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A Brief Primer On The Path To The Playoffs For The NFC East

Carolina Panthers v Washington Football Team Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

With the WFT game against the Carolina Panthers set to kick off in a little under an hour, here’s a brief primer courtesy of the /r/NFLPlayoffScenarios Subreddit (a very good follow!)

All four teams in the NFC East enter this week with the ability to earn a berth to the playoffs with just two weeks left to go, so here’s how things currently look with no games having gone final just yet:

Washington Football Team:

Option 1

  • WAS wins out

Option 2

  • WAS wins a game
  • NYG loses a game

Notes:

WAS win knocks out PHI on record, and DAL cannot win a tiebreaker with WAS due to the sweep and DAL’s bad division record. At that point, WAS just has to get past NYG. It will require winning outright, as a two-way tie goes to NYG on their sweep of WAS.

New York Giants

Option 1

  • NYG wins out
  • WAS loses a game

Option 2

  • NYG wins week 17
  • PHI loses week 16
  • WAS loses out

Notes:

NYG has the head-to-head sweep against WAS, so they have a bit of a buffer. However, their bad record makes the combined PHI/WAS and PHI/DAL games difficult to keep everyone to 6-10 or worse.

Dallas Cowboys

Only Option

  • DAL wins out
  • WAS loses out

Notes:

DAL was swept by WAS, and has no path to use a 3rd team to get past them, so DAL would have to clinch the division outright. NYG & PHI don’t matter because DAL will deliver them each a loss in the process of winning out.

Philadelphia Eagles

Only Option

  • PHI wins out
  • WAS loses week 16
  • NYG loses a game

Notes:

Since we’re not considering ties in this post, this is just a basic “win outright” option by having PHI win out and have WAS & NYG reach 10 losses (PHI winning out would give WAS their 9th loss and DAL their 10th).

The Giants are currently trailing the Baltimore Ravens 27-6 in the 4th quarter.