Red­skins prob­a­bly need to win out to make play­offs

The Washington Times Daily - - SPORTS -

Sun­day’s win against the Philadel­phia Ea­gles kept the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins just out­side of a play­off spot in the NFC.

The Red­skins have three games to play, two of which are against teams well be­low .500. First are the Carolina Pan­thers on Dec. 19 at FedEx Field. It’s a Mon­day Night Foot­ball prime time game pit­ting Red­skins cor­ner­back Josh Nor­man against his for­mer team. The fol­low­ing week brings a trip to Chicago for a Christ­mas Eve game against the woe­ful Chicago Bears (310). The reg­u­lar sea­son ends when the New York Giants — just two games be­hind the Dal­las Cow­boys for the NFC East divi­sion lead — come to FedEx Field.

As it stands to­day, here is how the play­offs would shake out in the NFC:

No. 1 seed: Dal­las Cow­boys, 11-2 (bye, host through­out)

No. 2: Detroit Lions 9-4 (bye, host first

game) No. 3: Seat­tle Sea­hawks, 8-4-1 (host the Wild

Card game against the low­est seed)

No. 4: At­lanta Fal­cons, 8-5 (host the Wild Card game against the high­est seed)

No. 5: New York Giants, 9-4 (would play at At­lanta) No. 6: Tampa Bay Buc­ca­neers, 8-5 (would play at Seat­tle)

Still alive

Wash­ing­ton Red­skins, 7-5-1; Min­nesota Vik­ings, 7-6; Green Bay Pack­ers, 7-6; Ari­zona Car­di­nals, 5-7-1; New Or­leans Saints, 5-8; Carolina Pan­thers, 5-8; Philadel­phia Ea­gles, 5-8.


The play­off sim­u­la­tor at The Up­shot gives the Red­skins a 41 per­cent chance to get in. If they win out, their chance goes to 99 per­cent. If they go 2-1, they ba­si­cally have a 50-50 shot. If they fin­ish 1-2, their chance plum­mets to 29 per­cent. If they lose all three, they are out.

The Red­skins need to stay in front of Min­nesota and Green Bay. They need to be bet­ter than Tampa Bay in the fi­nal three games.

Wash­ing­ton owns the tiebreaker against both Min­nesota and Green Bay be­cause of head-to-head vic­to­ries against those two. Since they did not play the Buc­ca­neers this sea­son, the first step in a tiebreaker with Tampa Bay would be con­fer­ence record. The Red­skins are 5-4 against the NFC. The Buc­ca­neers are 6-3. The tiebreaker sys­tem be­comes more con­vo­luted af­ter that: ● Best won-lost-tied per­cent­age in com­mon games, min­i­mum of four.

● Strength of vic­tory.

● Strength of sched­ule.

● Best com­bined rank­ing among con­fer­ence teams in points scored and points al­lowed. ● Best com­bined rank­ing among all teams in points scored and points al­lowed.

● Best net points in con­fer­ence games.

● Best net points in all games.

● Best net touch­downs in all games.

● Coin toss.

Now, the re­main­ing sched­ules. Wash­ing­ton plays twice at home, where it is 4-2. Its fi­nal three games are against teams that are a com­bined 17-22.

Tampa Bay plays at Dal­las, at New Or­leans, then hosts Carolina. Its op­po­nents are a com­bined 21-18. The Bucs are 5-1 on the road, though.

Min­nesota plays In­di­anapo­lis, at Green Bay and hosts Chicago. Its op­po­nents are 16-23. The game against Green Bay will be mas­sive.

The Pack­ers play at Chicago, against the Vik­ings and at Detroit. They have the tough­est route. Those three op­po­nents are 19-20, but two of those games are on the road, where Green Bay is 2-4 this sea­son.


If the sea­son ended to­day, Kirk Cousins and the Wash­ing­ton Red­skins would be out of the play­offs. Two of their re­main­ing three games, though, are against sub-. 500 teams.

PAN­THERS AT RED­SKINS Mon­day: 8:30 p.m. TV: ESPN

Ra­dio: 980 AM wash­ing­ton­ /sports

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