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Do the Redskins belong in the playoffs?

Dec 29, 2015, 12:19 PM EDT


The Redskins will win the NFC East with a final record of either 8-8 or 9-7. The former would be the worst record ever to win that division; the latter would be tied for the worst-ever record by an NFC East champ.

Some say that this means that the Redskins aren’t a real playoff team, just a mediocre team that backed into the playoffs by virtue of having played in a weak division, one that had to spit out a winner. Congrats, Redskins, you’re the tallest midgets.

And if you look at their record it backs up that line of thinking. Eight wins and seven losses is what it is. Sure, they dropped a few games that could have gone either way. But a bad bounce here and there could have turned close wins over the Eagles, Bucs, and Bears into losses.

But the NFL is a “what have you done lately” league and the Redskins have been one of the better teams in the NFL since they fell to 2-4 with a road loss to the Jets.

Here are some key stats, how the Redskins have performed in them in Weeks 7-16, and their NFL ranking in that time.


Yes, these stats are cherry picked. To pick one from their seventh game on that’s not so good for the Redskins, they allowed 3,528 yards, better than only four other teams. And they had two tries to beat a team with a winning record and didn’t come close to getting it done. They also lost to a bad Cowboys team in a critical game at home.

So let’s be clear that point here is not that the Redskins are an elite team or a very good one. But since taking six games to find their way with a new starting quarterback, a few injuries at tight end and along the offensive line they have been at worst respectable.

The Redskins have been playing better lately but their best may not be enough if they get the best from either the Packers, Vikings, or Seahawks at FedEx Field on the weekend of January 9-10. Over the course of the season they have been more consistent performers.

But the Redskins do not need to apologize for playing in the postseason and they aren’t going to be content with a participation trophy.

  1. Hal - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:04 PM

    Redskins are the biggest loser in the playoffs.

    • Rob - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:45 PM

      Wow it sounds like someone has a team that didn’t make the playoffs. Shut your mouth loser

      • Empey - Dec 30, 2015 at 1:30 AM

        Hal must be a cowboys guy

    • Felix - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:51 PM

      That may be true Hal, maybe, but you are definitely the biggest loser on this post.

      • Manny - Dec 29, 2015 at 8:39 PM

        Don’t hate bro, appreciate

      • brucefan1 - Dec 29, 2015 at 10:15 PM

        Uh, Hal’s not on this list … Hal’s a troll.

    • skinsgame - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:54 PM

      One could say the same about your parents and life.

      • firesnyder - Dec 29, 2015 at 3:31 PM

        At least he didn’t say “loosers”.

    • colorofmyskinz - Dec 29, 2015 at 4:08 PM

      Yea, and this biggest loser is peaking right now, vs. bangles, Broncos, Patriots, and Green Bay are sliding. Much rather be peaking from the bottom than sliding from the top going into the playoffs. The Redskins don’t no they can’t succeed. They have been living the control your destiny path longer and getting comfortable with it.we are only 2 wins from looking like a Green Bay, minn., jets, KC… give me a break… You can guarantee other teams are concerned with a QB knocking out 300+ yards and 120-150 passer ratings left and right. We are feared plain and simple…

    • Manny - Dec 29, 2015 at 8:38 PM

      Don’t hate cause your team is probably out, am I right?

  2. Sonny Green - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:20 PM

    If they don’t deserve it then who does? All the stats really mean nothing, what we had come to expect from this team this year is plain and simple improvement over the past, that was all we should have expected, the NFC East championship is an added bonus for all the hard work this season, no other established team had faced the same rebuild, no other teams had to deal with the distraction of having our government sticking their noses in where it doesn’t belong, this team has overcome a lot more than any other and surpassed expectations with a whole lot less, yes, they do belong here IMO.

    • lorcanbonda - Dec 30, 2015 at 10:30 AM

      When most people make these claims, it has to do with letting the top six teams of the conference into the playoffs regardless of record.

      That’s where the buzz stops. Even if you believe that, the top team not going to the playoffs in the NFC is the Atlanta Falcons. They have the same record as the Redskins, but would lose the tie-breaker. In this case the point is moot.

