In the NFL, with the playoffs approaching, every single game counts.  The first big one was dubbed “The Battle of The Beltway” between the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Redskins.  This game is more of a rival between the fan bases rather than the teams, as they really only meet once every 4 years, and unlike places like Texas or New York, the rivalry really doesn’t run that deep.  However, the Redskins are red hot, and need just about every win if they want to have a shot of making the playoffs. The Ravens are also pushing hard to get that first round bye.  Robert Griffin III had yet another great outing for the Redskins, but he went down with an injury in the 4th quarter with the Redskins down 8.  So the Redskins brought in their second-round draft pick Kirk Cousins, a quarterback out of Michigan State to save the day.  And he did, hitting Pierre Garcon for a touchdown, and then running in the 2-point conversion to send the game to overtime.  And in OT, each team got their chance, but in ‘sudden death time’, Cousins moved the ball to the right spot, and the Redskins got a game-winning kick from Kai Forbath.  The Redskins are still trucking, and hopefully will get their star quarterback back next week.  Washington 31, Baltimore 28.
The Cowboys find themselves in a similar situation to the Redskins, and they’re both battling to nab that Wild Card Spot (or even win the division if the New York Giants fall apart).  But they would need to go on the road to Cincinnati and steal a win to keep their playoffs hopes alive.  The Bengals did not take it easy on the Cowboys in any way shape or form.  They owned the game behind a strong 89-yard day from running-back BenJarvus Green-Ellis, gaining a 19-10 lead going into the 4th quarter.  But, in the fourth, the Cowboys clicked, with Tony Romo hitting Dez Bryant for a touchdown pass late in the 4th, then a key defensive stand and a booted field goal from their kicker Dan Bailey to win the game.  The Cowboys steal the victory, and remain in the playoff hunt.  Dallas 20, Cincy 19.

And in Chicago, the Bears were hoping to HOLD ON to their playoff spot.  A month ago, people were talking about the Bears as a possible Super Bowl Champion.  They were firing on all cylinders, their defense looked unstoppable, and they were winning games with ease.  But, they have slipped up lately, and needed a win against the Vikings in order to maintain their #6 seed playoff position.  In Chicago fashion, quarterback Jay Cutler got knocked out of the game, and that never bods well for the Bears.  Minnesota got two touchdown runs from the immortal Adrian Peterson, and held on for the victory. With the loss, the Bears lost their playoff spot to the Seahawks, and will spend the rest of the season trying to get it back.  Minnesota 21, Chicago 14.

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