Football Team

Week 14 Washington Football Team rooting guide

Football Team

Make it four straight for the Washington Football Team, turning a once 2-6 organization into the No. 6 seed that not only controls its playoff destiny but controls its fate for the NFC East crown. All of a sudden, Washington is in the thick of the NFC playoff race.

Five games remain on the schedule and there are the results in Week 14 that would benefit Washington's cause further. 

Washington is now the hottest team in the NFC. The Burgundy and Gold have won four straight and have plenty of room to climb up the ladder. There's no question that to remain at the No. 6 seed Washington needs to keep winning, but there are plenty of results that can go its way to help.

No team has clinched and a lot is left to be determined. The Arizona Cardinals (10-2) 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 (1-10-1). 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. This could be a huge week for Washington as seven NFC teams are facing AFC teams.

A reminder on the methodology for this guide. 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 (5-7)

-Carolina Panthers (5-7)

-Seattle Seahawks (4-8)

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

-Green Bay Packers (9-3)

-New Orleans Saints (5-7)

Tiebreakers that are yet to be determined by playoff-eligible teams:

Arizona Cardinals (10-2), Dallas Cowboys (8-4), Los Angeles Rams (8-4), San Francisco 49ers (6-6), Philadelphia Eagles (6-7), Minnesota Vikings (5-7), New York Giants (4-8), Chicago Bears (4-8) and Detroit Lions (1-10-1).

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 14 Rooting Guide

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1) at Minnesota Vikings (5-7)

Thursday, Dec. 9 at 8:20 p.m. ET

Minnesota's loss to the Lions was shocking. A loss to Pittsburgh would be less shocking but welcomed all the same for Washington, root for the Steelers.

Dallas Cowboys (8-4) at Washington Football Team (6-6)

Sunday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. ET

Duh, a win moves Washington's playoff odds 51% (17% chance to win NFC East) to 71% (32% to win the division), according to FiveThirtyEight. A big time to root for Washington.

Seattle Seahawks (4-8) at Houston Texans (2-10)

Sunday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. ET

Seattle did their duty for Washington last week by knocking off the 49ers. This week you can safely root for the Texans

New Orleans Saints (5-7) at New York Jets (3-9)

Sunday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. ET

The Saints will be a team capable of sneaking into the backdoor of the playoffs with their final stretch of games. Rooting for a Jets victory will make it easier to keep the Saints in the rear-view mirror. 

Atlanta Falcons (5-7) at Carolina Panthers (5-7)

Sunday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. ET

Take your pick on this matchup. Washington has the tiebreaker on both and, ideally, there is no reason for Washington to be concerned with either. If you need a team to root for, root for the Panthers because the Falcons have the third-easiest schedule remaining in the NFL.

New York Giants (4-8) at Los Angeles Chargers (7-5)

 

Sunday, Dec. 12 at 4:05 p.m. ET

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

Detroit Lions (1-10-1) at Denver Broncos (6-6)

Sunday, Dec. 12 at 4:25 p.m. ET

This is the one you could let get away. But still, you technically should root for the Broncos.

San Francisco 49ers (6-6) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)

Sunday, Dec. 12 at 4:25 p.m. ET

Not much needs to be said, root for the Bengals. Washington has a chance to win the tiebreaker over the 49ers in later weeks if they beat the Eagles at least once.

Buffalo Bills (7-5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3)

Sunday, Dec. 12 at 4:25 p.m. ET

IF Washington is able to win the NFC East, the No. 3 seed looks a lot better than the No. 4 seed. Root for the Bills.

Green Bay Packers (9-3) at Chicago Bears (4-8)

Sunday, Dec. 12 at 8:20 p.m. ET

Sure, there's an outside chance Washington could pass the Packers for what would potentially be the No. 2 seed. But, what's more likely: Green Bay going 1-4 (or worse) to allow this possibility or the Bears fighting back into the playoff conversation? Losing the tiebreaker to Green Bay turned a three-game deficit to essentially a 3.5-game deficit. That's hard to overcome in five games. Root for the Packers and put the Bears on the brink of elimination. 

Los Angeles Rams (8-4) at Arizona Cardinals (10-2)

Monday, Dec. 13 at 8:15 p.m. ET

The path for Washington to take the No. 1 seed still remains, however unlikely it may seem. Chasing the No. 1 seed is far-fetched with a lot of results needing to go Washington's way. Chasing the No. 4 seed and the Rams isn't far-fetched. Even though it will pretty much end all hopes of earning the top seed, root for the Cardinals.