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Despite shortcomings, the Redskins are playoff contenders

Nov 16, 2015, 12:00 PM EDT


The Redskins may not be a playoff caliber team yet. But they could well make the playoffs.

At 4-5 they are in second place in the NFC East, a half game behind the 5-5 Giants in the division and tied with the Eagles. The Redskins do have a win over the Eagles in their pocket but since they have another game to play in Philly that tiebreaker is not yet settled.

Here are the remaining games for the NFC East contenders (not including the Cowboys because at 2-7 they are not contenders):

Redskins: @Panthers, Giants, Cowboys, @Bears, Bills, @Eagles, @Cowboys
Giants: Bye, @Redskins, Jets, @Dolphins, Panthers, @Vikings, Eagles
Eagles: Bucs, @Lions, @Patriots, Bills, Cardinals, Redskins, @Giants

The toughest game left on the Redskins’ schedule is against the 9-0 Panthers this Sunday. They will be playing with house money in that one. A win would be a huge boost. But a loss would have them no more than a game out of the division lead.

Besides the Panthers, the only game the Redskins have left against a team with a winning record is the home game against the 5-4 Bills.

If they do lose to the Panthers the games against the Giants and Cowboys would become critical. If they take those two games at home they would be no worse than a game out of division lead, depending on what the Eagles do. Philly hits its tough stretch starting in mid December with games against the undefeated Patriots and 7-2 Cardinals.

There are way too many “what if” scenarios to play out to draw a road map for the Redskins to take the NFC East title. But Redskins fans who have been making travel plans for after the regular season ends on January 3 might want to hold off and let this play out. There could be a home playoff game for the Redskins the next weekend.

  1. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Nov 16, 2015 at 12:16 PM

    The Giants game is a big deal, since we haven’t beaten them since December 03, 2012.

    Until we do that, we’re just pretenders in the NFC East.

    • jonevans511 - Nov 16, 2015 at 7:04 PM

      Agreed, and lets not lose sight of the fact we play the Boys twice in 5 weeks….. with Romo back. True they may have no chance at stealing a playoff spot, but ultimately it boils down to two division games, against a rival, where we could feasibly win or lose both. I realize even with Romo the boys may not be great, but they absolutely will get up for these two games given the fact they could play spoiler and ruin our playoff hopes. This is why Rich’s statement “we’re playing with house money” applies for the rest of the year for me personally. If we get to 7 wins minimum with improvement along both lines, the secondary, and a potential long-term QB I’ll be more than pleased.

  2. goback2rfk - Nov 16, 2015 at 12:17 PM

    There ya go Captain Kirk “franchise” Cousins got the Skins in playoff contention. Huge game next week, one of the biggest I have seen in awhile. Hopefully we carry some momentum into next week. Going to need an all around game from everyone.

    • jonevans511 - Nov 16, 2015 at 7:08 PM

      I’d argue he has not gotten us in to playoff contention; the TEAM has done that and the team absolutely includes him. He’s played very, very well, don’t get me wrong, but it’s laughable to think we’re where we are simply because of him. Just like no QB single handedly leads their team to success despite the folks who will scream otherwise. If you think one person decides the outcome you’re not watching the same games as the rest of us…. Note: none of this takes away anything from Kirk’s accomplishments. I am thrilled to have a QB playing at this level and want to see it continue, but I’m not about to crown him as the savior of our entire team because yesterday the TEAM earned that victory. Your comment 100% deserves a Monday Night Football “come on, man”.

      • goback2rfk - Nov 16, 2015 at 7:21 PM

        Disagree. If you take Tom Brady away from the Patriots they may not even be a playoff team. QB is the most important position on the field and is responsible for winning or losing more than anything else. Yes it is a Team sport and it takes everyone but if the QB has a bad day usually so does the team. Maybe its not right to say Kirk got the team in playoff contention, but his play lately has contributed to it greatly. Thats all I am saying.
        Way to go Captain Kirk “franchise” Cousins!

