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Redskins' Path To A Potential Playoff Bid Clears Up Entering Week 17


The Redskins benefited from other NFC contenders losing during Week 16 and now face a situation where if the win in Week 17, they'll likely have a second straight postseason appearance.

Following the Washington Redskins' Week 16 victory over the Chicago Bears— coupled with loses by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions – the team enters the regular season finale with a potential playoff entrance on the line.

If the Redskins are able to defeat the New York Giants at FedExField on Sunday afternoon and the Sunday night matchup between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions doesn't end in a tie, then Washington will be headed back to the postseason.

It would mark the first time since the 1991-92 seasons that the Redskins make back-to-back playoff appearances.

But before that potential can become a reality, the Redskins must take care of their own business first against the Giants.

"I've tried to preach all along that you can only control what you can control, and that's how we play against the Giants," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said on Monday. "Hopefully things fall in our favor, but regardless, we have to prepare for the New York Giants."

The Redskins can only earn the No. 6 and final seed in the NFC, while the Dallas Cowboys have already locked up the No. 1 seed and the Giants have secured the No. 5 seed.

The No. 2 seed is coming down to the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks, while the Sunday Night Football matchup between the Lions and Packers will be for the NFC North.

Even though the Giants won't have any playoff implications in Sunday's game, the Redskins know that their division rivals would like nothing more than to remove Washington from playoff contention.

"We've faced a lot of different adversities this year, and we've come out with a win when potentially our backs were against the wall," linebacker Will Compton said. "Next week won't be any different, we have a Giants team coming in sour off their loss against Philly. I'm sure they feel like they should have won, so I'm sure we're going to get their best shot and we have to come ready to play."

The Redskins won the first matchup between the two teams this year in Week 3, when a 0-2 Washington squad traveled to MetLife Stadium and knocked off the Giants 29-27 behind big special teams plays and two fourth quarter interceptions.

While the Giants may decide to limit some of their starters, Washington certainly isn't going to take New York lightly.

In fact, someone like quarterback Eli Manning could see significant time on the field. The Ole Miss product has started every game dating back to Week 11 of the 2004 season while backup Josh Johnson hasn't seen any regular season action since 2013. New York could also seek a potential to work out the kinks of a running game that is tied for the NFL low in touchdown runs this season with five.

"The reason why they are where they are – they're [10-5] – is because they not only have good starters, they have good depth," Gruden said. "So whoever they put out there, they're going to have good players out there. They're going to compete and try to win the game. So we have to obviously get ourselves ready to go. We don't worry about who's out there, we've just got to worry about what we do and prepare and perform to the best of our capabilities."

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