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Redskins win NFC East, Broncos get top seed in AFC
RG3 and the Washington Redskins are heading to the playoffs as NFC East champions.
By winning their seventh straight game, the Redskins rolled to their first division title in 13 years with a 28-18 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night. Next up for Robert Griffin III & Co.: a home playoff matchup next Sunday with the Seahawks _ the third straight postseason game for Washington against Seattle.
“It’s just a mindset change,” the rookie quarterback said. “When you have all these guys coming to work every day, putting it on the line, we knew we couldn’t afford to lose one game, we made sure we didn’t”
Thanks to Houston’s late-season slump, Denver and New England will have byes when the AFC playoffs begin next week.
The Texans fell from first to third in the conference Sunday when they lost 28-16 at Indianapolis, which welcomed back coach Chuck Pagano after nearly three months of treatments for leukemia.
AFC West champion Denver won its 11th straight game, 38-3 over Kansas City to secure the top seed. New England blanked Miami 28-0 for the second spot.
Minnesota edged Green Bay 37-34 to grab the final NFC wild card, sinking the Packers to the third seed. Those teams will meet again next Saturday night at Lambeau Field.
The other NFC matchup will have Seattle (11-5), which beat St. Louis 20-13, at Washington on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Cincinnati (10-6) will be at Houston on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET, and Indianapolis (11-5) goes to at Baltimore (10-6) on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the AFC wild-card rounds.
The divisional round games will be hosted by Denver on Saturday, Jan. 12, followed by San Francisco (11-4-1) at night. On Sunday, Jan. 13, Atlanta (13-3) will host the early game, followed by New England (12-4).
Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns as Denver (13-3) routed the Chiefs. New England got the second seed despite having the same record as Houston because it beat the Texans, who lost three of their final four games.
Adrian Peterson had 199 yards against the Packers, finishing with 2,097 _ Dickerson’s single-season rushing mark in 2,105. But it was rookie kicker Blair Walsh who won it with a 29-yard field goal as time expired.
“Ultimately we got the `W,’” Peterson said. “I told myself to come into this game focused on one thing, and that’s winning.”
Green Bay would have been seeded second in the NFC by beating Minnesota.
“The road got a little tougher having to play on opening weekend, but we’ve got a home game and that’s why you win the division,” Aaron Rodgers said. “We get to go back home, and the game will be different. They won’t have home-crowd advantage, and hopefully that will make a difference.”
By John R. Bolton
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