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Currently sitting atop the NFC East with a 5-6 record, the Washington NFL Club is exactly where it wants to be after benching incumbent quarterback Robert Griffin III back in August. New starting QB Kirk Cousins has taken the reins of the team and powered them into the leading team inside the division. Cousins hasn’t been spectacular but he hasn’t been a spectacle either, and the team has capitalized on some fortunate breaks around the division to gainsome advantages. With a favorable schedule facing them over the last month of the season, the conditions are ripe for Washington to storm their way into the postseason. But can they do it? Perry Green and Stephen D. Riley of the AFRO Sports Desk debate this question.  

Riley: Washington has five games left in the season and doesn’t have a team in sight with a winning record. The schedule isn’t too daunting, and the team has been playing some of the best football in the league over the last few weeks of the season. Key 2014 acquisition DeSean Jackson is finally back from a nagging hamstring injury, and the offense appears to have finally settled in with the entire team clicking. The defense is playing fast and most importantly, the rest of the division is in shambles. Washington should breeze into the postseason.

Green: We’ve learned over the last few seasons to never expect too much from the Washington bunch. The division is horrible, sure, but I’m not completely blown away with Washington’s roster. I do like the additions made to the team by new General Manager Scot McCloughan; he’s turned the team into a tough group that wins battles up front in the trenches. But I still believe in the New York Giants’ roster and the Philadelphia Eagles aren’t completely out of it either. And although the remaining schedule is favorable, three of Washington’s last five games are on the road where they haven’t won a game all season. Be wary of trusting Washington. They’ve lost their last three road games by a combined 59 points.

Riley: Washington’s road record has been flat out insulting but so has the opponents’. Three of Washington’s last four road opponents were undefeated at the time of play but their next three road opponents all host losing records. The team took their lumps early on but now appear to be getting some breaks as the schedule softens. Washington’s finally settled in on a quarterback and coach Jay Gruden appears to have full control. Washington’s going to make the playoffs; the real question is what the team should do with the free-agent-to-be signal caller that’s leading them there.

Green: The Giants also sit at 5-6 and while they don’t have the same auspicious remaining schedule, they are the more talented team between the two and could possibly finish with the same record. Sometimes a weak schedule isn’t the best way to crawl into the playoffs. Every team needs a challenge and they have a home game against the currently undefeated Carolina Panthers in a few weeks that could give them enough momentum to finish the season strongly. The Giants are the more battle-tested bunch and as long as they continue to hover around the .500 mark they have just as good of a chance as anybody to make the playoffs as well.

Washington currently owns a tie-breaker over New York, but remember how the trend of this division has been all year—as soon as a team takes the division lead, instead of pulling away, they’ve blown the opportunity. The Giants did it a week ago and now it may be Washington’s turn to give it all away.