Redskins win NFC East, Broncos get top seed in AFC 

click to enlarge After winning their 11th straight game Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos took the AFC West championship over Kansas City to secure the top seed. - RON CHENOY/USA TODAY SPORTS
  • Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports
  • After winning their 11th straight game Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos took the AFC West championship over Kansas City to secure the top seed.

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 1:30 p.m.
Cincinnati (10-6) will be at Houston on Saturday at 1:30 p.m., and Indianapolis (11-5) goes to at Baltimore (10-6) on Sunday at 10 a.m. in the AFC wild-card rounds.

The divisional round games will be hosted by Denver on Saturday, Jan. 12, followed by the 49ers (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.

Baltimore Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed is looking forward to a reunion with Pagano. He wishes it would come a little later in the postseason.

“Chuck’s like a dad to me,” Reed said “He means a lot to me. I would have much rather seen them in the AFC championship game than the first game.”

The defending Super Bowl champion Giants are out of contention. When Chicago beat Detroit 26-24, the Giants (9-7) were eliminated, even though they routed Philadelphia 42-7.

“It hurts,” said Eli Manning.

Minnesota’s win eliminated Chicago.

NFL playoffs

NFC
1. Atlanta (13-3)
2. 49ERS (11-4-1)
3. Green Bay (11-5)
4. Washington (10-6)
5. Seattle (11-5)
6. Minnesota (10-6)
 

AFC
1. Denver (13-3)
2. New England (12-4)
3. Houston (12-4)
4. Baltimore (10-6)
5. Indianapolis (11-5)
6. Cincinnati (10-6)

Wild-card playoffs

Saturday

  • Cincinnati at Houston, 1:30 p.m. (NBC)
  • Minnesota at Green Bay, 5 p.m. (NBC)

 

Sunday

  • Indianapolis at Baltimore, 10 a.m. (CBS)
  • Seattle at Washington, 1:30 p.m. (Fox)

First-round byes

  • NFC: Atlanta, 49ers
  • AFC: Denver, New England
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