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Week 14 rooting guide for Washington Commanders fans

Who needs to lose this week so that the Commanders can ultimately reach the postseason?

Washington Commanders v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Commanders are in the thick of the wildcard race in the NFC.

With a BYE this week, Washington fans can relax and watch the competition. But it can get a bit tricky to be sure who to root for when your team is in the midst of the wildcard race, so this article aims to clarify where the best interests of the Washington Commanders are optimized.

This week’s rooting guide

If you want to know who to root for in this weekend’s games, here’s a handy rooting guide aimed at maximizing Washington’s chances of earning a wildcard seeding:


Texans at Cowboys
As futile as it is likely to be, root for the Texans to pull off the miracle against the Cowboys, who are currently 16.5-point favorites per DraftKings.

Vikings at Lions
From a practical standpoint, the Lions cannot keep Washington out of the postseason, and the Vikings, who opened as 3-point favorites in this game but are now 2-point underdogs, are not going to be competing for a wildcard spot. BUT...

The Vikings are still in a position to potentially knock the Eagles out of the #1 seed, which I’m in favor of. When it comes to the Vikings & Cowboys for #2 & #3 seed, I prefer to see the two teams stay where they are relative to one another for two reasons. The first is that I like the idea of playing the Vikings in the Wildcard round, which is what we’d get with #2 vs #7. I don’t relish the idea of playing the Cowboys in Week 18, then lining up and playing them again 6 or 7 days later.

Minnesota Vikings v Washington Commanders Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

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So, let’s cheer on the Vikings in hopes of dislodging the Eagles from the top seed, and to minimize the likelihood of back-to-back games against the Cowboys. SKOL!

Eagles at Giants
Man, talk about Sophie’s choice! This one won’t be cheering for a win; rather, it’ll be rooting for a loss. A loss by the Eagles does nothing to advance Washington’s postseason aspirations; a loss by the Giants is a huge piece of the Commanders’ playoff puzzle. Don’t think of it as rooting for the Eagles...just close your eyes and try to enjoy the Giants loss. The Eagles are favored by 7 points.

Panthers at Seahawks
We want the Panthers (who have gone from 6.5-point underdogs to 4-point underdogs per DraftKings) to hang an “L” on the ‘Hawks. #KEEPPOUNDING

Las Vegas Raiders v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Buccaneers at 49ers
It’s irrelevant whether the Bucs or Falcons win the division. Washington fans want to see the Seahawks and Niners take as many hits as possible.

If I’m reading my notes right, 7th round QB Brock Purdy — actually, 2022’s “Mr. Irrelevant” — will be getting his first NFL start this Sunday after coming in during the 1st quarter against the Dolphins and leading the Niners to victory.

Miami Dolphins v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

An undersized, unheralded quarterback getting his first-ever pro start against Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers? That story line sounds familiar for some reason. This could get ugly...let’s hope so, anyway. We should all be Bucs fans this week.

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