For the Redskins to make the playoffs, much hinges on the Cowboys beating the Lions on Monday Night Football, but a more obscure option emerged that could keep Washington out of the postseason.
Want a crazy scenario? If DAL wins tonight, DET and GB would BOTH make playoffs if they TIE next week. Imagine if that game goes overtime.— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) December 26, 2016
What?! For informational purposes, assume the Redskins beat the Giants next week. Well, if Detroit loses to Dallas on Monday and then ties with the Packers next week, all three of the Lions, Green Bay and the 'Skins would have records of 9-6-1.
Green Bay would edge out the Lions for the NFC North title due to a head-to-head win in Week 3, and Detroit would edge out the Redskins for the 6th and final playoff spot thanks to the Lions head-to-head win in Week 7.
So that begs the question, any chance the Lions and Packers would intentionally play for the tie? From any player or coach or league official, that answer will always be no. Off the record, it still would be pretty hard for NFL players to play for a tie. Not to mention, that would mean Detroit giving up on an NFC North title and a home playoff game, which isn't going to happen.
What could happen, however, is that both the Packers and Lions coaching staff play things a bit more conservatively, especially late in a close game with the clock ticking down. Why risk a loss when a tie gets you into the postseason? It's simple self-preservation.
Of course, all of this could be rendered useless if Detroit wins against Dallas. Check back tomorrow.