The Redskins may not be a playoff caliber team yet. But they could well make the playoffs.
At 4-5 they are in second place in the NFC East, a half game behind the 5-5 Giants in the division and tied with the Eagles. The Redskins do have a win over the Eagles in their pocket but since they have another game to play in Philly that tiebreaker is not yet settled.
Here are the remaining games for the NFC East contenders (not including the Cowboys because at 2-7 they are not contenders):
Redskins: @Panthers, Giants, Cowboys, @Bears, Bills, @Eagles, @Cowboys
Giants: Bye, @Redskins, Jets, @Dolphins, Panthers, @Vikings, Eagles
Eagles: Bucs, @Lions, @Patriots, Bills, Cardinals, Redskins, @Giants
The toughest game left on the Redskins’ schedule is against the 9-0 Panthers this Sunday. They will be playing with house money in that one. A win would be a huge boost. But a loss would have them no more than a game out of the division lead.
Besides the Panthers, the only game the Redskins have left against a team with a winning record is the home game against the 5-4 Bills.
If they do lose to the Panthers the games against the Giants and Cowboys would become critical. If they take those two games at home they would be no worse than a game out of division lead, depending on what the Eagles do. Philly hits its tough stretch starting in mid December with games against the undefeated Patriots and 7-2 Cardinals.
There are way too many “what if” scenarios to play out to draw a road map for the Redskins to take the NFC East title. But Redskins fans who have been making travel plans for after the regular season ends on January 3 might want to hold off and let this play out. There could be a home playoff game for the Redskins the next weekend.