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Today's games

January 05, 2008|PETER YOON

WASHINGTON (9-7) AT SEATTLE (10-6)

* Time, TV: 1:30 p.m., Channel 4.

* Story line: The Redskins have won four in a row, using the shooting death of Sean Taylor as an impetus to unite. They limited opponents to a league-best 71.8 yards rushing in those four games, and quarterback Todd Collins has been steady with 888 yards passing with five touchdowns and no interceptions during the streak. The Seahawks stumbled down the stretch, losing two of their last three games but resting many starters during those games after clinching the NFC West title. Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has had a career year with 3,966 yards passing and 28 touchdowns, but running back Shaun Alexander had only 716 yards rushing and four touchdowns -- his least-productive season since he was a rookie in 2000.

* Injury report: REDSKINS -- Out: QB Jason Campbell (knee); Questionable: WR James Thrash (ankle). SEAHAWKS -- Questionable: WR Deion Branch (calf); Probable: RB Shaun Alexander (wrist), LB Niko Koutouvides (knee).

* Peter Yoon's pick: Washington. The Redskins are the team nobody in the NFC wants to meet in the playoffs this year.

-- Peter Yoon

JACKSONVILLE (11-5) AT PITTSBURGH (10-6)

* Time, TV: 5 p.m., Channel 4.

* Story line: The Steelers enter the playoffs having lost three of their last four games, including a home game against the Jaguars on Dec. 16. Pittsburgh has given up averages of 28.5 points and 373 yards a game in that span -- more than 15 points and 140 yards more than the Steelers gave up in their first 12 games. They will also be without injured running back Willie Parker, who was fourth in the NFL with 1,316 yards. That will put extra pressure on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had 32 touchdown passes. The Jaguars were second in the NFL in rushing, averaging 149.4 yards a game, and quarterback David Garrard threw only three passes that were intercepted -- the fewest among quarterbacks who threw at least 225 passes.

* Injury report: JAGUARS -- Out: LB Mike Peterson (hand), RB LaBrandon Toefield (ankle); Probable: CB Aaron Glenn (ankle), DT Grady Jackson (knee), S Reggie Nelson (thigh). STEELERS -- Out: T Marvel Smith (back); Questionable: S Troy Polamalu (knee), CB Allen Rossum (hamstring); Probable: CB Bryant McFadden (ankle), WR Willie Reid (shoulder), CB Deshea Townsend (foot), WR Hines Ward (knee).

* Yoon's pick: Jacksonville. The Jaguars can control the ball with Fred Taylor, Maurice Jones-Drew and the rest of their running game.

-- Peter Yoon

WILD-CARD ROUND

AFC

* Jacksonville at Pittsburgh Today, 5 p.m., Channel 4

* Tennessee at San Diego Sunday, 1:30 p.m., Channel 2

* Byes: New England and Indianapolis

NFC

* Washington at Seattle Today, 1:30 p.m., Channel 4

* N.Y. Giants at Tampa Bay Sunday, 10 a.m., Channel 11

* Byes: Dallas and Green Bay

DIVISIONAL ROUND

* Jan. 12 and 13

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS

* Jan. 20

SUPER BOWL -- GLENDALE, ARIZ.

* Feb. 3, 3:15 p.m. PST

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