After a nasty six-game slide that saw the Redskins slide into the cellar in the NFC East, Washington returned to the winner's circle last Sunday afternoon with a comeback win over the Seattle Seahawks. It wasn't pretty, but the Skins rattled the Seahawks' composure early and often, and then made just enough plays on both sides of the ball to erase a ten-point deficit and win by six, 23-16.
Next up for Mike Shanahan's squad is a home date with the desperate New York Jets. At 6-5, the Jets are squarely in contention in the AFC Wild Card race, and it's conceivable (though highly unlikely) that they could still catch the front-running New England Patriots in the AFC East. Really though the Jets are playing for either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed in the playoffs, and keeping pace with Cincinnati, Denver and the Titans is order of business number one this weekend in D.C.
Mark Sanchez overcame early struggles in the Week 12 win over Buffalo to throw four touchdowns, including the game-winner to Santonio Holmes late in the fourth quarter. A superb one-handed catch by Plaxico Burress along the sidelines on a third-and-11 inside Jets territory proved to be the critical play of the series that allowed Sanchez and the Jets to pull of the comeback and inch back above .500 with their first win in three weeks and their second defeat over the Bills in the month of November.
As for the 'Skins' playoff chances? Well, they're pretty much non-existent, but it is worth noting that since 2004, every year has seen at least one team with a losing record through 11 games go on to make the playoffs. The Redskins obviously need to win out and finish 9-7. They would also need Chicago and Detroit to keep losing, which actually is not that unlikely.
Based on Washington's effort last Sunday in Seattle, it's safe to say that at least the team will continue playing hard until the final snap of the season, or at least until they have been mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, which they staved off for at least another week with last Sunday's win.
We'll have more preview coverage of the Redskins' interesting inter-conference matchup with the Jets throughout the week. In the meantime, visit Hogs Haven for more analysis and fan discussion.