Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Upcoming Washington/New York Monday Night Football Has a Surprisingly Good Chance of Determining the Divsion

Washington is at 5-6 with a lot of problems, so I would be hard-pressed to call them a good, division-winning, or playoff-deserving caliber of team. That said, they might have a shot at at least two of those distinctions this year due to the relatively weak performance of NFC East teams combined with remaining schedules, particularly the amount of intra-divisional match-ups left on the Redskins' schedule.

Outside of the division, we have Ravens and Browns left. If we go 1-1 in those games, which seems likely, we're looking at 6-7 with 1 game against each other NFC East team left. Though they aren't guaranteed by any means, one has to think we have a good shot at sweeping the Eagles, who are in full-on self-destruct mode, and the Cowboys, than whom we looked much better on Thanksgiving. That puts us at 8-7 with the Giants game left. Obviously the Giants are the favorite, but with an NFC East game and how we looked against them last time, it is by no means assured, and beating them would likely result in both teams ending the year with 9-7 records and Washington having the tie-breaker over New York. How absurd would that be?

Giants (7-4) have a pretty tough road remaining, with the games other than ours being New Orleans, who is starting to look pretty dangerous, the 1-loss Falcons, the 2-loss Ravens, and a divisional game against the Eagles. If they go 2-2 against the Falcons, Ravens, Saints, and Eagles, they're sitting at 9-6 with our MNF game being the remainder.

Obviously that's a lot of if's and assumptions, but nothing outlandish. This MNF game could really matter. A Giants win borderline clinches them the division, while a Washington victory makes things very interesting in the NFC East from here on out.

In addition to that, Washington oddly enough holds a lot of key head-to-head tiebreakers owing to victories over Tampa Bay, Seattle, Minnesota, New Orleans, and Dallas, which comprise all the present 6-5 teams in the NFC as well as the 5-6 Cowboys. As such, if we manage to perform well from here on out but don't win the division, our taking a wild-card playoff spot is still very feasible.