Nfl playoffs

Huge game for old rivals

Bloomberg NewsDecember 30, 2012 

  • Playoff Scenarios AFC CLINCHED: Houston, AFC South; Denver, AFC West; New England, AFC East; Baltimore, AFC North; Indianapolis, No. 5 playoff spot; Cincinnati, No. 6 playoff spot. HOUSTON Clinches first-round bye with: Win or tie, or New England loss or tie, or Denver loss Clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with: Win, or Tie AND Denver loss or tie, or New England loss or tie AND Denver loss DENVER Clinches first-round bye with: Win or tie, or New England loss or tie Clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with: Win AND Houston loss or tie, or Tie AND Houston loss NEW ENGLAND Clinches first-round bye with: Win AND Denver or Houston loss Clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs with: Win AND Denver and Houston loss NFC CLINCHED: Atlanta, NFC South and home-field advantage; Green Bay, NFC North; San Francisco, playoff spot; Seattle, playoff spot GREEN BAY Clinches first-round bye with: Win, or Tie AND San Francisco loss or tie, or San Francisco loss AND Seattle loss or tie SAN FRANCISCO Clinches NFC West with: Win or tie, or Seattle loss or tie Clinches first-round bye with: Win AND Green Bay loss or tie, or Tie AND Green Bay loss SEATTLE Clinches NFC West with: Win AND San Francisco loss Clinches first-round bye with: Win AND San Francisco loss AND Green Bay loss WASHINGTON Clinches NFC East with: Win or tie Clinches playoff spot with: Chicago loss AND Minnesota loss DALLAS Clinches NFC East with: Win NEW YORK GIANTS Clinches playoff spot with: Win AND Dallas loss or tie AND Chicago loss AND Minnesota loss MINNESOTA Clinches playoff spot with: Win, or Tie AND Chicago loss or tie, or Dallas loss or tie AND N.Y. Giants loss or tie AND Chicago loss CHICAGO Clinches playoff spot with: Win AND Minnesota loss or tie, or Tie AND Minnesota loss

— Robert Griffin III was 8 years old when the Washington Redskins last won the NFC East title in 1999.

The Redskins’ rookie quarterback gets a chance to end the NFC East’s longest current title drought when Washington hosts the Dallas Cowboys in a showdown for the division crown today.

The Redskins have won six consecutive games under Griffin, following a 3-6 start. It’s the franchise’s longest winning streak since a seven-game run in the 1996 season.

“I told the guys, ‘Don’t play this up so big that you can’t seize it,’ ” the 22-year-old Griffin said at a news conference this week. “You have to approach it the same exact way you have for the last six weeks. Know it’s for all the marbles, but don’t go out and play scared. You have to play like you have nothing to lose and we’ve done that the last six weeks.”

If the Redskins lose, they would have an outside chance to make the playoffs as the NFC’s final wild-card representative, but would need the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings to both lose their regular-season finales. The Bears and Vikings are both 8-6 and in the hunt for a wild- card berth.

“We want to control our own destiny and it’s our job to do that,” said Griffin, who was voted to the Pro Bowl after passing for 3,100 yards and 20 touchdowns while rushing for a quarterback rookie-record 752 yards and six scores.

The only way for the Cowboys (8-6) to make the postseason is by beating the Redskins and winning the NFC East. A Dallas victory would also eliminate the New York Giants, the defending Super Bowl champions, from postseason contention.

The Giants have lost five of their past seven games and are rooting for more than a Redskins’ win. New York (8-6) needs to beat the Philadelphia Eagles at home and have the Cowboys, Bears and Vikings all lose to make the playoffs as a wild-card team.

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