With the win this week at Dallas and the upcoming match against the Giants, Redskins Nation is talking playoffs. The rhetoric so far has the Giants losing to Green Bay Sunday night and us fighting them for a piece of the NFC East lead next week. Even if that scenario doesn't pan out (the Giants are notorious for having strong Decembers) there is still reason to think that the Skins could end up with the 2nd Wildcard. According to NFL.com, here is the list of non-division-winning NFC teams in the playoff hunt:
- Chicago (7-3)
- Seattle (6-4)
- Tampa Bay (6-4)
- Minnesota (6-4)
- New Orleans (5-5)
- Washington (5-6)
This looks kind of bad for the Sons of Washington, until you notice something about the three teams directly above them: they all lost to the Redskins this year. Now consider that Minnesota plays Chicago this week, Tampa plays Atlanta, and New Orleans plays San Francisco and there is a chance that at the end of the week the Redskins can overtake the Saints and be a single game behind the other two.
As I'm sure you've noticed, even overtaking Tampa, Minnesota, and New Orleans leaves us on the outside looking in. Which brings me to Seattle. We wont play the Seahawks this year so if we tie with them record-wise it comes down to divisional record. Seattle is 4-4 in the NFC with the following opponents remaining: at Chicago and then home against the 49ers, Cardinals, and Rams. The Redskins are 5-4 in the NFC with one more game against each of our NFC East foes remaining. Going 2-1 in that stretch and having Seattle go 2-2 or worse will win us the tie-breaker over that team as well and insert the Redskins into the post-season. Our record against common opponents does not stack up favorably against Seattle so we really don't want to tie them on the divisional record.
Do we need help? Sure we do, but the wildcard really isn't that far out of reach (despite the assumption that only one team will make it from the NFC East). The moral of this story is that there are actually SEVERAL ways for this team to make the playoffs that are achievable and that the Skins actually have somewhat of an inside track. Keep drinking that kool-aid Skins fans, this party is just getting started.