Redskins still outside of playoffs looking in

Redskins still outside of playoffs looking in
December 10, 2012, 9:30 am
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The bad news for the Redskins is that even after yesterday’s exciting, exhilarating win over the Ravens, they still need help to get into the playoffs. The good news is that they have another team in their sights.

The Bears’ loss to the Vikings put the top wild card berth in play, with the Redskins just a game out of that spot. That means that the Redskins need help but it can come from additional sources.

Here is a look at the playoff picture going into Week 15

NFC East

Giants (8-5, 2-3 in NFC East, 7-3 in NFC)

Remaining games: @ Falcons (11-2), @ Ravens (9-4), Eagles

Redskins (7-6, 3-1 in NFC East, 6-4 in NFC)

Remaining games: @ Browns (5-8), @ Eagles (4-9), Cowboys

Cowboys (7-6, 3-2 in NFC East, 5-5 in NFC)

Remaining games:  Steelers (7-6), Saints (5-8), @ Redskins (7-6)

The standings stayed the same yesterday as all of the teams in the division won. That means advantage Giants because we are one game closer to the finish and the margin for error for the Redskins and Cowboys is just about gone.

One good thing that happened on Sunday was that the Falcons lost to the Panthers. If Atlanta had won, they would have wrapped up home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. That would have taken off some of their edge for their game against the Giants in Atlanta. If the Falcons beat the Giants and the Redskins win over Cleveland, the Redskins are tied for first place in the division. The Redskins have the tiebreaker edge over New York thanks to Washington’s 3-1 division record.

If the Cowboys beat the Steelers, they would be in a three-way tie with the Redskins still having the tiebreaker edge due to their head to head advantage in games played among the three teams.

Should the Redskins find themselves in that position next Sunday evening, they could clinch the division title by winning their final two games.

Wild card contenders

Seahawks (8-5, 6-4 in NFC)

Remaining games: vs. Bills (in Toronto), 49ers, Rams

Bears (8-5, 5-4 in NFC)

Remaining gamesPackers (8-4), @ Cardinals (4-9), @ Lions (4-8)

Vikings (6-6, 4-5 in NFC)

Remaining games: @ Rams, @ Texans, Packers

At the moment, the wild card race boils down to five teams all within a game of each other, going for two spots.

As noted, the Bears’ loss to the Vikings was big for the Redskins as it dropped Chicago to within a game of Washington. The Packers visit the Bears on Sunday and a Green Bay win would give the Redskins the opportunity to get into playoff position. The Bears and Redskins would be tied for one of the two wild card spots with the Redskins having the tiebreaker advantage with a better conference record.

Even if the Vikings join the two teams by beating the Rams the Redskins still have the advantage as Minnesota has five conference losses.

The Seahawks have four conference losses and they play an AFC game against the Bills in Toronto on Sunday. If they stumble there, the Redskins would pull even with them with a win. But they both would be 6-4 in the NFC and Seattle would hold the advantage with a better record in common games. Both teams have played the Rams, Vikings, Panthers, and Cowboys. Seattle is 3-1 in their games against that group with one still to play against the Rams. The Redskins are 2-2 with a game against Dallas still to play.

So, the bottom line is that a loss by either the Giants or Bears opens the door for the Redskins to get their playoff fate in their own hands. 

Note: The Bucs (6-7) and Rams (6-6-1) are still on the fringes of the hunt but they would have to play