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Skins’ Fate in Their Hands

Skins’ Fate in Their Hands

It's win out and in for the Redskins.

If they beat Minnesota tonight and then beat the Cowboys next Sunday at RFK, the Redskins will be in the playoffs. They got the help they needed today when New Orleans lost to Philadelphia.

The Skins can only be the sixth seed as they can't finish with any better than nine wins. The Giants are in with 10. That means they qualify they will go on the road to face the number three seed, which it appears that Seattle is about to wrap up. If they should win that game, they would travel to Dallas.

The fact that the Redskins control their destiny is remarkable considering the adversity, some of it self-created, some of it just horrendous ill fortune, that they have encountered this year.

  • Losing RT Jon Jansen for the season in the first half of the first game.
  • Losing RG Randy Thomas for the season in the first half of the second game.
  • The stunning loss to the Giants, setting a pattern for blowing halftime leads. On top of this one was the failure to send it into overtime after getting a first and goal in the late going.
  • Another lost halftime lead in Green Bay when dropped passes cost the Skins dearly and the winning points were scored on a fumble returned for a touchdown.
  • A win over the Cardinals generated a firestorm of criticism for a nearly-blown lead and various game-management issues.
  • Cornerback Carlos Rogers is lost for the season while the Patriots are in the process of hanging half a hundred on the Skins.
  • The loss to the Eagles with virtually every move Gibbs and company made was put under the microscope and criticized.
  • Late Jason Campbell interceptions cost the Skins back to back games in Dallas and Tampa.
  • The murder of Sean Taylor would have been a crushing blow to the team had he been a little-used reserve player. The fact that he was the team's best player multiplied the effect exponentially.
  • Ironically, against Buffalo the Redskins didn't have a problem with burning too many timeouts. That gave Gibbs the opportunity to call back to back timeouts to try to ice the Buffalo kicker. The resulting unsportsmanlike conduct call turned a long game-winning attempt into a short one.
  • In wins over Chicago and the Giants, the Redskins lose Jason Campbell and Rocky McIntosh for the year although—and now it's not folly to say this—Campbell could be back for the playoffs.

So, like the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail who fights on despite having limbs lopped off, the Redskins are pressing through the adversity.

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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.


Today's schedule: No availability

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

Injuries of note:
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