NFL playoff picture: Redskins win, Giants loss put Washington on top of the NFC East

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins won their fifth straight game on Sunday and with two weeks left have the inside track at an NFC East division title.

The Washington Redskins are now tied for first place in the NFC East.

Mike Shanahan's team was without star rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, but Kirk Cousins and the Washington defense did enough to defeat the Cleveland Browns, 38-21. It was the Redskins' fifth straight win as they continue a dramatic second-half push toward the postseason.

The Giants, on the other hand, were blown out by the Falcons, 34-0. Both teams are now 8-6 and also in the hunt for a Wild Card spot, thanks to Chicago's continued freefall. By the end of the day, it could be a three-way tie atop the division if the Cowboys can beat the Steelers at home.

There are several division tiebreakers if multiple teams finish with the same record, and Washington currently has the inside track. The first tiebreaker looks at the head-to-head records, and the Giants and Redskins split the season series. The second tiebreaker goes to the best winning percentage within the division. The Redskins are 3-1 in the NFC East with two games left against the Eagles and Cowboys. The Giants are 2-3 in the division with one game left against the Eagles. The Cowboys are 3-2 in the division with the season finale in Washington coming up. Dallas lost to the Redskins on Thanksgiving.

Over the past month, it seemed the only realistic way to the postseason for an NFC East team was by taking the division. But the Bears' collapse has the Wild Card completely in play over the final two weeks. The Giants, Redskins and Vikings are now even with the Bears at 8-6. Dallas could also join that party with a win against Pittsburgh

With three teams bunched up in the division, there are still several permutations with just two weeks left in the season. But the Redskins do now control their own destiny and will not need outside help to take the NFC East.

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