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Redskins Can Clinch the NFC East With Win Next Week In Philly
- Updated: December 21, 2015
Redskins Can Clinch the NFC East With Win Next Week
The Washington Redskins took advantage of the other three NFC east teams losing in week 15, creating separation in the tight division race. The Redskins, who beat the Buffalo Bills 35-25 Sunday, now sit atop the NFC east alone with a 7-7 record after winning back-to-back games. If the team wins in Philadelphia next weekend, they will win the division crown and move on to the playoffs.
Washington finds itself in a great position controlling their own destiny in December. It’s a massive shift from the perception just a few months ago that the Redskins were a last-place team, many preseason analyst/predictors had the Redskins finishing in the basement of the NFC East. Pre-season odds for the team to win the East were at 50-1, and they were given a measly 3% chance by “experts” in week 4.
All the team has to do now is win against the Eagles Sunday to prove the ‘naysayers’ wrong. If the team loses next Saturday, all is not lost as a scenario exist that they can still win the division if they win at Dallas and New York beats Philadelphia in the season finale.
The Eagles (6-8) can reach the postseason if they win their last two. (They would finish with a better division record than Washington.) The Giants weren’t eliminated by Sunday’s loss to Carolina, although they need help to gain a postseason berth. New York (6-8) can win if it wins its last two while Washington (7-7) loses its last two.
Obviously the Redskins are focused on winning Saturday night in Philly.
“It’s a big game for us,” Redskins defensive end Chris Baker. “I plan on celebrating in Philadelphia. We have to take care of business. We have to be focused and take care of the details. It’s going to be a dog fight. … Hopefully we go up there and play the way we’ve been playing the last couple games.”
The Redskins were watching the Giants rally late against the Panthers as a handful of players and personnel and front office types gathered to watch the end of the game in the trainers room. After Carolina won, a huge cheer erupted and general manager Scot McCloughan exited pumping his fist.
“We control our own destiny”, said WR DeSean Jackson. “I mean we go into Philly next week and if we win that game we’re definitely a lock for the playoffs. I think this week will be a great week. There’s two games left in the season, we’re winding down to the end of the season. All the guys in the locker room, we have guys that came from other teams and guys like myself that have played in big games. We’re just excited for the opportunity and it can’t get any better than going back to Philly.”
“We can’t walk before we crawl,” Tackle Trent Williams said.
“I can’t make no predictions but we’re on to something,” defensive end Jason Hatcher said. “I said early in the season man, I kept saying it, but there’s something special about this team.”
While the Redskins haven’t won anything yet, they have positioned themselves for an opportunity to compete in a playoff game at home.
“They’re ready for the playoffs, man,” Redskins nose tackle Terrance “Pot-Roast” Knighton said of the fans. “We want to give it to them and get a home game here. But you see the big picture; we have a short week against a good team.”
Coach Jay Gruden was impressed and thankful of the Redskins fans who came out Sunday. “I’ll tell you what, man, the fans are outstanding. Coming out here and listening to them chant, I had to turn my headset up a little bit because I couldn’t hear our play calls and all that stuff. The fans were great so I want to thank each and every one of those guys for coming out today. As far as a love fest with Kirk, you know, Kirk understands that it’s a business at quarterback. You just have to keep the ball rolling and keep playing with consistency. We’re happy the way Kirk is progressing, but this is a one-week deal, man. They love you one week and who knows what will happen the next week. But I feel good about where Kirk is or where his mind is at and now it’s just a matter of putting this game behind us, learning from his mistakes and getting ready for Philadelphia.”