      There is a better example in the AFC. The AFC South is arguably the worst conference in the league. They have one more loss than the NFC East, plus the Steelers have a better record than the Texans — right now, they are the odd team out of the playoffs.

      I personally think this is one of the silliest arguments which is made every year. Everybody knows the rules at the beginning of the season — it is a faux controversy. There is always some mediocre division with the best team not among the top six.of the conference and there are always a slew of articles proclaiming the choices unfair. Last year, the Panthers were the team in the worst division.

  3. firesnyder - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:24 PM

    Yes, they belong in the playoffs. They got better as the season went on and they are peaking at the perfect time. The same question could be asked about those NY Giants teams that were so mediocre during the regular season but then ended up winning the super bowl. If you win a division and progress down the path of improvement in-season, then yes, you deserve to be in the playoffs. Yes, we are the tallest midgets but we are proud midgets, like that guy from Game of Thrones. We kick a$$.

  4. wvredskins - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:43 PM

    Doesnt seem that the media was as harsh on the Panthers going 7-8-1 making the playoffs last year. Just seems that some Media outlets are living in the past with the Redskins and act as if that the Redskins should be the bottom dwellers every year and it was by pure luck that they won the division. If the Giants went on a run and beat us out for the playoffs do you think that they would be saying the same things? No, they wouldnt! The only way to get respect is to not only make it to the first round of the playoffs, but to actually win! HTTR

    • Adam - Dec 29, 2015 at 3:45 PM

      The thing with the east is that every team in the division was in the hunt even Dallas was towards the beganing its crazy but at the end of the day we are the champs#HTTR

  5. ET - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:44 PM

    Yes, the Skins are the “tallest midgets” in a weak division. So what? You win your division, you get to go to the playoffs. The AFC South has struggled with this issue for years.

    • goback2rfk - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:01 PM

      Yeah Tandler’s article is a little negative I must say. Certainly sounds like Rich thinks the Skins are 1 and done for sure.

  6. goback2rfk - Dec 29, 2015 at 1:52 PM

    The Redskins have been playing like a playoff time as of late. They score points and put teams away like the Eagles when they are supposed to. I do not think they will be an easy out at all during the wild card round.
    If the offense puts up points we should be able to hang with any of the wild card teams.
    The Redskins are definitely a playoff team.

  7. kenlinkins - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:07 PM

    Unless the NFL changed the rules after week one, IMO the Redskins do in fact belong in the play offs. Wild Card teams have the effect of keeping more fans involved (i.e. buying play off tickets and NFL stuff) after the season is over and that is the main reason they are in place (i.e. money not fairness). The Wild Card teams are not there to make sure only the best teams get in. The NFL just doesn’t want a 15-1 team not making the play offs in case some team is 16-0 (it would take more than one bad call to bone a team from the play offs). Just like the 1974 Maryland Basketball team that did not make the NCAA field, they didn’t belong due to a 103-100 Overtime lost to N.C. State in the ACC tournament. While Maryland was a top 24 team, they knew the rules going in. Are the Redskins one of the best 12 teams in the NFL right now, NO, but they won the NFC East title and the rules say “They Belong” (not me)! While a team at 11-5 record can try to make the case they are better then a 8-8 team, you could counter with the softer schedule, higher draft picks from the year before, free agents, injuries, suspensions and Cap money removed (etc etc) and that the only way to make it fair would be to remove the Divisions and have everyone play each other once. Even then would have Home & Away concerns, timing of who plays who when in the schedule, NFC vs AFC only playing in Super Bowls etc. Any team making noise about missing the play offs while having a better record then a few other teams that are in knew what they signed up for and over time things will even out.

  8. hail74 - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:41 PM

    Well we didn’t break any rules to get in the playoffs and no team in the nfc has a better record than us but isn’t getting in. Atlanta is also 8-7 and did beat us, but considering they’ve since gone 3-7 and we’ve gone 6-4, hard to say they are more deserving.

