The Redskins once again helped themselves with a 31-28 overtime win against Baltimore and received help that could ultimately lead them to controlling their own postseason destiny.
Chicago is only one game ahead of Washington for a wild card spot. But unlike Seattle, the Bears do not have the tiebreaker over Washington. If the Redskins end up tied with Chicago for the final spot, they would make the playoffs. The Redskins also would have a tiebreaking advantage over the New York Giants for the NFC East title because of a better division record. But with Seattle, the Redskins will have to wait and see how it unfolds. They potentially could have the same conference record; if it comes down to record vs. common opponents, Seattle has the current edge.
The only reason for the minus is the fumble by running back Alfred Morris, who otherwise had a strong game with 122 yards and a rushing touchdown. But the Redskins slowed down a bit after the first quarter when they gained 186 of their 420 total yards. Of course, it's tough to keep up that pace. But the big stat was that they scored touchdowns on three of four trips inside the red zone. The Ravens did a good job against Robert Griffin III for most of the game, but he still threw for 246 yards and rushed for 34. They had some issues with the zone read run game. Fellow rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins rescued the Redskins after Griffin sprained his right knee by completing two passes for 26 yards and a touchdown. Cousins scored on a two-point conversion to tie the game with less than a minute to play. Previous game's grade: B+
If you just look at total yards, this was yet another bad game by the defense. The Redksins allowed 359 yards as the Ravens converted six of 12 third downs. And the Redskins allowed 28 points. But the Redskins inched their grade up by doing what they've done well most of the year: cause turnovers. A six-man rush led to a poor Joe Flacco throw in the middle of the field that was tipped and intercepted by London Fletcher. Linebacker Rob Jackson stripped Flacco on a sack and then recovered the ball. The Redskins converted those into two field goals. After allowing 21 points in the first half, the defense played better in the second. Safety Madieu Williams struggled in coverage and with his tackling. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall was beaten by Anquan Boldin for a 31-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Hall was expecting help from Williams on a 19-yard scoring toss to Boldin in the first quarter. Previous game's grade: B
Special teams: B+
It would have been another B, but the decision to start Richard Crawford at punt returner over Brandon Banks proved to be a good one. Crawford returned a punt 64 yards to set up the game-winning filed goal in overtime. Niles Paul was mediocre as a kick returner and was fortunate that his fumbled kickoff was recovered out of bounds. PK Kai Forbath remains perfect; he made three more field goals and is now 14 for 14 on the season. The coverage was OK, though Jacoby Jones took advantage of Forbath's line-drive kickoffs to average 29 yards per return. Previous game's grade: B
Once again, this is as much about having a mindset as it is about Xs and Os. The Redskins were not in control of this game at halftime and the Ravens were close to grabbing a double-digit lead in the third quarter before a turnover. And their quarterback was out for the final minute of regulation. Yet the Redskins continue to find ways to win games. The offensive play-calling was solid, as it's been all season. The Ravens showed different looks than what the Redskins had seen much of the season, but it's not as if they stymied Washington. Defensively, the Redskins continue to be hurt by big plays -- that's not going to change. But the Redskins did a better job in the second half with aggressive calls to generate pressure against Flacco, who does not handle it that well. Previous game's grade: A-
John Keim covers the Redskins for the Washington Examiner. Follow him on Twitter @CBSRedskins or @John_Keim.