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Cowboys—After Further Review

Cowboys—After Further Review

Not much time to go into too much tonight. I'm getting ready to go on the second, Southern leg of my three games in five days football odyssey, hitting the road for Jacksonville at 3 AM. Instead of the usual review of the game blog, just a few points:

  • Nobody should pinch Todd Collins—He's living a dream right now. It's as though he's spent all of these years imagining what it would be like to step in and post a QB rating of over 100 while leading his team to four straight wins to get into the playoffs and it was exactly like he had imagined it. He's making sure that he keeps going steady because he doesn't want to wake up.
  • You'll never see a better pass—Collins' fourth-quarter strike to Moss to clinch the game was absolutely perfect. Moss didn't have to think about breaking stride or adjusting. For that matter, Santana barely had to move his hands. You can't throw that pass any better.
  • Words don't do Gibbs justice—The clichés about the job that Joe Gibbs has done keep pouring out. I can't really blame the beat writers and columnists going on about the steady determination, the unshakable faith, the willingness to deflect credit and absorb blame, and the leadership by example that the Hall of Fame coach has displayed over the past four weeks. His coaching performance defies description. If you've check out this space with any regularity you probably know that I have a ton of faith in Gibbs and even I truly wondered if he could pull this off after seeing him so down and shaken after the Buffalo game.
  • Portis turned down a chance to do a Randy Moss—Mike Wise of the Post asked Clinton Portis if he felt that his performance over the past several weeks has vindicated him after many were saying that he was washed up earlier this season. On Saturday, when Randy Moss was asked about setting the touchdown receptions record, he took the opportunity to lash out at his critics, saying that breaking the record itself wasn't special but that "shutting you guys up (the media) was what really made it special." Portis, on the other hand, declined a chance to take any shots. He said that people are going to write what they're going to write and that his true vindication would come when he's wearing a Super Bowl ring.
  • It would be a shame if the Redskins had to part ways with Shawn Springs—The guy is playing lights out at cornerback and he's been solid all year. He has a cap number of $7.5 million next year and $5 million of that is salary. He'll be 33 in March and that's an awful lot of cash for a corner that old. It will be up to him if he wants to redo his deal and stay or get cut and go elsewhere.
  • I expect the Redskins to beat Seattle—This is a better Redskin team than the one that went to Seattle for the playoffs two years ago, particularly at the quarterback position, and the Seahawks aren't playing as well as they were then. The Redskins had several early chances to score in that game and put the pressure on big time, but they let the Seahawks and the crowd hang around and eventually the 'Hawks won. That clearly was a case of the better team winning; the better team will win on Saturday, too.

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Need to Know: Betting on the Redskins' playoff race outcomes

Need to Know: Betting on the Redskins' playoff race outcomes

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, December 3, one day before the Washington Redskins play the Arizona Cardinals.

Timeline

Today's schedule: No availability

Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 8; Panthers @ Redskins 16; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 21

Injuries of note:
Out:
TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), DE Anthony Lanier (leg)
Questionable: G Brandon Scherff (ankle), OT Ty Nsekhe (ankle), Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back)
Final injury report

Redskins vs. Cardinals
FOX, Sunday, 4:25 p.m., Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman
Line: Cardinals -2.5

Resetting the playoff odds

The Redskins start their stretch drive to the playoffs tomorrow. The will play five games in 29 days. After that, they will have either earned the right to keep playing or will they go home.

Let’s get out the imaginary $100 in casino chips and look at the various possibilities of the finish to the season and spread out the chips based on how likely each scenario is. As always, you are welcome to jump into the comments if you agree or disagree.

Win NFC East, $0—This might be worth a buck or two but this place doesn’t have any chips smaller than $5 and it’s not worth investing even that much in the chance of this happening. The scenario would have to be the Redskins winning out, the Cowboys losing out, and the Giants losing at least two more games. I’d put something on the first scenario and a few chips on the last one but no way is Dallas going 0-4. Keeping my chips in my pocket on this one.

Wild card as No. 5 seed, $40—To do this the Redskins would have to stay ahead of the wild card contenders behind them (see next scenario) and make up a game and a half on the Giants. They play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins would have to make up one game between now and then and they could then determine their status on January 1 at FedEx Field. The Giants go to Pittsburgh on Sunday and host Dallas a week after that so we will see how that looks in a couple of weeks. As of now, the No. 6 seed would go to Detroit for the first round of the playoffs while the No. 5 would play the Falcons in Atlanta. That, of course, is subject to change.

Wild card as No. 6 seed, $35—I think getting the five seed is slightly more likely than getting the six since I think the Giants are a mirage. But even if New York keeps it going, the Redskins can clinch a spot by running the table in their last five games. That would make them 11-4-1 and no other wild card contender could catch them. If they win four of five, only the Bucs can catch them and it would take a 5-0 finish for Tampa Bay. Winning three of five still gives them a good shot at getting in although at that point you are also opening the door for the Vikings, Saints, Packers, and Eagles to catch fire and jump ahead of them.

Out of playoffs, $25—I might be putting a little too much here but it’s the NFL and it’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that the Redskins could finish 2-3 and miss out altogether. Their margin for error is slim and an injury here and a bad break there could have them on the outside looking in.

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When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

When asked to vote for top 20 players, Pierre Garcon just wrote 'Kirk Cousins' 20 times

Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon just filled out his ballot for the annual NFL Top 100 Players list.

Let's just say it's pretty one-dimensional. 

Straight like that

A photo posted by Pierre Garcon (@pierregarcon) on

As you can see, the form asks guys to rank who they consider the top 20 players in the league. But instead of naming 20 different players, Garcon voted for the same player 20 times. Talk about stuffing the ballot box. 

No surprise, but he's hyping his quarterback Kirk Cousins. 

Cousins is having a career year with the Redskins. His stock has soared over the last three weeks especially. Take a look at his numbers in that span: 84 completions on 116 attempts for 1,086 yards (72 percent), eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. 

Those efforts earned the Michigan State product NFC Offensive Player of the Month honors. And more importantly, Cousins has the Redskins in favorable position to make the playoffs for the second year in a row.

So far this season, Garcon has caught 52 passes from Cousins for 636 yards and two scores. 

MORE REDSKINS: Reed out, 7 other Redskins questionable