Know Thy Frenemy: Week 16

Larry French

Hogs Haven keeps track of who to root for (and against) in the other games of Week 16.

Another week, and another win for the Redskins. That makes five in a row, and Washington now controls their playoff destiny, on top of the NFC East. The Giants hold the same record as them at 8-6, as do the Cowboys and the Bears in the Wild Card race. The Redskins hold the tiebreaker, and if they win out, there will be playoff football in Washington.

They can clinch a playoff spot this week, if everything goes their way (a win over the Eagles and losses by the Giants, Vikings and Bears).

Let's take a look at the key matchups this week that don't involve Washington.

1:00 E.T.:

Vikings @ Texans

Who to Root For: Texans.

Why: Minnesota and Washington are both currently in playoff position, but a Vikings loss coupled with other results would result in a Redskins' clinch. If Minnesota manages to prevail against 12-2 Houston, a loss against 10-4 Green Bay next week would have the same result.

Line: Houston -7.5.

Importance Level: Three "Go Catch Your Dream"s.

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Saints @ Cowboys

Who to Root For: Saints.

Why: At 8-6, the Cowboys also share the same record as the Redskins and the Giants, but are third in the tiebreaker. However, because Washington plays them next week, this result barely matters.

Line: Dallas -2.5.

Importance: One Superman.

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4:25 ET:

Giants @ Ravens

Who to Root For: Ravens

Why: The most important game of the week, a Giants' loss would ensure that the Redskins only need to beat Dallas to win the division.

Line: Giants -2.5.

Importance: Five Barneys.

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Bears @ Cardinals

Who to Root For: Cardinals

Why: In the perfect storm, this is one of three results that would guarantee a playoff spot for Washington. It is not looking terribly likely.

Line: Bears -5.5.

Importance: Three Elmos.

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