  3. bison4me - Nov 16, 2015 at 12:28 PM

    The Panthers is a definite loss. With our defense, Cam will run and throw at will. The Giant’s have the Redskins’ number since Gruden has been the coach. Funny, Shanny had Coughlin’s number though, by-gones. The Cowboys are likely to get Romo back by the time the Redskins play them so that changes the Cowboy dynamic all the way around. I don’t see the Skins having an answer on defense for Tyrod Taylor and the bills either. We might beat the Eagles. I don’t see the schedule favoring us at all, as a matter of fact, I can see this past Sunday as quite possibly being our last win of the season.

    • goback2rfk - Nov 16, 2015 at 2:21 PM

      The Panthers are a probable loss but certainly not a definite. Any given Sunday! Anything can happen!
      While the Skins will not have major yardage like against the Saints I do believe if the defense can get some stops on Cam Newton we will hang in there till the end of the game. I am thinking this one comes down to the end with the last team with the ball wins.

  4. Cousins we likethat - Nov 16, 2015 at 12:39 PM

    Captain Kirk now known as the defensive coordinator killer. Saints just fired rob ryan after some. Lmao!!

  5. bangkokben - Nov 16, 2015 at 12:52 PM

    bangkokben – Nov 16, 2015 at 12:10 PM
    Since there are TWENTY NFL teams below .500 and it has been three years, I’m going to talk playoff scenarios. Every REAL fan knows that the Redskins are only a half game out of 1st place for the NFC east but also right now the Redskins sit in 7th – not tied for 7th – in the NFC. (There are tiebreakers for a reason.) However seventh, two games behind Atlanta and Green Bay for that final playoff spot. In the realm of “if and buts,” the Redskins would’ve been in that final wild card spot had they either not played prevent in Atlanta’s final drive or had Cousins not been intercepted on the Grant “slip.” Take your pick. (Get it?) Whateves.

    Moving forward, OUR team could present an interesting challenge next week before they face division rivals, the Giants and Cowboys back to back at home. The Redskins have been rock stars at home despite all those empty seats. if the Redskins manage to be 6-6 after the next three games, I’ll be back here in three weeks and we’ll really have something to talk about.

    Now is the cue for the Negative Nellies to ignore the facts, the Chicken Littles to pump up the opposition, and superstitious to knock on wood or rub that rabbit’s foot. Do what you got to do. HTTR!

    • ET - Nov 16, 2015 at 2:08 PM

      “Since there are TWENTY NFL teams below .500 …”

      So much for parity, eh? There’s a fairly significant gap between the elite teams and everyone else. Could be helpful to an opportunistic team on the rise …

      • bangkokben - Nov 16, 2015 at 3:09 PM

        True about the gap but/and Indy beat Denver, KC beat Denver, and Detroit beat Green Bay in Green Bay. Even the “super” teams are vulnerable at this point in the season.

        • goback2rfk - Nov 16, 2015 at 3:27 PM

          Come next season we will be bad a$$. Tighten up some loose ends and gun for the Playoffs. Get Rob out of here and sign some more talent. The Skins are the up and coming team in the NFC Least. httr!

        • ET - Nov 16, 2015 at 3:42 PM

          Agreed. But the “super” teams have decidedly better odds of success.

        • bangkokben - Nov 16, 2015 at 4:19 PM

          For sure. but how super are the Panthers? They have beaten ONE team with a winning record – the 6-3 Packers and eight teams with losing records (28-44 combined). Ripe for the picking.

  6. redskinsnameisheretostay - Nov 16, 2015 at 1:22 PM

    Post game certainly revealed something Cousins really needs to work on. That is his baritone voice when he shouting “You Like That”!

