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Redskins now control their playoff destiny

Redskins now control their playoff destiny

The Redskins have been handed an opportunity. Now they need to take advantage of it.

The Dallas Cowboys did their division foes a solid, beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26-20 on Sunday night football. The loss dropped the Bucs to 8-6. If the Redskins beat the Panthers tonight they will be 8-5-1 and in position to be the sixth seed in the playoffs.

Here are the realistic wild card playoff contenders in order of their current seeding and their remaining schedules:

Giants (10-4): @Eagles, @Redskins
Redskins (7-5-1): Panthers, @Bears, Giants
Packers (8-6): Vikings, @Lions
Bucs (8-6): @Saints, Panthers

The Redskins’ road to the playoffs is simple — win and in. If they win their remaining three games they will be 10-5-1. The Packers and Bucs can get to 10 wins but they would have six losses each and Washington would have a better winning percentage.

RELATED: Panthers Luke Kuechley might sit tonight

If they win tonight the Redskins could clinch a playoff berth on Christmas Eve if they beat the Bears and the Packers lose to the Vikings at home and the Bucs fall in New Orleans. That seems unlikely, especially the Packers, Vikings result, but nobody thought that Green Bay would need a late Aaron Rodgers bomb to Jordy Nelson and a field goal as time expired to beat the Bears on Sunday.

Washington could also sneak its way in next week with a win tonight and, in Week 16, victory over the Bears, a Tampa Bay loss, a Green Bay tie and as long as the Lions-Cowboys game does not end in a tie, according to NFL Tiebreaker expert Joe Ferreira (@joenfl).

With three games left there are plenty of other paths for the Redskins to get to the playoffs without winning out. Per the website the Redskins have between a 68 percent chance and a 72 percent chance of getting to the playoffs if they win two of their last three. That’s a lot less than the 100 percent chance that a 3-0 finish would bring but it points out the fact that there still is a lot of football to played.

READ MORE: Redskins holiday wish list

For now, the Redskins just need to take care of business tonight. Per a win tonight moves their playoff chances from 53 percent to 72 percent. That would be a good start.

RELATED: Week 16 playoff scenarios

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

While the rumors about the Redskins potentially trading for Marvin Jones from over the weekend were total nonsense, a reason they resonated so much with fans is because many believe Washington needs major help at wide receiver.

But during a segment of Monday's Redskins 100 show, analyst Trevor Matich assessed the position group and actually thinks that, as a whole, the team should be relatively pleased with the talent it has outside.

"I like it better than I have in recent years, especially if Paul Richardson stays healthy," Matich said.

His "especially" qualifier is a common one, and that's because Richardson is the most established wideout currently on the roster — and he still has just 1,564 career receiving yards to his name. However, a healthy Richardson (which the 'Skins never really saw in his first year, considering he got injured early in training camp and was never the same) provides Jay Gruden the field stretcher he loves to have.

Richardson isn't the only player Matich is anxious to see, though.

"Terry McLaurin, their draft choice from Ohio State, is legitimately a 4.3 guy," he said. "He gets deep down the field and catches the ball in space."

One of the biggest issues for the 2018 Redskins was a lack of speed at every single spot. In Richardson and McLaurin, the Burgundy and Gold now have a pair of pass catchers who can fly past corners, do damage 30-plus yards down the sideline and open things up for other targets as well.

Overall, in reacting to the Jones storyline, Matich really doesn't see a huge need for the organization to make any additions to that collection of pieces. 

"I think that when you take a look at all the other guys, Trey Quinn in the slot, things like that, this receiving corps is fine," he said. "It's not desperate. They don't need to invest resources to bring extra people in."

Now, is "fine" and "not desperate" the level the front office and coaches want their receivers to be? Of course not. But Matich's stance is intriguing, because he's content with who'll be lining up there while plenty of others absolutely don't see it that way and feel a trade would be prudent.

If you're in that second group, recent history indicates this is the dead zone for NFL deals. So try not to waste your time refreshing Twitter over and over and over.

Perhaps Washington gets to Richmond and, after a few weeks of practices and a couple of exhibition contests, realizes their depth chart could use another name. Or maybe an injury happens and forces their hand. But according to Matich, as of now, the offense can function with the parts it has in place.


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Urban Meyer predicts former QB Dwayne Haskins is 'going to be great'

Urban Meyer predicts former QB Dwayne Haskins is 'going to be great'

There's a reason the Redskins invested their No. 15 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft in quarterback Dwayne Haskins: They expect him to be their franchise quarterback of the future.

His former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer also believes Haskins has all the tools to succeed in the NFL.

Appearing on the Bow Tie Chronicles Podcast, Meyer praised Haskins, calling him the "most accurate passer I've ever had."

Haskins' numbers from his lone season as the starter at Ohio State support Meyer's claim. He completed 70.0 percent of his passes, which was best in the Big Ten this past season. He shattered the Big Ten record for most passing yards in a season, throwing for 4,831 yards, more than 1,000 yards more than the previous record holder. Additionally, Haskins broke Drew Brees' Big Ten record for most passing touchdowns in a single-season, as Haskins tossed 50 in 2018, compared to Brees' 39.

Although he only had one season as the Buckeyes starter, it is not unreasonable to say that Haskins is the best passing quarterback in Ohio State history.  

So, it makes sense that Meyer had only positive things to say about Haskins.

"He's going to be great," Meyer said on the podcast. "He’s very intelligent. His only issue is that he played just one year. Every other thing, he’s got it."

The Redskins begin training camp on July 25th, and Haskins will be in an open competition with Case Keenum for the starting quarterback position.

NBC Sports Washington's J.P. Finlay noted that during minicamp, Keenum did look like the better option at times. But that does not necessarily mean that Keenum will be the Week 1 starter. Head coach Jay Gruden already announced that Haskins will have the chance to win the job.

There's no secret that Haskins will be the Redskins starting quarterback very soon. It's a matter of when he becomes the starting QB, not if. How quickly that happens is up to Haskins and his progression.