Highly unlikely? Yes. Utterly impossible? Not exactly.
After their recent string of wins, coupled with the string of misfortune for the two teams at the top of the NFC East — the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys— it has to be brought up that the Washington Redskins could technically still make a playoff run this year. Yes, even in a year where they started out 0-5 and fired their head coach right off the bat. That’s how bad the NFC East is.
Let’s take a look at how it would work.
The Redskins must win-out in order for any of this to matter. That starts this weekend with a very tough game in Green Bay against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Once again, not impossible but highly unlikely. After that the schedule gets fairly manageable with games at home vs. the Eagles and New York Giants, then a trip to Dallas to finish out the regular season.
The Cowboys need to lose the remaining games on their schedule, which is looking more and more possible as of late. In the final four weeks of the season, Dallas goes on the road to the Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Rams and then hosts the Eagles and Redskins in Jerry World. Before the season, those games against Chicago and Washington looked like easy wins, but after their recent string of defeats, the same can’t be said with much confidence.
The Eagles need to go 1-3 over the final four weeks, as long as that victory comes against the Cowboys. Philadelphia currently is one game back of the Cowboys for the division lead, so the race for the division title rests mostly between those two teams. The four remaining games for the Eagles all rest within the division, with two games against the Giants, one against the Redskins and one against the Cowboys.
If we were to pick which scenario is least likely to come to fruition, I would have to say it’s the Eagles going 1-3 over the next four weeks. Two games against the Giants should result in two victories, and a Week 16 game against the Cowboys will have some playoff intensity that is sure to bring the best out of Carson Wentz.
It’s unlikely to happen, but anything is possible in December. Nobody would have said five weeks ago that Washington would eventually have three wins on the season with a chance to take the division, and here they are. Maybe in a month, we’ll be looking back at this time and laughing as the Redskins sit atop the NFC East on their way to the postseason.