- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 11, 2018

“Playoffs? Don’t talk about — playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game!”

Jim Mora’s famous quote echoed through many a Washington Redskins fan’s mind upon seeing this headline. But in spite of the team moving onto its fourth quarterback in five weeks, its defense turning into a sieve and its fans flocking away from FedEx Field, the Redskins are not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention in the NFC.

Therefore, this exercise of examining their playoff scenarios will continue — for now.

We will continue to focus on positions No. 3 through No. 9 in the conference, because the 11-2 Rams and Saints are not in the same stratosphere as Washington.

  • 3. Bears 9-4
  • 4. Cowboys 8-5
  • 5. Seahawks 8-5
  • 6. Vikings 6-6-1
  • 7. Panthers 6-7
  • 8. Eagles 6-7
  • 9. Redskins 6-7

A note about the three-way tie: Per NFL procedures, smaller ties between divisional rivals (i.e. Redskins and Eagles) are settled first as if they were head-to-head tiebreakers. For now, Philadelphia beats Washington, and the Panthers then top the Eagles.

But don’t worry about the Panthers, who are on a five-game losing streak and still have to play the Saints twice. Meanwhile, the Eagles have two difficult matchups on the way, starting Sunday at the Rams.

Let’s be generous and give the Redskins a win in Jacksonville in Week 15, while assuming the Panthers and Eagles lose to the two best teams in the NFC. That puts the Redskins 7-7, a game clear of the other competitors and within striking distance of Kirk Cousins and the Vikings.

Minnesota’s remaining schedule starts with Miami — who just upset the Patriots this week — then a trip to Detroit and a home date Week 17 against the Bears.

Yes, it’s a stretch to imagine the Redskins going 9-7, given how they’ve been playing. But the fact is, they clinch a playoff berth with three straight wins and one loss each by Minnesota, Carolina and Philadelphia. The Redskins could even make the playoffs at 8-8, however deserved or undeserved the berth would be:

That means with one more loss, or one more Dallas win, Washington is out of the division race.

Redskins‘ chances to make playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight: 10 percent (last week: 26 percent)

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