Redskins Playoff Picture: NFC Week 13


Redskins Capital Connection podcast co-host Mark Phillips brings you this article breaking down the NFC Playoff picture going into week 13 of the season, and how it needs to break for the Redskins to have the best shot at making the post-season!

So I have a confession to make for those of you who only know me through Twitter and the Redskins Capital Connection podcast; I’m a stat and numbers geek.

Seriously. Kevin Sheehan has nothing on me when it comes to evaluating playoff scenarios. I’m an Accountant by trade so analyzing numbers is what I do. It’s nice to get paid for that skill but frankly I enjoy using it much more when analyzing my favorite football team. They haven’t given me much of a chance to do this in recent years so I have to jump on this opportunity whenever I can.

I can hear some of you screaming at me – ‘stop jinxing us!’. Save your outrage. There is no stopping this numbers geek at this point. Each week the Redskins remain in the playoff hunt I will try as best I can to talk about the games that matter to the team and what best helps the team in the playoff chase.

Below you will see all games that matter to us as Redskins fans. I will start with the least important game as I see it to us as fans to the most important. Believe it or not all 16 NFC teams play in games that matter to the Redskins at this point. Here is what I think needs to happen to best help the Redskins:


#9 – Carolina @ New Orleans

Carolina is meaningless to the Redskins at this point. They will finish ahead of the Redskins in the standings no matter what happens from this point out. The Saints are collapsing. The Redskins are one game ahead of them and hold the tie breaker based on head to head victory.

Who We Want To Win – Carolina

Why – As I said Carolina is meaningless to the Redskins at this point so further burying New Orleans makes them less viable as a playoff challenger

#8 – Arizona @ St Louis

It would be tough to catch Arizona at this point. Arizona is 4 games up on the Redskins with 5 to play. Arizona has a difficult schedule but not so difficult that the Redskins are likely to catch them. St Louis is a team similar to New Orleans at this point. They are one game behind the Redskins and lose all tiebreakers to the Skins.

Who We Want To Win – Arizona

Why – The Redskins aren’t catching Arizona. May as well have them win games against teams the Redskins are batting with for playoff position. Like New Orleans a St Louis loss here buries them further behind the Redskins.

#7 – San Francisco @ Chicago

San Francisco is not very good but they seem to be playing hard. Chicago is getting hot and has won 3 of their last 4. The Redskins play in Chicago next week so they could end up taking care of them themselves. San Francisco is two games behind the Redskins while the Bears match the Skins 5-6 record.

Who We Want To Win – San Francisco

Why – The 49ers aren’t likely to go on a run so I don’t see them as a threat to the Redskins long term. Chicago is a different story. With a win here the Bears get to 6-6 and play the Redskins with a lot of confidence. Yes the Redskins can take care of business against them anyway but let’s make sure we have some breathing room with the Bears.

#6 – Green Bay @ Detroit

The Pack are 7-4, two games ahead of the Redskins, but are slumping. They have a tough remaining schedule with games at Oakland, at Arizona and against Minnesota. The Lions are 4-7 with a relatively easy remaining schedule with games at St Louis, at New Orleans and against San Francisco. This is one of the more quietly interesting games of the week

Who We Want To Win – Detroit

Why – Toughest game for me to decide. Detroit could easily get on a roll as this would be 4 wins in a row with winnable games as far as the eye can see. They are a scary team to the Redskins playoff chances. That said a faltering Green Bay could be caught by the Redskins if it ends up a chase for the wild card. The Redskins are ahead of Detroit in the standings so if they take care of business the Lions won’t matter.

#5 – Seattle @ Minnesota

Minnesota is three games up in the standings over the Redskins with five to play. It will be difficult to catch them. Not impossible but difficult even if the Redskins ran the table which no self-respecting Skins fan should expect at this point. Seattle is the devil and they are one game up on the Redskins at this point.

Who We Want To Win – Minnesota

Why – You don’t walk up to make sure Jason Voorhees is dead you incinerate him. Seattle just doesn’t die. They are staggering a bit this season so we need Minnesota to drop another hammer blow on them. Plus whenever the Redskins have made the playoffs since 2005 it’s always Seattle. ALWAYS SEATTLE!!!! Let’s take a flame thrower to them. A loss drops the Seahawks to 6-6 giving the Skins a chance to catch them in the standings.

#4 – Atlanta @ Tampa Bay

Biggest out of NFC East game for the Redskins this week. Washington is tied with Tampa in the standings and a game behind Atlanta. Atlanta is reeling right now while Tampa is doing what 5-6 teams do…. Playing inconsistently. Tampa does have the easier schedule from here on out as Atlanta still has 2 games left with Carolina.

Who We Want To Win – Tampa Bay (barely)

Why – It is important to the Redskins long term playoff chances that Tampa finishes ahead of Atlanta in the standings. Why is that? In a multiple team wild card tiebreaker scenario the first thing the NFL does is apply divisional tiebreakers to eliminate all but one team from each division. That means if the Redskins were tied with Tampa and Atlanta for a wild card spot the NFL would first settle the divisional tie between Tampa and Atlanta. The Redskins win the tiebreaker over Tampa Bay but lose it to Atlanta.

#3 – Philadelphia @ New England

Philly is struggling and get to go on the road to play an angry 10-1 defending Super Bowl Champion. The Eagles are reeling and face a brutal closing stretch.

Who We Want To Win – New England

Why – Rule # 2 of helping Redskins playoff chances…. Always pull for an AFC team over and NFC team…. Especially an NFC East team. Philly at with Buffalo and Arizona coming up is finished.

#2 – NY Jets @ NY Giants

As someone recently pointed out the last two Giants Super Bowl Championships occurred in seasons where they suffered a late season crushing loss to the Redskins. If the Seahawks are Jason Voorhees the Giants are Michael Myers. They are never dead when you think they are.

Who We Want To Win – Rule # 2 of helping Redskins playoff chances applies here. I want the Giants out of the playoffs. Seriously the Giants are 8-1 in their last 9 playoff games with two Super Bowl titles.

#1 – Dallas @ Redskins

The Redskins game is obviously the game of most importance every week. Keep winning and the other games are essentially meaningless.

Who We Want To Win – DUH!!!

Why – DUH!!!



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