the Washington end zone, Griffin could not handle a poor snap and Seattle recovered on the five-yard line and the Redskins' quarterback limped off the field not to return.
Seattle could not punch it in, but settled for a 22-yard field goal that put the game out of reach at 24-14.
(Reporting by Ros Krasny, writing by Larry Fine in New York)
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