Point-Counterpoint: Will the Redskins make the playoffs?

Point-Counterpoint: Will the Redskins make the playoffs?
October 11, 2013, 11:15 am
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Redskins aren't underestimating Tony Romo

In past years, a 1-3 record at the quarter pole of the season would have Redskins fans talking about spring free agent targets and the draft, not about playoff possibilities. But a number of factors, including last year’s successful rally from a 3-6 start to a playoff spot, makes it seem like Robert Griffin III and Co. still have a shot.

We know that they can make the playoffs; the question is will they? Redskins insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler debate that question in this week’s edition of Point-Counterpoint. 

El-Bashir: I believe the Redskins will indeed make a post-bye run and earn a second straight playoff berth. And here are two reasons they'll do it: 1) Someone is going to win the sad sack NFC East, so why not the Skins? And 2) the Redskins are a good team that’s played poorly, not a bad team that’s incapable of winning. Further, a record of 8-8 probably will be good enough to take the worst division in football. So that means a relatively healthy Redskins’ team, led by a rapidly improving Griffin, simply must win four of its remaining five division contests, then eke out three more Ws from its other seven games. In theory, that means beating the Eagles once, the Cowboys once, the winless Giants twice and then mustering victories against the Chargers, Vikings and Falcons (who have a combined four wins). It can happen and I suspect that it will.

Tandler: That sure is a pretty picture that Tarik paints but unfortunately it’s not realistic. I’m not talking about the Redskins’ path to eight wins; that looks quite plausible. But eight wins won’t get it done in the NFC East. You not only have to look at the Redskins’ remaining games, you have to look at those of the two teams who are both a game ahead of Washington in the standings. Both Philadelphia and Dallas already have two very tough common games, those against the 5-0 Broncos and 5-0 Chiefs, behind them. The Redskins still have to play those games. On the other hand, the Redskins have an “easy” win over the Raiders in the books while the Eagles and Cowboys have yet to play Oakland. The bottom line is that either the Cowboys or Eagles—or both—will find a way to win nine games. That, unfortunately, will leave the Redskins on the outside looking in.