The Washington Redskins are the first faces in line looking into the NFC playoff picture after Week 14.
Trailing the Atlanta Falcons (11-2), San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1), Green Bay Packers (9-4), New York Giants (8-5), Seattle Seahawks (8-5) and Chicago Bears (8-5), the 7-6 Redskins don’t exactly control their own destiny.
The Redskins will need some help from the Giants to sneak into the postseason as a division champion. Washington owns the tiebreaker with New York and has a lighter schedule (their remaining opponents have a 16-23 record) than do the Giants (24-20). If New York loses at Atlanta (6-0 at home) and the Redskins win at Cleveland (4-3 at home), Washington would wrest control of the division from the Giants and would simply need to win out to take the NFC East crown.
As long as the Redskins win their final three games and the Giants drop one, we’ll be seeing the Burgundy and Gold in the playoffs.
Washington could reach the postseason as a wild-card team if the Seahawks and/or Bears falter down the stretch.
The tiebreaking procedures are such that Seattle would have to lose a conference game (at home against the 49ers or St. Louis Rams) while Washington would have to go undefeated to close the season in order to move ahead of the Seahawks in playoff seeding.
If the Seahawks lose to Buffalo but beat their division rivals, that doesn’t help the Redskins. Their conference record would be the same (8-4), but Seattle would have the advantage in win-loss percentage in common games.
Chicago has to close the season 3-0 in order to keep its spot away from the Redskins. If the Bears lose any of their remaining matchups—which are all conference games—they will have a worse conference record than a 10-6 Redskins squad.