After a bitterly disappointing Monday Night loss, Washington Redskins fans should still have a glimmer of playoff hope left in 2016.
Here's where the Redskins stand now:
• They are 7-6-1 and can't catch Dallas or NY Giants in their division (2 teams)
• Either Detroit or Green Bay will win the NFC North (1 team)
• Either Atlanta or Tampa Bay will win the NFC South (1 team)
• Seattle has won the NFC West and no other team in the West can catch Washington if they win at least one game (1 team)
That makes five teams ahead of Washington, leaving four teams (Redskins, Vikings and non-division winners among Lions/Packers and Falcons/Buccaneers) realistically fighting for the final Wild Card spot.
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Here's a breakdown of what Redskins fans should be looking for over the final two weeks.
If the Redskins win their final two games (at Bears, vs. Giants) to finish 9-6-1, they will clinch a Wild Card spot with:
1) Either one Tampa Bay loss (at New Orleans, vs. Carolina) OR two Atlanta losses (at Carolina, vs. New Orleans)
2) Either one Green Bay loss (vs. Minnesota, at Detroit) OR two Detroit losses (at Dallas, vs. Green Bay)
This scenario does not seem far-fetched at all, especially looking at the Lions' and Buccaneers' schedules.
Washington can also maintain hope if they beat the Bears but the rest of Week 16 doesn't go their way.
If both Green Bay and Detroit win Week 16, the Redskins need Detroit to beat Green Bay at home Week 17. If both Atlanta and Tampa Bay win Week 16, Washington will need Tampa Bay to lose to Carolina at home Week 17.
Now, if the Redskins go 1-1 over the last two weeks and finish 8-7-1, they can still clinch a Wild Card spot with:
1) Two Green Bay losses
2) Two Tampa Bay losses
3) Minnesota loses or ties Chicago
There are also scenarios where an additional Washington tie or other involved team ties can create a nuance to the Wild Card outcome, but the above scenarios are easily the most likely and at least gives Redskins fans something to focus on over the last two weeks of 2016.