I was going to avoid the topic of the Redskins making the playoffs here until I saw whether or not they were able to kick an Eagles team that’s down. Buy, hey, if eternal pessimist Rick Snider can broach the topic and the Washington Post, hardly a “homer” publication, can too, I might as well give my take one it.
The first thing to get out of the way is that the Redskins’ fate is not in their own hands. They could run the table, finish 10-6, and still be on the outside looking in. If they beat the Eagles on Sunday they will be two games be behind the Giants and they only play New York one more time. So if New York wins all of its remaining games with the exception of the one against Washington, they would still be a game ahead of the Redskins (and the team would be looking back on the late Manning-to-Cruz bomb in the Meadowlands last month with great regret).
But the Giants have a tough road to hoe to get to 11 wins and that is one of the things that gives the Redskins hope. New York’s remaining six games include home games against the red-hot packers and Saints and road trips to Atlanta and Baltimore, teams that will be fighting for first-round byes. They would be doing well to match last year’s total of nine wins.
Although it would be a mistake to completely write off the Eagles, the Redskins can throw another shovel of dirt on them with a win on Sunday. The Cowboys have an easier remaining slate than do the Giants but the Redskins have two shots at them.
The Post paints a plausible scenario where the Redskins could win the division at 8-8 that would entail splitting with Dallas, sweeping the Eagles and beating the Giants.
It’s plausible but still not likely unless the Redskins can suddenly find a way to put together some of the magic they had in 2005 and 2007. They put together late-season winning streaks (five games in ’05, four in ’07) to grab playoff spots. Since then, they have pieced together a winning streak of longer than two games just once and that was in the first months of the 2008 season. If things are different and they can tear off a few wins in a row, then they have a chance.
But, like many, I will believe it can happen when I see it happen.