Football Team

Week 15 Washington Football Team rooting guide

Football Team

In more ways than just the Washington Football Team losing to the division-leading Dallas Cowboys in Week 14, several things did not go Washington's way. In fact of the 11 games that affected the Burgundy and Gold's playoff positioning, only three went their way. Eight did not. 

Still, Washington is in the thick of a crowded NFC playoff race with the No. 7 seed based on tiebreakers. Win out and at worst it would come down to tiebreakers to see if they're in. Four games remain on the schedule and there are the other results in Week 15 that would benefit Washington's cause further. 

With so many teams involved, Washington has to win games - bottom line. If they don't, there are too many teams around them to bank on other results benefiting them.

Four weeks remain and still, no team has clinched. A lot is left to be determined. The Green Bay Packers (10-3) moved to the top of the conference (four games ahead of Washington). Technically, results could fall the way of Washington and they could still get that No. 1 seed (even if it's not remotely likely). The Detroit Lions (1-11-1) were the first team to be eliminated last week, leaving 15 NFC teams fighting for the seven playoff spots.

The most important games to help Washington are to have NFC teams lose to AFC teams. This week, however, there are only two cross-conference games and both have a minimal impact on Washington. 

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 a 10-7 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 Packers losing each matchup. However, based on Green Bay's Week 17 game against the Minnesota Vikings, right now it would be a far greater benefit to Washington for the Packers to win that game over the Vikings, who are contending for one of the final playoff spots. 

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 (10-3) - head-to-head 

-Atlanta Falcons (6-7) - head-to-head 

-Carolina Panthers (5-8) - head-to-head 

-Seattle Seahawks (5-8) - head-to-head 

-Chicago Bears (4-9) - record in common games

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

-Green Bay Packers (10-3)

-New Orleans Saints (6-7)

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

Arizona Cardinals (10-3), Dallas Cowboys (9-4), Los Angeles Rams (9-4), San Francisco 49ers (7-6), Philadelphia Eagles (6-7), Minnesota Vikings (6-7) and New York Giants (4-9).

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 15 Rooting Guide

Dallas Cowboys (9-4) at New York Giants (4-9)

Sunday, Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. ET

New York is technically closer in the standings than Dallas. However, if the Giants become a problem to Washington's playoff hopes a lot went wrong in D.C. and there will be a ton of other teams to fight with. A Cowboys win would also all but wrap up the NFC East title for them as well so root for the Giants.

Arizona Cardinals (10-3) at Detroit Lions (1-11-1)

Sunday, Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. ET

Detroit is officially eliminated from the playoffs so it doesn't matter if Washington fans root for the Lions. Yes, Washington can still technically pass the Cardinals in the standings if a ton of results play out. Let's keep those hopes alive for at least one more week.

Carolina Panthers (5-8) at Buffalo Bills (7-6)

Sunday, Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. ET

The Bills could not take care of business last week against the Buccaneers on Washington's behalf. Root for the Bills again this week to keep one less team breathing down Washington's neck.

Atlanta Falcons (6-7) at San Francisco 49ers (7-6) 

Sunday, Dec. 19 at 4:05 p.m. ET

Believe it or not, this one is pretty straightforward. A 49ers loss here would actually clinch Washington the head-to-head tiebreaker (record vs. common opponents) no matter the rest of the results this week or the remainder of the season. A win by San Fran keeps that door alive. Keep in mind Washington has the tiebreaker over the Falcons no matter what as well. Root for the Falcons.

 

Green Bay Packers (10-3) at Baltimore Ravens (8-5)

Sunday, Dec. 19 at 4:25 p.m. ET

No need to overthink this one, root for the Ravens.

New Orleans Saints (6-7) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3)

Sunday, Dec. 19 at 8:20 p.m. ET

By virtue of losing last week, Washington essentially missed their chance to have relevance in chasing the Buccaneers. This week you need to root for the Buccaneers to give the Saints another tally in the loss column. 

Minnesota Vikings (6-7) at Chicago Bears (4-9)

Monday, Dec. 20 at 8:15 p.m. ET

The Bears are on the brink of elimination if they lose this week. If that gives Chicago any motivation heading into this contest that would be great for Washington. Additionally, Washington already owns that tiebreaker. Root for the Bears

Seattle Seahawks (5-8) at Los Angeles Rams (9-4)

RESCHEDULED: Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. ET

Beating the Seahawks on Monday night could help you lean in one direction but alas Washington trailing the Rams by three games in a four-week span is a lot to overcome. You have to root for the Rams in this situation. 

Washington Football Team (6-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-7)

RESCHEDULED: Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. ET

Washington currently sits with a 27% chance to make the playoffs according to FiveThirtyEight. A win changes that to 55%, a loss and it becomes a mere 13%. This may be the most consequential game for them the rest of the season. Root for Washington.