Hogs Haven contributor and resident playoff possibility guru provided the one loss scenarios we'd need to sneak into the postseason:
NY would be in ahead of us because their worst-case finish is 9-7. Minnesota would get in ahead of us because if they beat us, their worst-case finish is is 9-7. We HAVE to beat MInn to make the playoffs.
If we beat Minnesota but lose to Dallas, we can still sneak in if Minnesota and New Orleans lose ALL of their remaining games, and Carolina loses ONE of its remaining games.
If we beat MINN but lose to Dallas, we would finish at 8-8, NFC conference record of 6-6
NY gets 5th wildcard spot with a worst-case record of 9-7.
We'd be competing with three other teams for the 6th wildcard spot: Minnesota, New Orleans, and Carolina. Obviously, if any of these teams finish 9-7, they'd get in ahead of us.
MINN: In addition to losing to us, we'd need them to lose to Denver to drop to 8-8. (we win tiebreaker head-to-head)
NEW ORLEANS: If they only lose one of their remaining two games, they'll finish 8-8 with an NFC record of 7-5, which would beat us in a tiebreaker. SO we'd need them to lose BOTH of their remaining games, to finish 7-9 overall.
CAROLINA: Would have to win BOTH their remaining games to finish at 8-8. Their NFC record would then be 6-6, like ours. The tiebreak would be common games, and they beat us in this tiebreak (our common opponents were tampa bay, arizona, green bay, and dallas. they would have a common games record of 3-2, ours would be 1-4, so they would get in). This means we'd need Carolina to lose at least ONE of their remaining two games so they finish at 7-9 or below.
All other opponents who might finish 8-8 lose to us because of head-to-head record(Detroit and Arizona) or NFC record (Philadelphia).
Should the Saints best the Eagles that means we're rooting for Adam Archuleta's Chicago Bears to save our day, assuming victory over the Vikings, and you never want to pin your hopes on the defensive prowess of Adam Archuleta. We learned that the hard way.
I might be wrong on this, but there is a possibility that we sneak into the playoffs even if the Saints win out. That would include us beating the Vikings and Cowboys (and finishing 9-7) and the Giants losing out, because I believe we'd carry a tie breaker over them if we all finish 9-7. So, the scenario is the Saints, Redskins, Giants, and Vikings all go 9-7. Wildcards would be, I believe, the Saints and the Redskins since we'd have at tie breaker over the Giants and the Vikings (in head to head). Since the Giants close out the season against the unbeatable Patriots, what you'd really be rooting for is them to lose to the Buffalo Bills at their house this Sunday. That game will be played in lovely upstate New York, which is quite pleasent this time of year: Sunday Forecast is "Very Poor", a rating which was designed to encompass conditions almost exclusively in places like upstate New York. Rain and wind are definite with a delicious high of 47 degrees, low of 25. But I'm sure that won't impact the game at all. Question to reader(s), especially zknower, if the Giants lose out can we still make the postseason even sans a Saints loss?
Other games to watch might be Dallas at Carolina and Green Bay at Chicago since the Cowboys securing homefield advantage with a win (and a Green Bay loss) might go a long way towards making them considerably more beatable when we they finish their season at Fed Ex. Then again, that's speculative enough and contrary to my Redskins fan nature to ignore for the moment. I think we can beat the Cowboys straight up at home whether they're playing at 100% or not, thanks to The Simpson.
Games to watch: Redskins at Vikings, Giants at Bills, Eagles at Saints.