It took a little while longer than we might have expected it to, but the Redskins have officially been eliminated from playoff contention. And all it took was three straight losses while the division leading Eagles rattled off two wins in a row. Now that we know the the Redskins won't be having any fun of their during the playoffs, we can focus on the next best thing, ruining another team's.
Over their final three games, the Redskins play the Cowboys once, and two other teams that are still in playoff contention in the Giants and the Jaguars.
The Giants are a half a game back in the NFC East as of now, but they still have a game tonight against the Vikings and can pull even with a win. They play the Redskins in the final week of the season, and if things remain the way they are, a playoff berth will be on the line. Wouldn't it be fun, and some sort of retribution for a lost season, if the Skins could knock one of their division rivals out of the playoffs?
The Jaguars currently sit one game ahead of the Colts, but that could be all tied up by the time they play the Redskins in two weeks. There isn't as much animosity between the Jaguars and the Skins as there is with the Giants, but it would still be a lot of fun to ruin another team's January.
And even though the game against the Cowboys next week doesn't mean anything in terms of the standings, I think we all know how important that game is going to be around here.
The rest of the playoff scenarios are as follows:
- NFC EAST: The Eagles and the Giants are basically tied with a big game next weekend. This should pretty much settle the division, although the loser should have a decent shot of making the playoffs as the Wild Card.
- NFC SOUTH: Tampa Bay would be in pretty good shape to make the playoffs if they were any other division. But The Falcons are 11-2, and the Saints are 10-3. Both of them are basically locks to make the playoffs. The Bucs can still make it in the other wild card, but there are a lot of teams with similar records out there.
- NFC NORTH: The Bears lead the division by one game over the Packers, who have to deal with the injury to Aaron Rodgers. The final wild card playoff spot will come down to the Pack, the Bucs, and the loser of the Giants/Eagles contest.
- NFC WEST: The Rams are leading the division at a robust 6-7, but the Seahawks have the same recod. One of them will make it to the postseason. You can blow up this whole division if you ask me.
- AFC EAST: The Pats have a little bit of a stronghold on the division now after their wins in the last two weeks and the Jets two straight losses. They now sit at 11-2 with a two game lead. The Jets still have an excellent chance of making the playoffs as a Wild Card team however.
- AFC SOUTH: Like I mentioned above, the Jaguars have a one game lead over the Colts, but the two teams will meet next week. The loser of this division will have a tough time making the playoffs as a wild card.
- AFC NORTH: Pittsburgh sits at 10-3, and the Ravens can close within one game if they beat the Texans tonight. Hopefully, for the sake of football, the team that loses out on the division still makes the playoffs as a Wild Card. These are two of the best teams in football and they both deserve to be there.
- AFC WEST: Kansas City has a one game lead over the Chargers despite losing to San Diego this weekend. The Chargers are (forgive the pun) charging fast in the late part of the season, and will probably pass the Chiefs if Matt Cassel continues to struggle with his appendectomy. The loser of the division doesn't really have a chance to make it into the Wild Card.
So where does that leave us. In the NFC there are eight (including one team from the NFC West) that will be competing for six spots in the playoffs. Which means two of either the Eagles, Giants (one of those two will make it for sure), Packers or Bucs will be on the outside looking in. In the AFC the picture is a little bit more clear. The Pats, Steelers, Ravens and Jets will probably split the two division crowns and Wild Card spots. While the AFC South and AFC West will probably just send one participant. But of course, all this can and will change by this time next week. Don't you just love football?