It's win out and in for the Redskins.
If they beat Minnesota tonight and then beat the Cowboys next Sunday at RFK, the Redskins will be in the playoffs. They got the help they needed today when New Orleans lost to Philadelphia.
The Skins can only be the sixth seed as they can't finish with any better than nine wins. The Giants are in with 10. That means they qualify they will go on the road to face the number three seed, which it appears that Seattle is about to wrap up. If they should win that game, they would travel to Dallas.
The fact that the Redskins control their destiny is remarkable considering the adversity, some of it self-created, some of it just horrendous ill fortune, that they have encountered this year.
- Losing RT Jon Jansen for the season in the first half of the first game.
- Losing RG Randy Thomas for the season in the first half of the second game.
- The stunning loss to the Giants, setting a pattern for blowing halftime leads. On top of this one was the failure to send it into overtime after getting a first and goal in the late going.
- Another lost halftime lead in Green Bay when dropped passes cost the Skins dearly and the winning points were scored on a fumble returned for a touchdown.
- A win over the Cardinals generated a firestorm of criticism for a nearly-blown lead and various game-management issues.
- Cornerback Carlos Rogers is lost for the season while the Patriots are in the process of hanging half a hundred on the Skins.
- The loss to the Eagles with virtually every move Gibbs and company made was put under the microscope and criticized.
- Late Jason Campbell interceptions cost the Skins back to back games in Dallas and Tampa.
- The murder of Sean Taylor would have been a crushing blow to the team had he been a little-used reserve player. The fact that he was the team's best player multiplied the effect exponentially.
- Ironically, against Buffalo the Redskins didn't have a problem with burning too many timeouts. That gave Gibbs the opportunity to call back to back timeouts to try to ice the Buffalo kicker. The resulting unsportsmanlike conduct call turned a long game-winning attempt into a short one.
- In wins over Chicago and the Giants, the Redskins lose Jason Campbell and Rocky McIntosh for the year although—and now it's not folly to say this—Campbell could be back for the playoffs.
So, like the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail who fights on despite having limbs lopped off, the Redskins are pressing through the adversity.