    Big Swaggy shows how it should be done:

  7. 214hof - Nov 16, 2015 at 2:14 PM

    By looking at the schedule, the Skins’ are looking like 8-8 (wining remaining division games) or 9-7( stealing one from Bears, Bills, or Panthers.. Less likely). Which might just win then the division. The Giants are the only real threat IMO. Eagles are a mess, I’m also expecting Tony to drop his first 2 games due to rust plus get swept by Washington. There are four division games left (Giants, Cowboysx2, and Eagles) all must win IMO. If -and a big “IF” at that- the redskins manage to sweep the remaining divisions games, it puts them at 8-8 with a 5-1 division record. The Giants have a tough schedule if they lose to the Skins’, they still have the Jets, Panthers, and Vikings to deal with….If it all plays out right, that equals 7-9 Giants to the Skins’ 8-8, lots of “ifs” but doable… The game against the Giants could decide if Washington is still Playing meaningful games in December. I know even if the Skins’ so how make the playoffs their aren’t contenders yet…. But anything can happen right?……..


    • goback2rfk - Nov 16, 2015 at 2:23 PM

      HELL YEAH I LIKE THAT! We are do for a big Win, We are do for a road Win, We are do for Glory. The football God’s may smile upon us next Sunday with a huge Win over the Panthers.
      I will be at the game in section 206 wearing a Breeland Away jersey. Hit me Up!

    • brucefan1 - Nov 16, 2015 at 5:08 PM

      “stealing one from Bears, Bills, or Panthers.. Less likely”

      Hey 214hof, I think that winning TWO of those three games is very doable, IF the Skins continue to play like they did against New Orleans. (Boy, didn’t the B&G come ready to play yesterday!)

      I see the Bears in just about the same boat as the Skins — surprising a lot of people with their overall play. The Bills, they seem to be playing below what they showed early on (finding their true level?) and appear beatable in a well-played game, especially in FedEx. Both of those teams, like the Redskins, are still searching for consistency, and I think the team that shows up most ready to play will win in both of those games.

      Now Carolina is a whole different story, though … undefeated — but not dominant, imho. They’ve had to eek out wins several times this season — but they HAVE won in each instance. They are 16th in offensive yards (GREAT running game, poor passing game), 10th in yards allowed — good rankings, but not great. Being +8 in turnovers really helps them, so the Skins gotta take care of the ball.

      The Panthers’ biggest intangible, obviously, is the play Newton. Why “intangible”? Because while he’s near bottom-of-the-pack in passer rating, he still manages to make BIG plays whenever needed. But if the Skins can limit those plays like they did for Brees, and take a little of the starch out of their top-ranked running game, I think the Skins are the team that will knock them off their undefeated perch. To me, the Panthers are due.

      • 214hof - Nov 16, 2015 at 6:46 PM

        I agree with you on the Bears game being winnable… But IMO the defenses for the Bills and Panthers are a pretty tough match-up then add the fact that they both run the ball well leaves me to believe that those to games even played flawlessly would be tough to come away with a “W”. That being said, i will still be watching, hoping, a praying for Washington to prove me wrong. I like what the Skins’ have been doing this year… Literally a play here or there (covering the PR in the Miami game, holding Falcons on the final drive) away from being 6-3 with a cushy lead in the division…. “Ifs” and “buts” though. A win in the Giants game could put the Skins’ in the drivers seat for the division, then the next big one would be to give them Eagles a lickin’ to seal the deal. lots of football left to be played, anything can happen, but after a win like yesterday i think everyone is feeling pretty good about the chances.

        • hail74 - Nov 16, 2015 at 7:00 PM

          The teams panthers have beaten. Jags,Texans,Saints,bucs,Colts,Eagles,Seahawks,packers,Titans. Only the packers have a winning record and are on a 3 game losing streak. 3 of those teams we beat as well and some of our more “skeptical” fans have called those teams pathetic and not worth getting excited over beating. So yes Carolina has a good D and will be tough but definitely a winnable matchup

  8. bangkokben - Nov 16, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    Did someone lose some money at yesterday’s game?

    • ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Nov 16, 2015 at 5:18 PM

      “Pierre was like, ‘You want half of this?'” Jones said. “I was like, ‘Just give me $5 out of it.’ … A finder’s fee.”

