The Redskins had a big win in prime time but it really didn’t get the much of anywhere in the short term.
After their 42-24 win over the Packers, the Redskins are 6-3-1 and they are right where they started the day in their two most important races. Washington is in third place in the NFC East, still a half game behind the 7-3 Giants and two and a half behind the Cowboys, who are 9-1. Both of their rivals won earlier on Sunday so they gained no ground.
They did pick up a game on the Eagles, who lost to the Seahawks on Sunday. They are now a game and a half clear of the NFC East cellar.
The Redskins also started and finished the day in position as the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoff hunt, the second wild card spot. They had to win or the Vikings, winners over the Cardinals today, would have elevated into that spot.
So, certainly, the win today was more than just running in place. In addition to staying ahead of the Vikings they picked up ground on the Cardinals and Eagles, who are further back in the playoff race.
They face the Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, a tough task under any circumstances but made even more challenging by the Dallas’ 9-1 record and the very short week they have after this night game.
But even if that proves to be too much, they will have an opportunity to put together a stretch run to the playoffs. After Dallas, none of their next five opponents currently has a winning record. They have trips to play the Cardinals (4-5-1) and Eagles (5-5) before coming home to face the Panthers (4-6) and taking a Christmas Eve trip to Chicago (2-8). If they can find three wins in that group of games they would finish the season at least 9-6-1, a record that would very likely land them in the postseason.