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Week 13 Redskins Power Rankings Round-up:

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A look at where the Redskins stand as they make their playoff run (yep I said playoff run)!

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins might be just 5-6 and 0-5 on the road, but their win over the Giants put them in first place in the NFC East meaning they would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. That also means it won't be depressing to see where pundits rank the Redskins this week and in fact it will be very positive to a Skins fan base that is sick of being in the cellar of the NFC East. Here's a look at where a number of sites have the Redskins ranked: 17th 12th 13th

Washington Post: 15th 15th 19th 17th

Still some mixed reactions, which isn't too surprising given the losing record, but it's nice to see not a single ranking having them in the 20's (or worse). That hasn't been standard for this team, so it is a refreshing change of pace. I definitely understand some of the hesitation with putting the Redskins in the top half or in the "playoff picture" like I did with ranking them 12th. Now for me I always place the top 12 playoff finishers in those top 12 spots, others obviously don't rank teams on the same basis and that is fine. I think others are more wary of putting a team with a losing record that high and I get that.

We've had years where an 8-8 or 7-9 team made the playoffs while a team with a winning record missed out because there weren't enough wild card spots. Look at last season when the Panthers at 7-8-1 made the playoffs while the Eagles fell short at 10-6. It's tough to say the Panthers were a better team than the Eagles, when Philadelphia won 3 more games than the Panthers did in the regular season, but in the end the Panthers made the playoffs and the Eagles missed out. This year that could be the case for the Redskins, as they could easily be an 8-8 division winner.

One key difference though from last year and this year in terms of ranking teams though is that the Redskins getting in with a .500 record or worse, might not be any better than any of the other NFC teams who don't make the playoffs. Now that could change as currently it looks like the 6-5 Seahawks and Falcons and the 5-6 Bears and Buccaneers are fighting for one playoff spot (unless the Packers suffer a major collapse). Maybe the Seahawks get the final wild card berth and one of the other teams has a 9-7 record that stays at home, but it's far from a guarantee. So while the Redskins might be lucky in making the playoffs from a weak division, it's not as if the rest of the NFC is that much better than them.

In the end the Redskins don't need to worry about the wild card race (Yes there is a chance that they could make the playoffs that way, but it could be a lot tougher), and focus on another 5-6 team the New York Giants. The Redskins currently have the tie breaker over the Giants and they need to ensure they keep it that way. The most important thing of course is having the same record or better than the Giants, which means the Redskins will need at least two more wins. The Giants have the Dolphins and Eagles on their remaining schedule which are both likely wins. The question is can they win another game or two out of their other games versus the Jets, Panthers and Vikings. Assuming the Giants steal one of those three games, the Redskins will need to win three of their own.

They can't just be any three games as right now the advantage the Redskins have over the Giants is their division record. The Giants will likely finish 3-3 in the division, so the Redskins have to finish at 4-2 or 5-1 to ensure they control the tie-breaker. This week's game versus the Cowboys is crucial in that endeavor since it's the Redskins final home division game. The Redskins close out the season at the Eagles and Cowboys and while on paper they are better than both of those teams, given their struggles on the road the Redskins don't want to be in a position where they have to win both of those games.