The final game of the 2012 NFL regular season may also be the biggest.
The Washington Redskins will host the Dallas Cowboys to close out Week 17. The winner of the game will also take home the NFC East crown. The loser will have played its last game of the year, missing the postseason, once again.
Neither team can win the wild card with a loss. A Cowboys victory would put both teams at 9-7, giving Dallas the tiebreaker in the division.
Before the one o’clock games, the Redskins had a chance to sneak into playoffs as the sixth seed in the NFC, even with a loss on Sunday Night Football. However, the Chicago Bears 10th win of the season put an end to any chance the Redskins had of backing into the postseason.
The contest will air at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC. You can watch a free live stream online with Sunday Night Football Extra.
If the Cowboys want to make the playoffs, they’ll have to slow down Robert Griffin III. The quarterback threw four touchdown passes on Thanksgiving Day to lead the Redskins to a 38-31 road win over Dallas. That game was the second of Washington’s current five-game winning streak.
Griffin has been one of the best quarterbacks all year long, and is looking to end his rookie season on a positive note. He’s thrown for 20 scores and just five picks in 2012, and has posted the second-highest passer rating in the league.
Tony Romo has played well of late too. He’s thrown just one pick in his last four games, as well as 10 touchdowns in that time span.
On defense, the Cowboys best player is banged up. DeMarcus Ware will play, but is expected to be limited because of an injury.
Betting Line: Washington-3, 48.5
Prediction: Washington 27, Dallas 17