Sunday's slate of Week 12 contests saw several matchups between teams with winning records. The outcomes led to an intriguing amount of movement in the playoff picture seeding, with the Baltimore Ravens now remarkably sitting atop the AFC. Monday night's game between the Washington Football Team and Seattle Seahawks will close the book on a noteworthy week of entertaining action.
Ron Rivera's team has reigned victorious in two consecutive contests, and has the appearance of a team that's best football is still in front of them. Washington now finds themselves firmly entrenched in the NFC's cluttered and wildly unpredictable wild-card race. On Monday, they'll encounter a Russell Wilson-led Seahawks team that is suffering its worst season in a decade.
We've identified three player-versus-player matchups we’re particularly excited to monitor when these two teams take the field.
D.K. METCALF & TYLER LOCKETT VS. BENJAMIN ST-JUSTE & WILLIAM JACKSON III
The WR-CB matchups should be especially intriguing all throughout this match. A rookie third-round pick out of The University of Minnesota, Benjamin St-Juste is a long, big-bodied coverman that has experienced some typical ups and downs as a first-year player. His running mate William Jackson III started the new campaign on the wrong foot after signing an expensive three-year, $40.5 million with Washington in the offseason, but has begun rounding into form as of late. Jackson is a physical corner that enjoys mixing things up at the line of scrimmage.
The talented and promising tandem of St-Juste and Jackson will both see plenty of D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in coverage on Monday night. Seattle's passing game has been awfully unproductive in recent showings. Starting quarterback Russell Wilson has struggled to play to his full potential since returning from a mid-season finger injury. Wilson completed just 14 passes for 207 yards in last week's loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Wilson will attempt to lean on Metcalf and Lockett in hopes of recapturing his early-season form. It should keep Washington's cornerback duo of St-Juste and Jackson plenty busy.
CASEY TOOHILL AND BUNMI ROTIMI VS. DUANE BROWN
Washington will be without the services of their most fearsome pass rusher, as Chase Young suffered an unfortunate season-ending ACL injury back in Week 10. Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has since then been rotating a pair of rushers opposite the left tackle in the form of Casey Toohill and Bunmi Rotimi. A second-year, seventh-round selection out of Stanford, Toohill should earn the majority of the snaps against Seattle. Toohill is a high-effort rusher that possesses a relentless motor. He recorded his lone sack of the season in a Week 6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
The inexperienced duo of Toohill and Rotimi will encounter 36-year-old left tackle Duane Brown on a snap-by-snap basis. Seattle has had some issues across their offensive line, but Brown has typically been his reliable self. Toohill and Rotimi will have their work cut out for them as they attempt to get the better of Brown.
ANTONIO GIBSON AND J.D. MCKISSIC VS. SEATTLE’S LINEBACKERS
Washington's offense features a pair of talented running backs in Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic. Both players are more than formidable in the pass-catching department and should continue to combine for a healthy amount of targets. Gibson has recorded 19 receptions thus far and possesses the ability to see more involvement in the passing game. McKissic, who led all running backs in receptions a year ago, continues to serve as the team's main pass-catching weapon coming out of the backfield. McKissic has picked up where he left off, having totaled 38 receptions in 10 appearances.
They'll encounter a poor Seahawks defense that is giving up a league-worst 279.6 passing yards per contest. Sophomore linebacker Jordyn Brooks has especially struggled in coverage this season, earning himself a coverage grade of just 43.4, via Pro Football Focus. There should be plenty of opportunities (and room) for McKissic and Gibson to make a massive impact in the passing game on Monday night.