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Playoff outlook: Redskins wild card chances improve

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Redskins Confidential,Sports,John Keim

 

The Redskins didn’t receive help from Green Bay, 38-10 losers at the New York Giants. So they remain two games back of New York with five games remaining. Even if the Redskins beat the Giants on Dec. 3, they’d still need help — albeit only a little — to win the division.

Entering Sunday, it appeared that winning the division would have been the best road to the postseason. Not anymore. Here’s a look at the NFC playoff picture entering the season’s final month.

Looking good: Atlanta (10-1), San Francisco (8-2-1), Chicago (8-3), New York (7-4) and Green Bay (7-4) are in the best shape.

The rest:

Seattle holds the sixth and final spot, but the Seahawks lost at Miami and now are 6-5.

Remaining games: at Chicago, Arizona, at Buffalo, San Francisco, St. Louis. Those teams have a combined 28-25-2 record. The Seahawks likely will need to win one of their two remaining road games to reach 9-7; they’re 1-5 on the road. This issue — two defensive backs facing four-game suspensions — could hurt considerably, however.

Playoff stock: Steady.

Tampa Bay had a four-game win streak snapped in losing 24-23 at home to Atlanta and also are 6-5, sitting seventh in the playoff picture.

Remaining games: at Denver, Philadelphia, at New Orleans, St. Louis, at Atlanta. Those teams have a combined 31-23-1 record. The Bucs already lost to New Orleans at home. They could catch a break in the finale as the Falcons, barring a major collapse, would have the division clinched and possibly rest their starters. But the other two road games are difficult so they must beat Philly and the Rams at home. That’s hardly daunting.

Playoff stock: Steady.

Minnesota lost 28-10 to Chicago and also are 6-5, one spot ahead of Washington in the playoff seeding.

Remaining games: at Green Bay,Chicago, at St. Louis, at Houston, Green Bay. Those teams have a combined 36-18-1 record.If the Vikings earn a playoff berth, they will have earned it big-time.

Playoff stock: Falling. Hard.

Washington is now 5-6 and a game back, but in the ninth spot in the playoff seeding. Dallas and New Orleans also are 5-6, but the Redskins defeated both teams.

Remaining games: New York Giants, Baltimore, at Cleveland, at Philadelphia, Dallas. Those teams have a combined 28-27 record. The next two games are pivotal; the Redskins likely will need to win one of them to have a shot. It will be difficult, but after sweeping New York last year and nearly beating them earlier this season, it won’t be impossible.

Playoff stock: Rising.

Dallas is 5-6 and sitting 10th after losing to the Redskins.

Remaining games: Philadelphia, at Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, at Washington. Those teams have a combined 26-29 record, but winning on the road vs. the Bengals and beating the Steelers at home will be difficult. Wouldn’t it be something if it came down to the final game?

Playoff stock: Falling.

New Orleans is 5-6 after losing at home to San Francisco; the Saints had won five of six before that loss.

Remaining games: at Atlanta, at the Giants, Tampa Bay, at Dallas, Carolina. Those teams have a combined 30-24 record. The Saints will struggle with tiebreakers and could be done within two weeks.

Playoff stock: Falling.

 

 

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