Why Redskins could wrap up NFC East title before Week 17

Based on the schedules and tiebreakers, it's not a stretching imagining the Redskins winning the NFC East and doing so sooner than you think.

I know, I know. Talking about how the Redskins can not only take command of the three-team NFC East race, but also flat out win it before the final game kicks off is spitting into the karmic headwind. That's especially true considering the scenario involves:

* Washington winning three straight games when Kirk Cousins and company haven't even claimed back-to-back wins this season.

* Winning a road game when they've done that only once this season.

* Projecting any kind of certainty from three wildly inconsistent 6-7 teams.

* Assuming the Giants won't go on another stunning run that carries them into the playoffs and then some.

* Ignoring the possibility that after consecutive wins over the Patriots and Bills, Chip Kelly has turned the Eagles around.

* That Matt Cassel and the Cowboys don't run the table and truly join the race. 

Fine, the last point is there for grins. Anyway, this isn't a prediction, but an acknowledgement that Washington is in good shape without contorting the scenario into unreasonable positions. As a reminder, the Redskins currently own the tiebreakers so they win out, its banner raising time. 

Now, all three teams coming off wins play home games (ignore the sweater-wearing man in the above video when at one point he goofs by saying the opposite). No offense to the Buffalo Bills, but Washington has the "easiest" matchup this week and it's not even close. Philadelphia faces NFC West leader Arizona (11-2), winners of seven straight. New York hosts Carolina as in the Cam Newton-led team that hasn't lost a game this calendar year.

The oddsmakers put the Bills-Redskins line even -- which is the equivalent of saying Buffalo is the better team considering home field -- while the Eagles (+3) and Giants (+4) are home underdogs. 

If Washington wins -- the current 5-2 home record is better than 24 teams -- and the oddsmakers call the other games correctly, the Redskins have sole possession of first place.

Now we move to Week 16. New York plays at Minnesota. The Vikings are currently 8-5 and tied with the Seahawks for the two NFC Wild Card spots. They're also 4-2 at home while the Giants are 3-4 on the road. They also have Adrian Peterson and the Giants have a suspect run defense. 

Meanwhile the Redskins and Eagles conclude their season series in Philadelphia. Washington took the first meeting 23-20 back in Week 4 thanks to one of those Cousins comebacks. Washington won't be favored in the rematch, but perhaps some road momentum builds after breaking through with the Week 14 win in Chicago.

Even if the Redskins and Eagles both win in Week 15, Washington can close the door on Kelly's squad with a win in Week 16 because of the head-to-head sweep. If this happens and the Giants lose to the Panthers and Vikings, the Redskins are the NFC East champions and Week 17 at Dallas is just a prideful exhibition.

Should New York win one of the next two games, Washington remains poised for a Week 16 clinch with two wins as long as the Giants lose to the Panthers because of the common opponent tiebreaker

Let's no go any further into the tiebreaker weeds because we can't predict what these three teams will do. Besides, whenever the Redskins appear ready for a bonafide winning streak, bad things happen. 

I've said for weeks that if the Redskins want to win the NFC East, they must win their last home game. If they indeed beat the Bills Sunday, based on the overall scenario, there's a decent chance they win the title for the first time since 2012 and it's not even a stretch. 

Still, it's wise to wear a rain poncho just in case.

Ben Standig is the Publisher of Breaking Burgundy. You can find him on Twitter @benstandig and on Google+

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