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Monday, December 05, 2005

If the playoffs were today

--posted by Tony Garcia on 12/05/2005

If the playoffs were today what would the playoff picture be like?

1st week byes: and

Wild card games
at and at

Left out:
...based on head to head vs San Diego (0-1). To overcome this tiebreaker they must beat the Chargers on 12/24.
...they are 1 game behind San Diego and Kansas City. They have an easier schedule (Chi, @Min, @Cle, Det) and can easily go 4-0 to finish the season. Kansas City (@Dal, @NYG, SD, Cin) and San Diego (Mia, @Ind, @KC, Den) could easily both go 1-3 or 2-2 which would give Pittsburgh the #6 spot.

1st week byes: and

Wild card games
at and at

Left out:
...worse conference record than Dallas.
...lowest Strength of Victory compared to Atlanta and Dallas. The Vikings (StL, Pit, @Bal, Chi), horrible as they actually are, could sneak into a first round playoff loss. They can easily go 3-1 to finish the season. Atlanta (@NO, @Chi, @TB, Car) and Dallas (KC, @Was, @Car, StL) have tougher roads. Both of them are likely to go 2-2 to finish the season which would give the Vikings the #6 position outright. Working against the Vikings is the fact that they lose out on head-to-head with Atlanta and lose in a 3-way tiebreaker. They do currently hold a 1-game edge in Conference record over Dallas.
...a not-so-longshot to get into the playoffs. They have to first catch Dallas. The schedule can allow that (@Ari, Dal, NYG, @Phi)...and if they lose only to the Giants they would need Dallas to have an additional loss. That is possible. The Redskins hopes rely on exactly this for the next four weeks: Win one more game than Dallas, Atlanta and Minnesota. Possible. With that done there is one game that is crucial...the Cowboys-Indians game. Winning that paves the way to the playoffs. Losing that means they will still have to win one more of the last 4 games than Dal, Atl, and Min, but must have Dallas' wins be against beat Carolina (to tie common game record) AND Kansas City (giving Washington a better conference record). There is hope beyond that but it's too ugly to care about and too slim to worry about right now.

If the Redskins catch Atlanta they will hold the tiebreaker (conference record) over Atlanta. They also own the tiebreaker advantage over Minnesota. Their conference record is 6-2 with 2 more left and Minnesota is 4-4 with 2 more left. That means if Washington wins one more of the last 4 games than the Vikings they will have the better conference record. Bottom line...don't count Washington out yet. They have a good chance.

This is all assuming a Seattle victory over Philadelphia tonight. If the Eagles win I will update this post.

********** UPDATE **********
Updated the Washington scenario, ignored the possibility that Dal, Atl & Min all go 1-3 or worse.


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