  9. jaxjoe - Dec 29, 2015 at 2:49 PM

    Great article, Rich. I appreciate the stats compilation as to the Redskins play of late. Your point is right on; it’s not how you start but how you finish and the Redskins have been a better than average football team. I hope we can get through the first round and give the team a positive springboard into next season.

  10. skinsgame - Dec 29, 2015 at 3:01 PM

    If the Redskins play GB or Minn, they’ll win.

    The offense is playing much better, for sure, but the defense is beginning to perform as well. Sacks and turnovers are way up of late. If they finally start bottling up RB’s, the sky is the limit for this team.

    The dropoff in penalties is another indicator they’re paying attention to details in practices.

    While it would be nice to have a good running game going, year after year it is proven that as goes the QB, so goes the team. Cousins is one of the hottest QB’s going.

  11. bob - Dec 29, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    … And the Eagles beat the Patriots. Nuff said

  12. cowboyhater - Dec 29, 2015 at 3:37 PM

    Someone had to win the division. Is it the skins fault that everyone other than the skins supposedly under achieved in the NFC East this year? So what if we don’t show well in the playoffs…what matters is they have something to build on from this year. That to me is what is most important about this team.

  13. celeoinc - Dec 29, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    Of course they do. They are the 6th best in the NFC without a doubt. They are also the best in their division. The National media would say they are not a playoff team even if they were 16-0 lol. The national media hates the Skins. However, is up to the local media to give us some joy. After all, life is short and they don’t win the division every year. HTTR.

  14. Ratmond Trollinger - Dec 29, 2015 at 3:52 PM

    So who do you haters of the Redskins think from The NFC east should be in the playoffs besides the Redskins? Would love to see comments

    • skinsgame - Dec 30, 2015 at 3:56 AM


  15. wildbill1952 - Dec 29, 2015 at 4:07 PM

    There have also been years when the Skins had double digit wins and didn’t make it to the playoffs, although you have to be in the above 50 crowd to remember them.

    In addition to a new starting QB and the loss of DeSean for the first 6 games, this team also had 4 of 5 offensive linemen that are new to the first string. I said at the start of the season I’d be more interested in how the linemen perform in the second 8 games than the first 8. There are still some weaknesses among the front 5 at center and left guard, but Leribeus and Long were on the bench at the start of the season, and Scherff is a rookie. If there is any surprise it’s the marked improvement in Moses at right tackle. Still, if this were the Giants or Philadelphia or the Cowboys, the media would be falling all over themselves shouting the praises of the “much improved” team. It being the Skins, the only way the Skins get mentioned among the talking heads is when they start laying down the excuses of the other team and one of the analysts apologetically states “not taking away anything from the Redskins’ win, but…”

    The Skins deserve to be here. They will make it past the first playoff game.

    • berniebernard666 - Dec 29, 2015 at 10:44 PM

      right on. It all evens out. The Skins have missed the playoffs at 10-6 and the Patriots missed one year at 11-5. As Clint Eastwood said in the movie “Unforgiven:……”DESERVE’S GOT NOTHIN TO DO WITH IT”

  16. allhail76 - Dec 29, 2015 at 4:32 PM

    Why is there a ad for the Ravens on the top banner?

  17. Dave J - Dec 29, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    They do deserve to be in the playoffs, the fact the they won the worst division in the history of the NFL isn’t relivant. Will they win a playoff game? Highly unlikely, but it is a single game elimination, so maybe. Will they win two, no chance. This is a bad football team. Yet $nyder will most likely raise ticket prices next year to make us pay for our champions.

  18. kirbs3256 - Dec 29, 2015 at 5:15 PM

    Yawn, this topic is over hyped. Panthers were in last year UNDER 500. Seattle was also in a few years ago UNDER 500.

    • brucefan1 - Dec 29, 2015 at 10:58 PM

      That’s the bottom line Kirby; a non-story that serves a major click bait for the insecure.

