Week 13 Washington Football Team rooting guide


From near the basement to the final spot in the NFC playoff picture, the Washington Football Team has vaulted itself into relevancy over the past three weeks. Somehow, this team that was once 2-6 now controls its own playoff destiny with six games left on the season. 

Washington and the San Francisco 49ers are the hottest teams in the NFC. Both teams have won three straight. To stay at the No. 7 seed, Washington needs to keep winning, but there are plenty of results that can go its way to help the cause. 

No team has clinched. The Arizona Cardinals (9-2) sit at the top of the conference (four games ahead of Washington). Likewise, there is no team that has been eliminated, not even the Detroit Lions (0-10-1). As such, all 16 NFC teams are still fighting for the seven playoff spots. The most important games to help Washington are to have NFC teams lose to AFC teams. 

Let's talk a little bit about how this works. The selection of which team to root for is based on the assumption that Washington wins out the remainder of the season (resulting in an 11-6 record). The only time it will not is when there is a bigger benefit in direct playoff positioning amongst the two teams for a matchup.

An example is that results will be chosen to help Washington earn the highest seed (right now the No. 1 seed) and have the Cardinals losing each matchup. For instance, if the Week 17 contest where the Dallas Cowboys play the Cardinals were this week, it would behoove Washington to have Arizona win to knock the Cowboys down. Even though it might make the No. 1 seed race more difficult, it opens an easier path for the division title which is a more likely scenario.


Tiebreaking procedures are considered with head-to-head results being the priority, followed by the win-loss percentage in division games and common opponents. 

So far Washington has tiebreakers over the following teams:

-Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3)

-Atlanta Falcons (5-6)

-Carolina Panthers (5-7)

-Seattle Seahawks (3-8)

The Burgandy and Gold have lost the tiebreakers to these teams:

-Green Bay Packers (9-3)

-New Orleans Saints (5-6)

At this point, Washington is in contention for all seven playoff spots, including the NFC East crown and the No. 1 seed with a first-round bye.

Washington Week 13 Rooting Guide

Dallas Cowboys (7-4) at New Orleans Saints (5-6)

Thursday, Dec. 2 at 8:20 p.m. ET

One could make the argument to root for either team here. If Washington were to truly win out, they would win the NFC East no matter what the Cowboys did. With that being said, the Saints are more likely to be a competitor for a Wild Card spot. Root for the Saints to make that division path a little easier.

New York Giants (4-7) at Miami Dolphins (5-7)

Sunday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. ET

Not much needs to be said, root for the Dolphins.

Minnesota Vikings (5-6) at Detroit Lions (0-10-1)

Sunday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. ET

The Lions face elimination this week. Hopefully, that is motivation enough that they upset the Vikings, root for the Lions.

Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) at New York Jets (3-8)

Sunday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. ET

Not much needs to be said, root for the Jets.

Arizona Cardinals (9-2) at Chicago Bears (4-7)

Sunday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. ET

There remains a path for Washington to take the No. 1 seed, however unlikely it may seem. You keep those hopes alive by rooting for the Bears this week. Overall, though, it would help Washington's overall playoff hopes if the Cardinals won.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3) at Atlanta Falcons (5-6)

Sunday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m. ET

Washington holds both the tiebreakers over these two teams, which puts less stress on this matchup. But, this has similar stakes to the Cowboys-Saints game. An argument could be made on either side; assuming Washington wins out, rooting for the Falcons would help the cause for a higher seed. However, if Washington does not win the NFC East it would be more beneficial for the Falcons to have another loss.

Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9) at Los Angeles Rams (7-4)

Sunday, Dec. 5 at 4:05 p.m. ET

Not a likely result but root for the Jaguars.

Washington Football Team (5-6) at Las Vegas Raiders (6-5)


Sunday, Dec. 5 at 4:05 p.m. ET

This is a no-brainer. Root for Washington. However, despite the opponent being from the opposing conference, this game could be the difference between the playoffs and a high draft pick. Many projections think so anyway. FiveThirtyEight gives Washington a 48% chance at the playoffs with a win (25% to win the division) and that falls to 20% (9% division) with a loss.

San Francisco 49ers (6-5) at Seattle Seahawks (3-8)

Sunday, Dec. 5 at 4:25 p.m. ET

Seattle's playoff hopes are dwindling as each week goes by. Washington fans should be rooting for the Seahawks this week to turn it around.