BY LEON MCGOVERN
60 minutes is all that stands between the Washington Football team and a spot at the top of the NFC East.
After a strong performance on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills (6-8), the Washington Football team can finally secure a playoff berth with a win against the Philadelphia Eagles (6-8) next Saturday at 8:25 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Financial Field in Philly. Led at the helm by the surging Kirk Cousins, Washington stands ever so close to making the playoffs for the first time since the 2012 season, where they had made an early exit loosing to the Seattle Seahawks at home.
Cousins and his team will hope to avoid a similar fate (Seattle is currently in the 5th seed in the NFC and if the playoff picture would stand as it is now, the two teams would face each other once again in the first round of the playoffs), however, they know that before they can even begin to worry about playoffs, or who they might end up facing, they have to make it past the Eagles on Saturday.
Washington already took care of business on Sunday, beating the Bills, whose playoff hopes are officially over with this latest loss, with a solid performance and a final score of 25-35. Most of the game had been fairly one-sided. Washington was up 21-0 at half time, which allowed them to take their foot of the pedal in the second half and coast through for their seventh win of the season. Cousins went 22 for 28 with 319 yards and 4 Touchdowns and also ran in one more in the second quarter to go up 14 to nothing. DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed lit up the usually fierce Buffalo defense. Jackson caught six passes for 153 yards and one Touchdown while Reed caught seven for 84 yards and two touchdowns.
On defense, Washington kept the Bills in check. Tyrod Taylor found his favorite target Sammy Watkins only five times, two of them for touchdowns, but the rest of the Bill's offense failed to produce through most of the day.
Meanwhile, the collective rest of the NFC East lost out this weekend. Injury plagued Dallas lost on Saturday to the Jets, who are still holding on to their own playoff hopes, the Giants lost a thriller against the still undefeated Panthers and Philadelphia couldn't keep up with Arizona's explosive offense on Sunday night. This put Washington alone at the top of the NFC East, with complete control of their own destiny.
Right now, everyone in Washington is "Liking it." According to Darren Rovell, ESPN Sports Business Reporter & Business Correspondent, Cousins even filed to trademark the catchphrase that seems to have inspired all of Washington in recent weeks. While everyone may still be liking it, nothing is in the bag just yet. Things are certianly looking good and Washington is comfortable in the driver's seat, but don't think for one second that Philadelphia will go down without a fight. Washington still has a tough test in front of them on Saturday, perhaps their biggest game of the season and it will take an equally strong performance as the one the displayed on Sunday to finally secure another chance to compete in the playoffs.