      Stuff like this happens a lot; the two you mentioned (which both teams used a springboards to much bigger & better things. Joy!); Green Bay’s Central title at 8-7-1 in 2011; NYG’s 9-7 in their 2011 Super Bowl year; Bucs 9-7 South title in ’07; ‘Hawks (again!) 9-7 West nod in ’06 & ’04, and on and on and on….

      And Wild Cards? Eagles with 9-6-1 in ’08; Dallas 9-7 & NYG 8-8 in 2006 ( ’06 was kinda down, huh?!), Rams at 8-8 in ’05 . Just some recent playoff teams that didn’t reach 10 wins.

      Point is, it’s not unusual for teams that don’t win double-digits to make the playoffs — and it’s also not unusual for there to be a lotta wailing over it! Guess we like things to gnash our teeth about! LOL!

      Really tho, Skins win Sunday, in all likelihood their 9 win team will face one with 10 wins. Big disparity, right??

      • ajbus1 - Dec 30, 2015 at 3:25 AM

        I really think Rich wrote this for all of us level headed fans who were with the team this year and not a particular QB. Just a few weeks ago we were hearing it from Cousins naysayers that it didn’t matter who won the division because it was so weak. I even remember one guy who said he would rather us not be in the playoffs because we would be backing in. Absurd! This is about all of us who stuck with this team throughout the ups and downs. Haters be damned!

        Btw: haven’t heard much from the haters lately. I LIKE THAT!

  19. abanig - Dec 29, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    Who cares? They’re in!

  20. joeand1970 - Dec 29, 2015 at 5:56 PM

    I dont understand. Its called a rebuilding year, we have had a lot of injuries and new players stepping in. I dont care what anyone says we won the division cowgirls philly and new york all had their chance and didnt take it we did. I was at the game with my son in philly and besides the 1st drive by the eagles we dominated. I would have been happy at 8-8 and no playoffs because I knew after the last 2 years I would have been ecstatic at 8-8 but the fact that we one the division is big bonus. People need to relax this team is gonna win some games and lose some games thats how you learn, you dont have losing seasons and then just win everygame it takes time again all this is just a bonus so just enjoy it. And as far as the team name and mascot being racist, seriously. I mean if you really want to make everything right give the native americans all their land back that this country stole or swindled from them. Oh no will just change the name of a football team that will make it alllll better haha give me a break and if the redskins are racist then somebody better look at the mascot of the Cleveland Indians mascot that seems a lot more racist than a proud warrior on the Redskins helmet

    • berniebernard666 - Dec 29, 2015 at 10:31 PM

      joe I am with ya buddy. I was ready to accept a Philly loss and then a win in Dallas to get to 8-8 and then look forward to a great off season once again and perhaps a big playoff run next year. So this is most certainly a BONUS…the Redskins just won their marketing name back…BIG WIN…and then the same week they go to Philly for a BIG WIN….and the Chip Kelly gets fired for another BIG WIN.

      Now the Eagles have to start all over again with bad cap numbers and a new system and new coaches and they are stuck with Chip Kelly’s players. The Eagles are in serious trouble for the immediate future.

  21. JOHNNY B - Dec 29, 2015 at 8:49 PM

    The one thing that the Redskins are definitely is a Coach killer. 1Ryan this year and 1 Kelly . Can we go for three. HTTR

    • brucefan1 - Dec 29, 2015 at 11:28 PM

      Ya took the words right outta my mouth, bernie; funny AND true! LOL

  22. Malyssa Halbert - Dec 29, 2015 at 9:11 PM

    Well yeah they won the NFC, my heavens YES they deserve it. The media doesn’t seem to have the common sense to say anything positive about the SKINS but when they lose well they have a mouthful to bash them. Even some of the announcers bash them and usually they are past coaches. You know GIBBS NEVER BASHED ANOTHER TEAM. So all of you other former coaches if u were half the coach that JOE GIBBS was you might measure up to half the coach he is. So YES LET’S GO TO THE PLAY OFFS!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. berniebernard666 - Dec 29, 2015 at 10:25 PM

    HERE is what is funny…and true. If the Eagles had won Saturday and score those 38 points, right now Kelly would have a job and ESPN and their panel of EXPERTS would be telling us how Philly is going to be the most dangerous team in the playoffs.

