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Redskins could clinch playoff berth Sunday

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Sports,NFL,Redskins,John Keim

Washington needs to beat Philadelphia and some help

The Redskins' five-game winning streak not only has put them in position to win the NFC East, they might do something else once unimaginable: clinch a berth before the final game of the regular season.

According to the NFL, the Redskins can clinch a spot Sunday if they win and the New York Giants, Chicago and Minnesota all lose. The Redskins (8-6) own the tiebreakers over all three teams, so even if Washington loses to Dallas in the home finale, it would earn a spot if this scenario unfolds.

The Redskins have the edge over Chicago because of a better record in the NFC (6-4 compared to 5-5). They beat Minnesota earlier this season. And with a win over the Eagles, the Redskins would trump the Giants with a better division record. Washington currently is 3-1 in the NFC East; New York is 2-3.

The Redskins are tied with the Giants and Cowboys for first in the NFC East.

But the Redskins aren't the only team that can clinch Sunday. The Giants can do so with a win and losses by Chicago, Minnesota and Dallas as well as a loss or tie by Washington. New York also can clinch with a win and losses by the Bears, Vikings and Redskins as well as a loss or tie by the Cowboys.

Seattle (9-5) will earn a wild-card spot with a win. The Seahawks also have seven scenarios in which they could earn a spot this weekend with a tie or a loss.

The Redskins will win the NFC East with two wins to end the season, though Dallas could do the same. The teams play each other in the season finale. Dallas hosts New Orleans (6-8) on Sunday.

Washington could miss the playoffs if it loses one more game and either New York, Minnesota or Chicago wins its next two. Of that group, Chicago has the easiest schedule with games vs. Arizona (5-9) and Detroit (4-10). However, the Bears have lost four of their last five games.

The Giants play at Baltimore (9-5) and vs. Philadelphia (4-10). The Vikings have the toughest road with games at Houston (12-2) and vs. Green Bay (10-4).

If the playoffs began this weekend, the Redskins would be the No.?4 seed and would host Seattle.

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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