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The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead

Yes, I know you're not supposed to look ahead, play 'em one at a time, focus on the task at hand. But I'm not playing this Sunday and so far Joe Gibbs has not responded to my offer to help with the game plan. So I think that no damage will be done if I take a peek ahead at the Redskins' possibilities for who they will meet in the playoffs and when they will play.

The only spot the Redskins can get is the six seed. The Giants have wrapped up the other Wild Card spot and they have 10 wins and the most the Skins can finish up with is nine.

That means that if anyone offers to sell you tickets for a Redskins home playoff game, do not buy them. They can't host a playoff game no matter what. The higher seed gets home field and the Redskins can't be the higher seen in any game since they are the lowest seed.

Should the Redskins qualify, they will play at the three seed. Seattle has locked up that spot, so we would have a rematch of sorts of the 2005 season playoffs when the Skins gave the Seahawks some problems before bowing.

When would that game be played? There are four slots for the Wild Card round. NBC gets a Saturday doubleheader, one AFC game and one NFC game, with time slots at 4:30 PM and 8:00 PM Eastern. Fox and CBS each get a Sunday game, one at 1:00 PM, the other at 4:30. Out of the four time slots the only one that the Skins-Hawks couldn't play in is the Sunday 1:00 since it would be 10 AM in Seattle. The guess here is that NBC, having carried the Redskins the last two weeks, will ask for and get the New York market for its NFC game, which would put the Redskins into the late Sunday game.

If they win that one it would be on to Dallas. There is no March Madness-style bracket in the NFL playoffs. The highest remaining seed plays the lowest remaining seed. The Cowboys are the top seed and a surviving Redskin team would be the lowest remaining.

The Divisional round is January 12 & 13. On Saturday, Fox has a 4:30 game and CBS has the prime time 8:00 spot. On Sunday the games are at 1:00 and 4:30 and either network could get either slot. The preference is to give the top seed a Saturday game to give them the slight advantage of an extra day of rest before the conference title game, so that 4:30 on January 12 seems to be the likely landing spot for this game. Since the other NFC game will be in Green Bay there is no West Coast consideration so a possible Skins-Cowboys rematch could be in either time slot on Sunday.

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Pierre-Paul injury a big loss for Redskins' playoff rival

Pierre-Paul injury a big loss for Redskins' playoff rival

When you’re fighting for a playoff spot, it’s not only about what happens to you. It’s also about what happens to the teams you’re competing against for that playoff spot. And one of the Redskins’ main competitors got some very bad news this morning.

The Giants, who are in the No. 5 spot in the NFC, the first wild card spot, got word today that defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has had sports hernia surgery. The recovery time is at least four weeks, probably more like six. The Giants’ season is likely to be over by the time six weeks elapse, barring a playoff run without one of their best defensive players.

Pierre-Paul has helped solidify what was a shaky Giants defense last year. He has seven sacks and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. He has been heating up down the stretch with 5.5 sacks in his last three games.

His loss is a big blow for the Giants. They are a game ahead of the Buccaneers, who hold the No. 6 spot, and a game and a half ahead of the Redskins, who are currently seventh.

The Redskins play New York in Week 17 so the Redskins have to pick up just one game on the Giants over the next three to have a shot at passing them in the season finale.

The chances of that happening looked pretty good with Washington playing playing three teams with losing records in the Eagles, Panthers, and Bears and the Giants going against division leaders Dallas and Detroit in addition to the Eagles. With the Giants now without Pierre-Paul, the Redskins’ probabilities got tilted in their direction a little bit more.

Just finishing ahead of the Giants wouldn’t guarantee a playoff spot but it would come close. It would mean that the Redskins would have at least nine wins and the Redskins’ tie means that two teams would have to get to 10 wins to knock them out of the playoffs. The Bucs have to win three more games to get to nine wins and the Packers and Vikings would have to run the table.

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Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked — and what didn't — against Arizona

Redskins Stat Breakdown: What worked — and what didn't — against Arizona

CSN has teamed up with The Edge Systems to provide the occasional statistical review of Redskins game film. The Edge is analytical football software currently being used by coaches in the NFL, SEC, ACC and the media, providing some of the fastest and best data in football.

Below is a breakdown of the Redskins run game against Arizona - a game coach Jay Gruden admitted did not feature enough carries for Robert Kelley. 

The Redskins had a lot of success with their GAP runs early in the game.

In the first half they were successful on 75 percent of their GAP runs. 

As the game wore on the Redskins moved away from what had been successful and only ran two GAP runs in the second half.

As the Redskins power run game vanished, so did their prospects for winning the game.

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