The Redskins dominated an injury-depleted Green Bay Packers squad in primetime on Sunday Night Football, but there are no amount of if, ands, or buts that can diminish that at 6-3-1, Washington is very much alive in the post-season hunt in the NFC.
Whether there is a legitimate shot to content for the division title, or if the best the team can hope for is a fifth or sixth seed in the conference as a wild card berth, feels of little significance after the victory. All that matter is that with their win, the Redskins to stay on the inside looking out heading into the final four weeks of the regular season. With conference (and division) leaders, the Dallas Cowboys, looming large on short rest this Thursday, here’s how the playoff picture stacks up in the NFC.
NFC Playoff Picture:
The Redskins stay a half game up on the Minnesota Vikings, whom they currently hold the tie-breaker advantage over with their week 10 win, a 26-20 victory at home. Washington also now holds a 1.5 game lead over the Philadelphia Eagles following their 26-15 loss to the NFC West leading Seattle Seahawks, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (wait, really?) after their upset victory over 3.5 point favorites, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Every team ahead of Washington either won their week 11 matchup (Dallas def. Baltimore, Seattle def. Philadelphia, Detroit def. Jacksonville and Giants def. Bears), or was on bye (Atlanta) so the Redskins win allowed them to remain competitive and in the hunt for another week.
Washington increased their playoff odds according to Five Thirty Eight from 42% in week 11, to 56% in week 12.
AFC Playoff Picture:
Rejoice Browns fans, it’s finally over!
The Oakland Raiders (wait, really?) have taken the top seed from the New England Patriots based on strength of victory (Oakland has a score of .469 to the New England’s .375) which is the fifth tie-breaker between two division-leading clubs. The two wild card teams (both hailing from the AFC West) are two games ahead of AFC North-leading Baltimore in the win column, who currently holds the head-to-head tie-breaker over the Pittsburgh Steelers with their final contest still yet to come on Christmas Day. The Miami Dolphins have their work cut out for them to claim a spot in the playoffs, but have the fourth-lowest strength of schedule (.442) in the AFC over their remaining games this season.