      Sounds fair to me!

      • bangkokben - Nov 16, 2015 at 5:24 PM


        You know things are going your way when you find money on field and Perry Riley makes a one-handed interception

        • jonevans511 - Nov 16, 2015 at 7:13 PM

          lol i know, Riley briefly transformed in to Darrell Green like Cinderella turned in to a Princess. I was absolutely shocked by the pick and didn’t even celebrate immediately for fear I was hallucinating.

        • squawonthewarpath - Nov 17, 2015 at 8:08 AM

          lol jones

  9. brucefan1 - Nov 16, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    Man, I can’t believe that Ive been too busy today to celebrate yesterday’s victory!! What did I miss?! LOL

    Of all the great things that happened yesterday, I’m especially impressed with the way that defense played yesterday, holding Brees and that great Saints offense in check. Outstanding. And it was great to see several guys tack on yards after contact like they haven’t since early on. Just what the doctor ordered.

    Finally, any time a team can put on an offensive performance SO outstanding that it gets the opposing defensive coordinator canned (soon, at least), you KNOW that they’ve had a day!

    Let’s keep it going!

    • bangkokben - Nov 16, 2015 at 4:45 PM

      Bruce, It helps to play defense when you have a lead for virtually the entire game. Conversely, it’s difficult to play offense when your behind from the jump. Last week against the Pats; this week the Saints against the Redskins. Also, I should remove the virtually in the fist sentence. The Saints – just like our team last week – never got the ball without trailing by at least a touchdown.

  10. Mr.moneylover - Nov 16, 2015 at 4:27 PM

    I can see giants losing three of those games witch puts them at 8-8 but that won’t mean nothing if we can’t win two games in a row…the panthers don’t do nothing special they win just by being physical with teams…if redskins play physical and don’t back down they can win next week against the panthers

    • bangkokben - Nov 16, 2015 at 4:33 PM


      You didn’t lose $15 yesterday? ;) (see above link about Matt Jones finding money on the field)

    • gasngo14 - Nov 16, 2015 at 4:42 PM

      Hey lost money just keep predicting losses for our skins ……HA! GO CAPTAIN KIRK ..I told you so :))

  11. ajbus1 - Nov 16, 2015 at 4:33 PM

    I saw someone comment recently about how many times we have to play a team coming off their bye. Rich do you (or anybody) know if this is unusual and how they set the schedule as far as when we play each team on it?

    • bangkokben - Nov 16, 2015 at 4:36 PM

      I think it’s a NY “quirk” or par for the course for sucking for so long. Who knows? But it certainly seems that the ‘skins year after year play two to three teams coming off their byes. Then again, what is Coughlin’s record off byes? Maybe it’s a good thing.

  12. kenlinkins - Nov 16, 2015 at 5:35 PM

    A 4-5 team talking about the play offs, wow has the NFC East fallen on hard times. The Redskins showed what they can do against a bad team and things break their way, now they must go on the road and beat a unbeaten team to reach 500%. If the Redskins can string 4 wins in a row (Saints, Carolina, Giants and Cowboys) then and only then will I join in the play off talk. Being to 7-5 with only one lost in the NFC East and 4 games left (3 on the road) would have me thinking that the Redskins are for real. Until then, I will just comment on the improvements I have seen and where improvements still require to be made, but I admit, Sunday was fun to watch and a lot of good things happened. Anyone finding too much fault with this win just does not know football. That’s was as good as it gets in the NFL, no matter who you are playing. Job Well Done, Redskins!

    • hail74 - Nov 16, 2015 at 6:48 PM

      There also third in the wildcard hunt and only twelve teams have more wins than they do so while I understand your hesitation it’s not so far fetched and I guess that means the whole league has fallen on hard times.

    • 214hof - Nov 16, 2015 at 6:59 PM

      Ridiculous right??… Pfff…Playoffs….You wanna talk about playoffs?

