Reporting Grant Paulsen
The Redskins are the NFC’s hottest team, but they aren’t the only NFL club steamrolling into the postseason.
Washington is one of just five teams that will enter the playoffs with at least a three-game winning streak intact. In fact, seven of the 12 qualifying playoff teams will make their postseason debut with a winning streak of at least two games to defend.
Football’s hottest club, the Denver Broncos, wrapped up the top seed in the AFC playoff bracket by ripping off a league-best 11 game winning streak to finish the season. They’ll look to continue their red-hot play in the divisional round of the postseason, after enjoying an opening-round bye week.
The Redskins’ first round opponent, the Seattle Seahawks, haven’t lost since November. They’re the conference’s second hottest team, having reeled off five consecutive wins. Something will have to give at FedEx Field on Sunday.
The Minnesota Vikings needed two win their last four games to get into the playoffs, and they were able to complete that task with an exhilarating triumph over the same Green Bay Packers team they’ll be visiting on Saturday afternoon.
In the AFC, the Cincinnati Bengals won each of their last three contests, a run which included a must-have victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cincinnati ‘s 4-1 record down the stretch is two game’s better than the higher-seeded Houston Texans were in their final five games. Their first round match-up will be a nice test of the theory that you have to be hot entering the postseason to have playoff success.
Contrarily if the Texans (2-3 in their last five) or the Baltimore Ravens (losers of four of their last five games) get on January runs, they’ll deliver a blow to the age-old axiom that it isn’t how you start the regular season, but how you finish.