The Wild, Wild Wildcard Race: Where the Skins Stand

First off, I'd like to apologize for my lack of posts. As contributor hibachi pointed out, there has been a slower-than-usual post rate around here. Funny because after Skins losses, everything around here seems so slow down. Which brings me to my next point:

FEEL FREE TO POST.

This site is all about participation. A blog community is only one when everyone posts and responds. That is all for the soap box for me. On to the fun stuff.

The loss to the Cowboys (oh, and wasn't it special to have all those Cow Sheep visit... funny, they must have been busy in week 4) marks 2 things: an more specific and interesting wildcard race and 10 games of the 16 game season down. So, who still has a legitimate shot at the playoffs? I'm gonna take a look at the NFC, division by division. Let the fun begin.

NFC West: I'm about to write the Cards in for the division title with a pen. San Fran is showing too little, too late. There is only one team making the playoffs from this division.

NFC North: The Lions are out. Everyone else has a shot at 5-5. I can't see two teams making it out.

NFC South: The Saints are trying to play their way out of it, but they haven't yet. The Falcons, Bucs and Panthers all have a shot at the division and they might be able to get a wildcard team.

Our beloved NFC East: The Giants will win and the Skins and Cowboys are making a play for a wildcard. The Eagles still have an outside shot, but they need to start winning.

So, what do we have? To me, the losers in the South and in the East are the only teams with a shot. The NFC North teams will beat each other into bad enough records that they'll miss the playoffs. So, for the sake of argument, the Cowboys, Redskins, Panthers, Bucs and Falcons are the teams I see vying for the 2 wildcard spots. Obviously, someone has to win the South... so the other 2 NFC South teams and the 2 NFC East teams are going to be in the mix. The Panthers are already 8-2 and the best thing for the Skins chances is for the Panthers to run through the division games at Atlanta (6-4) this weekend and against Tampa (7-3) in a few weeks. The Panthers already beat Atlanta at home and lost in Tampa.

The Cowboys and Skins are done with their season series... and both face common opponents (BAL, SF, SEA, NYG, and PHI) down the stretch. This is important because the wild card tie breaker is a) head-to-head games, b) division record and c) common opponents. The full break down can be found here. The 'Boys and 'Skins split of the season series means that division record is next... followed by record in games between common opponents.

Basically, the Skins need to win and win a lot. I think that it'll take at least 10 wins to make the playoffs in the NFC. That means the Skins have to go 4-2 from here on out. Seattle, San Francisco and Cincy are all bad teams that the Skins should beat, even though all 3 games are on the road. Speaking of road games, 4 of the last 6 games are on the road (@ BAL) and the only 2 home games are division games. Tough road ahead.

On the other hand, the Cowboys have 4 of the last 6 at home. They have to go to PIT and to PHI and have Seattle, San Fran, the Giants and Ravens at home. Hmm.

That's all I got for now. What's up?

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