      In the NFC least as it is now known, 4-5 keeps you in the hunt lol, a few wins and some key losses by other teams in the division and Washington is in! Panthers made it in last year with 7-9 or 8-8 i think, not positive though. I know it came down to a win and in situation week 17 vs the Falcons. That COULD be Washington this year.

      • ajbus1 - Nov 16, 2015 at 8:47 PM

        Panthers were 7-8-1 and won their first round game.

    • bangkokben - Nov 16, 2015 at 8:58 PM

      C’mon, Ken! Half a game out of 1st. Two games out of wild card contention with 7 games to go. Why are you raining? Three years since they were this close to the division lead and in case you hadn’t noticed, this division hasn’t been world beaters for some time. When was the last time this division claimed the #1 seed? Or even the #2 seed? So wake-up to reality! At this very moment despite ALL obstacles (including those self inflicted) they are in the race. So why are you refusing to acknowledge this? Like the Olympic 100 meters, you have to qualify for that final heat. You don’t even have to win those qualifying heats just simply post one of the best times each heat. Stop looking at the final heat thinking they have no chance to win that but take each heat as it comes and enjoy the SPOILS of victory.

      This team reminds me of the the two Gibbs 2.0 playoff teams. In 2005, the Redskins scored 52 on Frisco and followed that up with a shut out loss in the Meadowlands. Made the playoffs. In 2007, they got crushed by the Patriots but somehow overcame the death of their best player and made the playoffs. This team has had it’s only journey but not unlike those two teams it is not that of a TYPICAL play off team.

    • bangkokben - Nov 16, 2015 at 9:10 PM

      Ken, here is the state of the NFC. Here are the last NFC East teams to make the playoffs and their seeds:

      Year Team Seed Team Seed
      2015 Cowboys 3
      2014 Eagles 3
      2013 Redskins 4
      2012 Giants 4
      2011 Eagles 3
      2010 Cowboys 3
      2009 Giants 1 Eagles 6
      2008 Cowboys 1 Giants 5 Redskins 6

      • bangkokben - Nov 16, 2015 at 9:21 PM

        I missed the 6th seed Eagles in 2010 who lost to the Cowboys that year in the wild card. The Brett Farve Vikings crushed the Cowboys the next week. So the NFC East is going to likely make it six years in a row with only a 3rd or 4th seed. It has been the NFC least for a while.

  13. hk2000 - Nov 17, 2015 at 3:29 AM

    WOW, just a week ago, they looked absolutely abysmal and were playing scared, now you have them as contenders? Even if they somehow win the division, to what end? this division stinks and the winner of the division will just stink a little less than the rest, and will be bounced in the first round. But that will not stop you and the rest of the clueless fans here from celebrating a ‘great season’!!!

    • bangkokben - Nov 17, 2015 at 9:16 AM

      Clueless – that pretty much describes you to a tee. Constantly spouting your doom, gloom, and coach hate but also each week being proven more the Jack-ass then a prophet. Keep it up, at some point you can come back here and tell us you were right – I’m sure if it’s losing in the wild card round of the playoffs you’ll get plenty of pats on the back. You’re like the old Robin Williams bit about Muammar Gaddafi drawing lines in the sand and then having to erase those lines and redraw new lines. Hysterical.

      • hk2000 - Nov 17, 2015 at 7:42 PM

        You have no counter point to anything I stated so you resort to personal insults- What a classy guy!

        • bangkokben - Nov 17, 2015 at 9:04 PM

          You began your day by labeling any fan that celebrates a playoff birth as clueless because of the state of the division. If you have a point, I will counter but you just continue to move your bar of ‘stink’ from “won’t ever win anything with this coach and quarterback” to now IF they win the wretched division it is meaningless. Well done!

          As for last week, who did the Redskins play and where? I’m sure that has no relevance to the result. When you actually have something other than opinion based on hate for the coach or fear of the opponent and have something other than your predictions of doom and gloom; you might actually have a point that can been argued for or against. Until then, when you sling mud expect it coming back. Archives

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