Redskins Capital Connection’s resident futurologist Mark Phillips has done what he continues to do each year; rubbed his crystal ball, recited the magic words, and cast his eye forward to determine who Redskins fans should be rooting for in all the other games that matter! The Redskins are very much still alive in the playoff hunt, but there’s always a few results that would help Washington inch closer to clinching a spot, and here they are…
There is a Cialis commercial out there that warns to avoid their product if your heart isn’t healthy enough for sex. It’s a nice warning but you’re going to ignore it because…. sex. The Washington Redskins need a similar warning which I should follow but I won’t because…. Redskins. On six occasions this year the Redskins have had a lead of 7 points or less in the final minutes as their defense took the field. On five of those occasions the opposition got into Redskins territory. Only the Giants failed to get there. On four occasions, they got inside the 20. The first Eagles game they didn’t make it that far. On three of the remaining four they turned the ball over either on downs or by fumble. Only the Lions beat the odds and scored to win the game. I refused to count the Bengals debacle in this list on general principle.
Five times this year the Redskins have been down a score or less and were driving to take the lead or tie. They failed to score in two of those games (Dallas at home and Arizona). The offense did drive for late scores in the other three games and the defense held on in two of those three with again the Lions being the exception. I don’t know when I will die but I do know how. If I die under suspicious circumstances, please let the authorities know…. the Redskins did it. Sure, they will have some unknowing accomplice likely named Cowboys, Giants, Eagles or a less likely suspect but the Redskins will have help. My last words will likely be something involving prevent defense and if it happens this year make sure Joe Barry gets charged but I feel strong enough right now to probably outlast him. The point is someone needs to pay and I am counting on you, the reader, to make sure that happens. WARNING – If you watch the Redskins to be a better witness please make sure your heart is healthy enough for bad defense.
But hey they won. That means there will be new tenants on….. The Redskins Review Irrelevancy List. For those of you that need a refresher on what the list is the teams on this list don’t matter to the Redskins anymore. Their games don’t matter unless they are playing a team that does matter to the Redskins.
Last Week’s list included….
- The San Francisco 49ers (eliminated from catching the Redskins)
- The Chicago Bears (eliminated from catching the Redskins)
- The Los Angeles Rams (eliminated from catching the Redskins)
- The Carolina Panthers (Magic Number – 1)
- The Dallas Cowboys (We cannot catch them)
- The Seattle Seahawks (They will be NFC West Champs)
- The Detroit Lions (We cannot realistically catch them)
New additions this week include
- The Philadelphia Eagles (Magic Number – 1)
- The New Orleans Saints (Magic Number – 1)
The candidates for entry next week are
- The Arizona Cardinals (on with either a loss OR a Redskins win)
- The Minnesota Vikings (on with a loss AND a Redskins win)
- The Green Bay Packers (on with a loss AND a Redskins win)
I rebounded a little last week going 4-2 in non-Redskins games of significance. There remain seven games on the root for list this week but one of those games was borderline. I suspect this will be the last week that more than five games will matter each week. As always, we look at them from least to most important of significance to the Redskins in my opinion.
7. New Orleans at Arizona
This is an elimination game. Realistically both teams are out of the playoffs but the loser is mathematically eliminated. I expect both teams to be eliminated by the end of this NFL weekend. Root for New Orleans I guess since the Redskins would clinch over both teams with a win on MNF if the Saints win. This game barely made the list so screw it do whatever you want. I am guessing the Cardinals pull it out.
6. Green Bay at Chicago
The Bears won’t roll over, the Bears won’t roll over, the Bears won’t roll over, the Bears won’t roll over, the Bears won’t roll over, the Bears won’t roll over, the Bears won’t roll over, the Bears won’t roll over, obviously root for the Bears and it is a rivalry game and the Bears did play the Lions hard and the Packers aren’t the same team on the road (2-4 vs 5-2 at home) but I would not be shocked if the Bears totally rolled over. I do expect Green Bay to pull it out.
