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NFL Playoff Picture 2017: Predicting the NFC playoff bracket heading into Week 17

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NFL Playoff Picture 2017: Predicting the NFC playoff bracket heading into Week 17

Week 16 brought some answers to the NFC playoff picture.

Both the Cowboys' and Lions' playoff hopes were brought to a screeching halt Sunday after they both suffered losses.

While the No. 1 seed is locked in and the No. 2 seed will most likely remain the Vikings' after their Week 17 matchup against the Bears, we could see some shifting from the third seed all the way to the sixth and final seed.

The NFL has flexed several 1:00 p.m. ET games to the 4:25 p.m. ET slot including Panthers-Falcons and Saints-Buccaneers. All playoff contending games will now be played at 4:25 p.m. ET with no Sunday night matchup.

Ahead of Week 17, let's take a look at all the possibilities



#1 Philadelphia Eagles (13-2) vs. lowest winning seed from NFC Wild Card round

#2 Minnesota Vikings (12-3) vs. highest winning seed from NFC Wild Card round

#3 Los Angeles Rams (11-4) vs. #6 Atlanta Falcons (9-6)

#4 New Orleans Saints (11-4) vs. #5 Carolina Panthers (11-4)


Record/Division Record: 13-2/5-0
Remaining Games: vs. Cowboys (8-7)
Playoff Scenarios: The biggest issue for the Eagles right now is making it to the Super Bowl with Nick Foles under center.

They have already clinched the NFC East and home-field advantage throughout. Don't be surprised if head coach Doug Pederson benches many of his starters in a practically meaningless game. 


Record/Division Record: 12-3/ 4-1
Remaining Games: vsBears (5-10)
Playoff Scenarios: The Vikings clinched the NFC North division and are now looking for a first-round bye. To do that they need a 

-Win or tie OR

-Panthers loss or tie OR

-Saints win OR

-Chargers win


Record/Division Record: 11-4/4-1
Remaining Games: vs. 49ers (5-10)
Playoff Scenarios: The Rams have clinched the NFC West and just like the Eagles, this is a pretty meaningless game. They've secured the 3rd or 4th seed no matter the outcome on Sunday.

Once we get into the postseason it will be very interesting to see what the youngest coach ever in the NFL has drawn up.


Record/Division Record:11-4/4-1
Remaining Games: @Buccaneers (4-11)
Playoff Scenarios: One thing the Saints have that their fellow NFC teams ranked above them do not have is a veteran quarterback. A quarterback that has six playoffs and a Super Bowl under his belt.

They've clinched a playoff berth and now are playing for the NFC South, which can happen a few ways.

-Win OR

-Panthers loss OR

-Tie + Panthers tie


Record/Division Record:11-4/3-2
Remaining Games: @Falcons (9-6)
Playoff Scenarios: Cam Newton and the Panthers clinched a playoff berth in Week 16 and are now headed to the ATL to face Matt Ryan and the Falcons.

Oddly enough, they could go as high as the No. 2 seed with a win and losses from the Saints, Vikings and Rams. We wouldn't count on that happening.

The real battle this week will be clinching the NFC South; something they will have to steal from the Saints who are facing the 4-11 Buccaneers.

-Win + Saints loss or tie OR

-Tie + Saints loss

Clinch first-round bye:

Win + Saints loss or tie + Vikings loss + Chargers loss or tie


Record/Division Record:9-6/3-2
Remaining Games: vs. Panthers (11-4)
Playoff Scenarios: This will be a very interesting game.

Why? The Falcons are fighting to keep their No. 6 spot. A win against the Panthers is the easiest way in with the Seahawks on their tails. To see January football they'll need a 

-Win OR

-Seahawks loss OR

-Tie + Seahawks tie



7. Seattle Seahawks

Record/Division Record:9-6/3-2
Remaining Games: vs. Cardinals (7-8)
Playoff Scenarios: The Seahawks are the only team in the NFC still in the hunt, and with an up-and-down season, they could oddly enough still take the No. 6 seed.

Seahawks fans will also want to become Panthers fans on Sunday.

Clinch a playoff berth:

-Win + Falcons loss or tie OR

-Tie + Falcons loss 


San Francisco 49ers, New York Giants, Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Free agency frenzy

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Free agency frenzy

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 17, 40 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Redskins and NFL free agency tracker—I started this a week ago today and it grew to 3,500 words. The problem was there wasn’t much to add by the time that free agency actually started at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The legal tampering period or, as I dubbed it to avoid an oxymoron being used, the “permitted tampering-like activities period” was when all of the news happened. By the time actual free agency opened on Wednesday afternoon it pretty much was all over. Thanks to those of you who followed along.

Zach Brown agrees to terms with Redskins, per source—Since Kirk Cousins’ departure was a foregone conclusion, Brown was the Redskins’ most important free agent. His retention provides continuity in the defense and that will benefit both the team and Brown. His contract (preliminary numbers three years, $24 million) showed that the Redskins are willing to invest some money in the inside linebacker spot for the first time since Joe Gibbs brought in London Fletcher to play middle linebacker in 2007.

Report: Kirk Cousins to sign epic new deal with Vikings—We heard you, folks. The collective voice of the fans who visit NBC Sports Washington on a regular basis let us know that you were not interested in a lot of posts about the Cousins saga that was unfolding in Minnesota. So this was one of very few articles on Cousins that we posted even though Cousins posts have been popular, but with the vast majority of traffic coming from out of town. So, you’re welcome. It should be noted that we will write about Cousins in the future but infrequently.

Redskins officially announce 5-year deal with WR Richardson—He was the opening act for the Alex Smith press conference, and he handled himself very well. If Richardson is even moderately successful I think he will be a major fan favorite.  

Tweet of the week

Here is what fans need to know—a team can afford to do virtually anything it wants in free agency in a given year. If they wanted to the Redskins could restructure deals and sign all of their free agents to contracts that have very small first-year cap hits, creating room to sign the Honey Badger or Suh. The problems come in later years when the cap space you pushed back starts to pile up. The Redskins generally do squeeze free agent contracts into relatively small cap spaces. For example, Richardson’s deal average $8 million per year but the 2018 cap hit is just $4 million. But they don’t like to restructure deals to push money back into later years. That created problems during the Vinny Cerrato years.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 30
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 132
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 176

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Bashaud Breeland the latest former Redskin to fail a physical; won't be signing with Panthers

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Bashaud Breeland the latest former Redskin to fail a physical; won't be signing with Panthers

The Redskins had to say good bye to several key players as the 2018 NFL free agency period began.

Cornerback Bashaud Breeland was one of those players.

On Tuesday, Breeland reported agreed to a 3-year, $24 million deal with the Carolina Panthers.

But on Friday afternoon it was reported that Breeland failed a physical, which means he won't be signing with the Panthers, per Panthers reporter Bill Voth.


If this sounds familiar, it's because it is familiar.

Redskins wide receiver Ryan Grant intended on signing a four-year, $29 million deal with the Ravens. But a failed physical just a day before his introductory press conference meant a voided contract and back to the drawing board.

According to multiple reports, Breeland's failed physical was due to a recent non-football injury. Breeland and the Panthers could still come to an agreement, but the former Clemson star is now back to being a free agent and will have to pass a physical before officially signing with a new team.

According to ESPN's David Newton, Breeland injured his foot on vacation in the Dominican Republic and will need his skin grafted in order to repair the injury.

The Redskins were one of the NFL's most injured teams in 2017, and that trend appears to have extended to the offseason.