During Thursday night football Redskins fans were put in the uncomfortable position of rooting for a win by the hated Dallas Cowboys. While it was a painful experience for many, there was a payoff at the end.
The Cowboys beat the Vikings 17-15 after stopping a two-point conversion try in the last minute. As has been the case too often around the NFL this year, the game was marred by an apparent officiating error. Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford was clearly hit in the helmet on the two-point try. Minnesota should have had another shot at the two points to tie but the flag stayed in Tony Corrente’s pocket.
Regardless, the loss dropped the Vikings to 6-6. They were a half game behind the Redskins; Minnesota now the must pick up two full games on Washington to pass them for the second and final NFC wild card spot. The loss didn't eliminate the Vikings as a threat to the Redskins' hold on a playoff spot but it does give Washington some breathing room.
Going into Sunday’s games, the Buccaneers are the only NFC team at 6-5, a half game behind Washington. They play at San Diego in a game that starts at the same time as the Redskins-Cardinals game. If the Bucs lose, the Redskins could fall to the Cardinals and remain in position as the second wild card. A Redskins win plus a Bucs loss would give the Redskins a game and a half lead and the ability to wrap up the wild card with three wins in their last four games.
Here are the NFC non-division leaders with six wins and their remaining schedules:
Redskins (6-4-1), @Cardinals, @Eagles, Panthers, @Bears, Giants
Bucs (6-5), @Chargers, Saints, @Cowboys, @Saints, Panthers
Vikings (6-6), @Jaguars, Colts, @Packers, Bears
While the Bucs and Vikings are the teams closest to the Redskins, there are several teams hanging around on the fringes. Look for your complete “root for” guide tomorrow in Enemy Intel.