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Warpath To The Postseason: NFL Week 14

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Following a huge win in Philly, let’s take a look at the road ahead to the playoffs for the Redskins (and everyone else) through week 13 in the NFL.

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The good news is that on Sunday against the Eagles, the Redskins took care of business, moving their record to (7-5-1). The bad news is that with wins by the Giants, Buccaneers, Vikings, Packers, very nearly all the other teams that Washington fans were hoping to lose all did what they needed to do to stay very much in the postseason picture. While things have been fairly quiet in terms of postseason clinching scenarios and tie-breakers thus far, it’s setting NFL fans up for a rollercoaster ride in week 15 and 16 with 13 teams still in playoff consideration as we head into the final 3 weeks of the regular season.

NFC Standings:

Seed

Team

Record

Remaining Schedule

1

Dallas

11-2-0

TB, DET, @PHI

2

Detroit

9-4-0

@NYG, @DAL, GB

3

Seattle

8-4-1

LA, AZ, @SF

4

Atlanta

8-5-0

SF, @CAR, NO

5

N.Y. Giants

9-4-0

DET, @PHI, @WAS

6

Tampa Bay

8-5-0

@DAL, @NO, CAR

In the hunt

Seed

Team

Record

Remaining Schedule

7

Washington

7-5-1

CAR, @CHI, NYG

8

Minnesota

7-6-0

IND, @GB, CHI

9

Green Bay

7-6-0

@CHI, MIN, @DET

10

Arizona

5-7-1

NO, @SEA, @LA

11

New Orleans

5-8-0

@AZ, TB, @ATL

12

Philadelphia

5-7-0

@BAL, NYG, DAL

13

Carolina

4-8-0

@WAS, ATL, @TB

Eliminated

Seed

Team

Record

Remaining Schedule

14

Los Angeles

4-9-0

@SEA, SF, AZ

15

Chicago

3-10-0

GB, WAS, @MIN

16

San Francisco

1-11-0

@ATL, @LA, SEA

Legend: ( X ) -clinched playoff berth | ( Y ) -denotes division winner | ( Z ) -denotes first-round bye | ( * ) -clinched home-field advantage

Seriously Dallas? Why you gotta be like that? With an opportunity to clinch a first-round bye with a win over the Giants (9-4-0), the Cowboys (11-2-0) turned in a substandard performance, while allowing their NFC rivals to move a game up in the win column, further solidifying their hold on the first wild card position. The one potential saving grace for Redskins fans is the possibility that the Giants could be in a position come week 16, on the road in Landover, to have little to gain (other than pride) by playing their starters for a full 60 minutes.

Consider this fact, then file it away in the back of your mind and do not speak of it again.

Finally though, we do have some clinching scenarios to look at for the week ahead:

Dallas Cowboys

  • Clinch the NFC East title AND and first-round bye with a win/tie against the Buccaneers AND a Giants loss.
  • Clinch home-field advantage with a win over the Buccaneers AND a Giants-Lions tie.

Seattle Seahawks

  • Clinch the NFC West title with a win over the Rams OR
  • if the Cardinals lose/tie.

Detroit Lions

  • Clinch the NFC North title with a win over the Giants AND a Packers tie/loss, OR
  • a tie against the Giants AND a Packers loss AND a Vikings loss.

New York Giants

  • Clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Lions AND a Washington loss AND losses or ties from bot the Packers and Vikings

Atlanta is ahead of Tampa Bay in the NFC South based on common games record (6-3 to the Buccaneers' 5-4), while Minnesota is ahead of Green Bay in the NFC North based on their head to head matchup, with one more yet to be decided.

Predictably, Washington’s playoff odds rose to their week 13 levels, back to 46% from 39% a week ago according to Five Thirty Eight.

And an obligatory Hunger Games gif for the Bears and Rams whose postseason hopes were extinguished this week courtesy of an embarrassing home loss to the Falcons:

AFC Standings:

Seed

Team

Record

Remaining Schedule

1

New England

11-2-0

@DEN, NYJ, @MIA

2

Kansas City

10-3-0

TEN, DEN, @SD

3

Pittsburgh

8-5-0

@CIN, BAL, CLE

4

Houston

7-6-0

JAC, CIN, @TEN

5

Oakland

10-3-0

@SD, IND, @DEN

6

Denver

8-5-0

NE, @KC, OAK

In the hunt

Seed

Team

Record

Remaining Schedule

7

Miami

8-5-0

@NYJ, @BUF, NE

8

Baltimore

7-5-0

PHI, @PIT, @CIN

9

Tennessee

7-6-0

@KC, @JAC, HOU

10

Indianapolis

6-7-0

@MIN, @OAK, JAC

11

Buffalo

6-7-0

CLE, MIA, @NYJ

12

Cincinnati

5-7-1

PIT, @HOU, BAL

13

San Diego

5-8-0

OAK, @CLE, KC

Eliminated

Seed

Team

Record

Remaining Schedule

14

N.Y. Jets

4-9-0

MIA, @NE, BUF

15

Jacksonville

2-11-0

@HOU, TEN, @IND

16

Cleveland

0-13-0

@BUF, SD, @PIT

New England (11-2-0) regains the top spot after their Monday Night nail-biter that unseated Baltimore (7-6-0) from the top 6 and were replaced by Pittsburgh, whom they meet for a second time on Christmas Day. The Chiefs are ahead of Raiders in the AFC West based on a sweep of their head to head series, and if either team can get one more win they will clinch a playoff spot. In a bit of a reach, Denver is ahead of Miami based on strength of victory (.417 to the Dolphins' .322), which is the fifth tie-breaker between two teams.

Here are the AFC Clinching scenarios for next week:

New England Patriots

  • Clinch the AFC East title AND a first-round bye with a win or tie over the Broncos OR
  • if the Dolphins AND Steelers both lose/tie OR
  • if the Dolphins lose AND the Chiefs win.
  • Clinch the AFC East if the Dolphins lose to the Jets.

Oakland Raiders

  • Clinch a playoff berth with a win over the San Diego Chargers OR
  • a tie AND a Dolphins loss OR
  • a tie AND a Broncos loss OR
  • a tie AND a Dolphins tie AND a Broncos tie OR
  • a tie AND a Dolphins tie AND a Chiefs win OR
  • if the Dolphins lose AND Steelers lose/tie AND Broncos lose OR
  • if the Dolphins lose AND Steelers lose/tie AND Chiefs win/tie OR
  • if the Dolphins lose AND Ravens lose/tie AND Broncos lose OR
  • if the Dolphins lose AND Ravens lose/tie AND Chiefs win/tie.

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Clinch a playoff berth with a win over the Titans OR
  • a tie and a Dolphins loss OR
  • a tie and a Broncos loss/tie OR
  • if the Broncos lose AND the Ravens lose/tie OR
  • if the Broncos lose AND the Steelers lose/tie.

NFL Playoff Picture - Week 15
CBS Sports