ASHBURN, Va. (AP) -Jim Zorn has warm and fuzzy memories of Seattle, a place he called home for decades.
For the most of his Washington Redskins players, thoughts of the city include a couple of playoff nightmares.
- Jan. 14, 2006: Seahawks 20, Redskins 10, second round.
- Jan. 5, 2008: Seahawks 35, Redskins 14, first round.
``They have had our number,'' cornerback Carlos Rogers said.
The Redskins (6-4) hope to exorcise a demon or two when they return to the Emerald City on Sunday to face the Seahawks (2-8). There's no wearing blinders for this one - those two stinging losses are still too raw.
``This'll be a new game,'' defensive coordinator Greg Blache said. ``But at the same time we feel like we have to go in and finish.''
Finish what they didn't do the last two times. Specifically, that means hold on to a lead.
quarter, and John Hall had just given Washington a 3-0 lead with a 26-yard field goal. On Seattle's next drive, Rogers dropped an easy interception with an open field in front of him. It was a sure touchdown that would have made the score 10-0, and a foreshadowing of the problems Rogers has had catching the ball ever since.
In the 2008 game, the Redskins scored two quick touchdowns to turn a 13-0 deficit into a 14-13 lead early in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks misfielded the ensuing kickoff, and Anthony Mix recovered for Washington at the 14-yard line.
Not only did the Redskins fail to convert the break into a touchdown, but Shaun Suisham missed a 30-yard field goal to give the momentum back to Seattle. The Seahawks reeled off three touchdowns in the waning minutes.
``We've been ahead in each situation,'' Blache said. ``One year we had a chance to make an interception and run it in for a touchdown and put it away, last time we had a kickoff that we recovered. We've have the opportunities, and we've let it slip away.''
Both teams have turned a page or two since then. Joe Gibbs coached both of those games for the Redskins; Zorn is now in charge. Washington starting quarterback Jason Campbell didn't play in either game. The Seahawks have had a terrible, injury-marred year and won't be around to threaten the Redskins - or anyone else - come playoff time.
iven his legendary status as a longtime quarterback and quarterbacks coach with the Seahawks. He brought Seattle's West Coast offense with him to Washington, which means Sunday's game will feature two offenses that are mirror images of each other.
``It's going to come down to which defense makes that play,'' Rogers said, ``because they know our offense, and we know their offense. The thing about it is, 'Who's going to go down and make that play on defense?'''
Of course, in the chess match known as game-planning, both Zorn and coach Mike Holmgren could throw in a wrinkle or two just to fool each other.
``They know that coach Zorn has been telling us everything,'' Rogers said, ``so they're going to put in some things - and we've probably got some new things for them, too.''
The Redskins have been careful to say they aren't bent on exacting revenge, much the same way Zorn has said he can't get caught up in the emotions of returning to his old stomping grounds. The stakes are too high now that a two-game losing streak has reeled Washington back into the pack in the playoff race.
``New coach, new season, different situation,'' linebacker Khary Campbell said. ``Instead of being the playoffs, it's a regular season game.
``But it's counts like a playoff game for us.''
knee), WR Antwaan Randle El (ankle) and LB Marcus Washington (ankle) - did not practice Thursday, but only Washington appears unlikely to play Sunday. ... Zorn said there's a chance ex-Seattle RB Shaun Alexander won't be active Sunday. Portis and Ladell Betts are the top two backs, and Rock Cartwright doubles as the kick returner. ``Having four running backs up is a luxury,'' Zorn said.
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