5. Indianapolis at Minnesota
This is the last AFC vs NFC game of 2016 that will matter to the Redskins. The Eagles also play the Ravens this week but we beat both their asses so neither of them matter to me until 2017 for Philly and 2020 for the Ravens. Minnesota is a team that has to grind out wins every week. The loser of this game is done for the playoff chase this year. Both need a fair amount of help as it is and even with a win neither team will be in playoff position but this is definitely a play out game. Both teams are flawed on one side of the ball so this game will come down to which team overcomes their weakness (defense for Indy, offense for Minnesota). Both teams lost in disappointing fashion last week. This is a tough game to call but I think I will go with Minnesota as the home team. As always root for the AFC to beat the NFC.
4. San Francisco at Atlanta
I almost didn’t bother to put this game on the list. San Francisco just blew a 14-point lead at home against the 2nd worst team in the AFC. The Redskins would benefit from an Atlanta loss so root for the 49ers but seriously don’t even waste your time watching. Atlanta rolls in this one. In fact, it would be a shock if Atlanta loses again in the regular season.
3. Detroit at New York Giants
I must confess the Giants surprised me Sunday night. Now if Dallas didn’t drop about 72 Eli Manning passes the results would have been different but they did drop those passes and deprived us of what could have been one of the great Eli-face nights. For the record, I am petitioning to have interceptions renamed as Eli-nt’s. It has a nice ring to it. It is in the Redskins best interest to have the Lions win this game but even a loss by them isn’t disastrous for the Redskins. If the Giants win out to the finale they will have nothing to play for that night. They will likely be locked into the #5 slot for the playoffs. Root for the Giants to lose this game but if they do it greatly increases the chances that the Redskins last game against the Giants will be for a playoff spot for one of them. I’m pulling for Detroit here but there are positives to the Redskins in either result.
2. Tampa Bay at Dallas
Yes, I know Dallas losing last week hurt the Redskins but Dallas losing is never not funny. We need Tampa Bay to lose. I know there are many Redskins fans that I respect that will never root for Dallas. Those people are wrong. You need to get in the tournament. You never know what happens when you get there. Teams that are 9-7 have gotten hot at the right time and done, as DJax calls it, epic shit. I root for what is best for the Redskins. If you think that makes me less of a fan so be it. Rooting for Dallas to lose when it hurts the Redskins is analogous to doing something that hurts your kids because it also hurts your ex-spouse who you hate. I love the Redskins more than I hate the Cowboys. Dallas is going to be in the playoffs and they are going to be the #1 seed most likely. Why do you care if they are 14-2 or 13-3 as the #1 seed? Hope they help you along the way. Tampa does have a good chance to win this game because Dallas offense has struggled the last couple of weeks and Tampa’s defense has been lights out. Tampa winning would be delicious because the QB controversy would start to devour the Cowboys. I would love that. It would also hurt the Redskins. I love the Redskins more than I hate the Cowboys. Root for Dallas or against Tampa if that works for you. I think Dallas wins a tight one.
1. Carolina at Washington
Just like last week if the Redskins lose they are probably done. I know Redskins fans will bemoan our history on Monday Night Football and I get that but in this case playing on Monday night has some advantages. At this moment, Carolina is still alive for the playoffs. By Monday they may not be. That has to hurt their motivation just a little bit. The Redskins will also know where they stand in the playoff race which will give some clarity to the game. Even if Tampa, Atlanta and New York all lose a win is imperative in this game. Also, the Redskins have never beaten Cam Newton. I would personally like to see that change.
Teams Eliminated from Playoff Contention
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
Teams on the Edge of Elimination
- Philadelphia (out with a loss or win by Washington)
- Carolina (out with a loss or win by Washington)
- New Orleans (out with a loss or win by Washington)
- Arizona (out with a loss and win by Washington)
All the above teams are also out if both Tampa Bay and Atlanta win this week.
Wild Card Threat Power Rankings
- New York Giants
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Green Bay Packers
- Minnesota Vikings
There are no other realistic threats. If anyone else catches them the Redskins will be out of the playoff race.
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