LOS ANGELES — Some years, the December talk is of playoff tiebreakers.
Other years, it’s about draft position.
This is one of those “other” years.
The Redskins’ current skid of four losses in their last five games has knocked them out of playoff contention but into more favorable position in the 2018 NFL Draft, which is scheduled to take place in late April.
The Redskins' record is 5-8 through Week 14, and if the season ended today, Washington would be picking either 11th or 12th in the first round.
Here’s the big picture: As of Monday, there are eight teams that have fewer wins than Washington. All of them would be picking ahead of the Redskins.
The Bengals and Jets also have eight losses so the one and only draft order tiebreaker would be applied.
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This does not work out well for the Redskins.
The NFL Draft tiebreaker is strength of schedule with the teams with the weaker schedules getting the better picks. I am sure you have heard about how tough a schedule the Redskins have all year long. It was a point of pride for many fans. But now it comes back to bite them.
The Jets (opponents winning percentage .488) and the Bengals (.444) have faced weaker schedules than the Redskins (.574). That pushes Washington back to 11th.
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But there is a Week 14 game pending. The Dolphins, who have seven losses, play the Patriots on Monday Night Football. If they lose and join the eight-loss group, they would jump ahead of the Redskins based on the SOS tiebreaker, pushing Washington back to 12th.
Of course, the season doesn’t end today and a lot can happen.
But if the bottom doesn’t completely fall out it seems likely that they will end up somewhere between 10th and 12th in the first round.
We will be looking at what that might mean for the Redskins in the coming days and weeks as the offseason comes early for the Redskins one more time.