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NFL playoff picture: Who helped themselves the most in Week 12

Washington is the big winner heading toward Week 13. We break down who helped and hurt themselves in Week 12.

Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) celebrates while leaving the field after the Washington Football Team’s game against the Seattle Seahawks at FedExField. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL wrapped up Week 12 on Monday Night Football with the Washington Football Team getting a big win over the Seattle Seahawks. Washington improved to 5-6 and is now finds themselves in the final wild card spot in the NFC. It’s time to break down some of the biggest winners and losers coming out of Week 12 in the playoff race.

Winner: Washington Football Team

There’s a long way to go in this playoff race, but Washington is arguably the biggest winner this week. They beat a Seattle team that is clearly circling the drain, but that’s now three straight wins for the Football Team. There’s a four-way tie for the final playoff berth, two teams a half game back, and two more a full game back with six weeks to play. Plenty could change, but Washington is hot heading into December. They travel to face Las Vegas and then it’s five straight divisional games against Dallas, Philadelphia, Dallas, Philadelphia, and New York.

Loser: Philadelphia Eagles

They are only half a game back of Washington, but Philadelphia suffered a brutal loss to a bad Giants team. Philly is wildly inconsistent, so it’s hard to say what we can expect when they travel back to the Meadowlands this weekend to face the Jets.

Winner: San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco faced Minnesota in a battle of 5-5 teams and came out with their third straight win to move into sixth place and secure a key head-to-head tiebreaker. Their remaining schedule suddenly doesn’t look nearly as fierce as it did earlier in the year. A road game in Seattle is no gimme, but the Seahawks are struggling mightily. Their two hardest remaining games are at the Bengals in Week 14 and then at the Rams in Week 18. That Week 16 game at Tennessee won’t be easy, but the Titans are struggling.

Loser: Cleveland Browns

Cleveland had a huge opportunity in Baltimore and blew it. They’re headed into a bye having lost five of eight and now sit in 12th place. They’re only half a game back of the last wild card spot, but there are four teams in between. Cleveland needs a lot to go right the rest of the way.

Winner: Green Bay Packers

They beat the Rams and looked pretty impressive in doing so. They saw the Vikings lose and drop to 3.5 games back in the division. Green Bay remains a half game back of the Cardinals, but they held serve with the win over LA and hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over Arizona. Things are looking good in Green Bay heading into December.

Talk to us in a week: New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills

Both teams won pretty big matchups in Week 12 and now face off in Buffalo on Monday Night Football to close out Week 13. The winner will hold the AFC East lead and have an early edge on the head-to-head tiebreaker. If Buffalo can get the home win, they also would take a two game lead in division record tiebreaker, which is second after head-to-head for the division standings.