It’s pretty simple at this point; win and you’re in. Despite the late season hot streak the Skins produced these final 6 games, it just wasn’t enough to just walk-in to the playoffs in their first relevant season in years. On this Sunday December 30th, before the year comes to an end, it’s going to be a showoff on a flexed Sunday Night Football game between the biggest rivalry in the NFL for the NFC East division; the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys!
The season started off REALLY shaky. First a big win in New Orleans that exposed how hard the season was going to be for the Saints following the bounty gate followed by two controversial losses that were close but affected by stupid penalties at the end of the game. From that point the team went a TOUGH 2-4 prior to the week 10 bye.
Going into the bye the team brought a lot of attention from a post game conference with Mike Shanahan, following a loss to the then 1-6 Carolina Panthers. Shanahan announced in the conference that from that point on the team was “playing to see who obviously is going to be on your football team for years to come.”
After a day of criticism by the media for what he said, Shanahan “clarified” what he meant by his comments that Sunday with ESPN.com, saying that his comments were not a form of forfeiture, that, “To insinuate that I was giving up on the season is completely ridiculous. We’ve got five NFC East games still on the schedule, and anytime you have division games, you have a great chance.”
From there it was like a Cinderella story. The Redskins won the next 6 games and with the help of the division leaders, the New York Giants, became the leaders for the NFC East division championship. Despite the impressive run after the bye week, the Skins are going to have to extend that with a win Sunday to win the division and guarantee the playoffs.
Redskins In’s to make it to the playoffs:
As we said before, if Washington can win the game on Sunday then they are in. No if, and or buts about it. WIN and you’re IN.
Fortunately the streak did provide an advantage in one way. In the event that Washington loses on Sunday, then we will have an opportunity to get in. Additionally the flex of the game from a 1pm game to the Sunday Night Football game at 8:20pm provides us with the knowledge if we will clinch the playoffs before our game.
The Bears are at the Lions for a 1pm game followed by the Vikings game at home against the Packers that was flexed to 4:25. Luckily due to the controversial game involving the replacement refs in their last week that gave Seattle a win over Green Bay and the 49ers still in the mix, the Packers will still be playing for a first round bye instead of having the chance to bench and rest their starters. If the Bears and the Vikes both lose, the Redskins will clinch the playoffs despite the outcome of the NFC East showdown. The only thing that will be played for then is the division and higher seed, therefore the home field advantage. If either the Vikes or Bears win, the only chance the Skins have at post-season play is by winning the game and division Sunday night.
To make things as easy as possible, JUST WIN.
Giants IN to make it to the playoffs:
For the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, the NFC East division title is no longer within reach. However, they still have a possibility of getting the last wild card spot in the NFC playoffs.
After another late season collapse in which the Giants let a three game lead in the division slip away, New York must win their regular season finale against one of the most disappointing teams in the NFL this season, the Philadelphia Eagles. Prior to the season the Eagles had Super Bowl aspirations, but injuries and bad play have contributed to their losing record. In the last six games, rookie Nick Foles was at the helms of the team as the starting Quarterback following the benching of Michael Vick, but Vick will make his return tomorrow as Nick Foles broke his hand last week against the Skins.
Since beginning the season 6-2, New York has been widely inconsistent over the past two months. Convincing wins over the 49ers, Packers and Saints had many fans and analysts believing the Giants were the best team in the NFL, but following blowout losses to the Falcons and Ravens, the Giants season was pretty much put in perspective. Being outscored 67-14 in two games that had to be won has left “Big Blue” nation wondering if Coughlin has lost the team. Last year the Giants faced a similar situation, but were able to win the last two games of the season against the Jets and Cowboys to win the NFC east title. Once they reached the postseason they did what they did best and were able to make it to the Super bowl as the under dogs where they defeated the New England Patriots for the championship. This year’s team has been unable to win those pivotal games down the stretch and has left their post season fate in the hands of other teams.
Last week the NFL talked about expanding the playoffs from 12 teams to possibly 14 or 16. This scenario could have helped the Giants chances this season in possibly making it into the post season. They would have still needed some help from other teams but they would have only needed one team to lose instead of three.
For New York to make the playoffs tomorrow they must first and foremost defeat the Eagles. From there they will need the Lions to defeat Chicago and Green Bay to defeat Minnesota, just like the Skins would like. Lastly they must wait for the Sunday night game when the Redskins and Cowboys play in which they need Washington to beat Dallas.
Cowboys IN to make it to the playoffs:
There isn’t any other option here; Dallas can only win the NFC East championship to punch their ticket into the playoffs.
An early season favorite to make a solid playoff run is battling a team that headed into the bye week with a season pretty much over is now the highlight of this week’s match-ups. This game is for all the chips, all the marbles, its win or go home for the Cowboys and if they lose, this loss would be Texas sized.
It all comes down to the final week
Today will be an eventful day from the jump. The Giants’ fans will be watching their game at 1pm, as well as watching the Chicago game as their season’s fate can be judged by the 4pm games. Depending on how those games result, all eyes will be on that flexed Minnesota at Green Bay game. However it will all come down to the Sunday Night showdown, Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins vs. Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys.
Have a wonderful Regular Season Finale everyone!