    But we beat Filth-adelphia and suddenly Washington is not even worthy of stepping foot in the playoffs. Even Mel Kiper was on a tirade today. He said the Redskins won’t even win a game. One and done he said. He basically said it was ridiculous that the Redskins had made the playoffs.

    so now that the organization is stable, no RG3 talk, a franchise QB, marketing name is legal again, and nothing chaotic going on for ESPN to criticize the Redskins for or make fun of……they actually are going to make fun of us for going to the playoffs. Shouldn’t they make fun of N.Y, Dallas, and Philly???? This is unbelievable.

    • hail74 - Dec 30, 2015 at 12:35 AM

      I can’t stand ESPN and its stable of “experts” like Kiper. Your absolutely correct about philly and add to that if the Giants had managed to make it at 8-8.

  24. Anthony hill Redskins for life - Dec 30, 2015 at 3:06 AM

    Yes I’m an skin’s fan an we don’t have nothing to be ashamed of,we lost some games we could have won an won some we should have lost.but ever team in the league can make that same statement.we won our division an we are in the playoffs where each team is 0for0.every yr.,it’s not the so call best team but the team playing the best football at the’s one game eliminated now.

  25. squawonthewarpath - Dec 30, 2015 at 7:58 AM

    Hell yeah they belong in the playoffs! Its not like they have “stolen” a spot from another NFC team with a better record. While its true that Atlanta currently has the same number of overall wins as the Skins if you examine the records of all 16 teams within the NFC, the Skins are 7-4 in the conference and the Falcons are 5-6. In fact only TWO teams currently have a better conference record than the Skins.

  26. Kory Lewis - Dec 30, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    If we kick the lid off the If Bucket” we will be here all day long!! Redskins have a Home Playoff Game, most likely Underdogs!! STW Time ( SHOCK THE WORLD )…As a Redskins Fan, I don’t have a preference on who plays the Redskins, we feel like we can Compete with ANY team that shows up at FED EX Field….. 💪☝

  27. redskinsnameisheretostay - Dec 30, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    Belonging in the playoffs in the NFL is relative to the given season. To attack the Redskins for earning a spot with a 8-7 record is on par with “killing the messenger” during war time. The Redskins didn’t cheat their way into the playoffs because the team earned it based on the formula for playoff participation the NFL has had for ages. Now there have been many instances where a division crown showed the inherent flaw with this formula. Case in point was last season when a 7-8-1 Carolina Panther teams earned a spot over a 10-6-0 Philadelphia team. How about this year’s 8-7-0 Texan team possibly getting in over a 10-5-0 Jets team? Yes those scenarios show the flaws and those “losing division winners” can be perceived as unworthy. The Redskins however have little to justify NOT getting into the playoffs since what other team in the NFC is more deserving? Atlanta, maybe? Sure Atlanta beat our Skins but it took overtime in their stadium to do it! Such a reason is not what I see view as a overly convincing argument that Atlanta is more deserving than these Redskins. Especially a Redskin team that is playing a better half of football than any other NFC team not currently playoff qualified

  28. ravensrstillsbchamps - Dec 30, 2015 at 12:07 PM

    Have the Skins beaten a team with a winning record this year?

  29. John - Jan 1, 2016 at 11:38 AM

    To Hall with the national media. How often do they see the Skins play to know what their talking about?

    This is not the first team to get in with a 7-9 to 9-7 record. They won when they needed to and that’s all that matters. The rules are simple. Win your division and your in.

    Had Romo and Bryant been healthy we would not be having this discussion. I think everyone can agree with that. At the same time, they were injured, Dallas fell out and so everyone else had a shot and the Redskins are in. Fortunately for the Redskins, the other teams were bad enough that when the Redskins needed the other teams to lose, they did on several occasions. Yeah, the NFC East was not so hot this year but in the end, our guys are in the playoffs. End of story. Archives

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