Football Team

Washington may not have to win the NFC East to get into the playoffs

Football Team

The NFC East has been so bad all year, it appeared to be a foregone conclusion that it would only produce one playoff team. 

While that very well still may be the case, the NFC wild-card picture and the Washington Football Team's three-game winning streak has given them another possible path to the postseason. 

A shocking win over the undefeated Steelers on the road puts Washington at 5-7 on the year and tied with the Giants atop the division standings, though it also puts them just a game back of the final playoff spot in the NFC, currently held by the 6-6 Vikings. 

7. Vikings (6-6)

8. Cardinals (6-6)

9. Bears (5-7)

10. Lions (5-7)

11. 49ers (5-7)

12. Washington (5-7)

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There are four teams in the conference with five wins and another two with six, making it a wide-open race for the right to play the NFC's No. 2 seed in this season's expanded playoffs. As of now, the Packers (9-3), Saints (10-2) and Rams (8-4) are all in play for that spot. 

Among the five teams above Washington in the wild-card standings, only one of them has a weaker schedule over the final four games of the season (Lions). Washington plays the 49ers, Seahawks, Panthers and Eagles in the final month, with the 49er game holding significant playoff implications here. 

 

Winning the division is still Washington's best shot at a playoff berth, even though they don't hold the tiebreaker over the Giants and will need a little help to get there. However, the wild card is still very much in play.