Here is where the Redskins stand in Week 15 of the NFL season.
Record: 7-5-1, 3rd in NFC East
vs. NFC East: 3-2
vs. NFC: 5-4
vs. AFC: 2-1-1
Rankings and changes from Week 14
Offense (yards/game): 412.1 (2nd, no change from Week 13)
Defense (yards/game): 370.6 (26th, -3)
Points for: 330 (8th, +2)
Points against: 317 (22nd, -2)
Passer rating offense: 100.5 (5th, +3)
Opp passer rating: 94.2 (22nd, no change)
Yards/rush attempt: 4.5 (6th, -1)
Opp. yards/rush attempt: 4.5 (28th, +1)
Weighted DVOA (Football Outsiders): 11.8% (8th, +2)
Playoff chances per FO: 49.5%, +8.1% from last week
Trending the right way: Their playoff chances jumped after they took a tumble following the loss to the Cardinals. Right now, their chances are just a shade below 50-50.
Trending the wrong way: They gave up a ton of yards, many of them empty, to the Eagles and they dropped three spots in total defense.
Top three storylines:
Banged up backers—The Redskins are dealing with injuries to linebackers Will Compton, their signal caller in the middle, and Su’a Cravens, their nickel situation playmaker. They added veteran Nick Moody as a free agent but until he learns the defense he is an emergency option only. Martrell Spaight and Mason Foster will fill in for Compton and Cravens, respectively. It’s next man up.
Still chasing—The Redskins got absolutely no help in their attempt to make the playoffs for the second straight year for the first time since 1991-1992. The teams immediately in front of them in the wild card race, the Buccaneers and Giants, both won on Sunday as did the Packers and Vikings, the two teams a half game back. It’s getting late.
Norman vs. Panthers—There will be some buzz about Josh Norman playing against the team that he helped get to the Super Bowl last year. But the fact that the Panthers are 5-8 and struggling against the pass takes away some of the juice from the game. It will be a topic of conversation and there likely is some lingering anger on Norman’s part due to the way the Panthers pulled the franchise tag on him in April. But he landed on his feet financially and while he will talk to the media this week I think he will let his play on Monday night do most of the talking for him.
LATEST #RESKINSTALK PODCAST: Washington must turn the page to Cam Newton, Carolina
Next three games
Monday vs. Panthers (5-8)—It’s easy to look at the struggling Panthers and figure it should be a W for the Redskins. But Carolina has a lot of the same players who were in the Super Bowl last February and I don’t think that anyone is going to overlook them.
Christmas Eve vs. Bears (3-10)—There is no such thing as an easy game in the NFL but if the Redskins can’t manage to win this one they don’t deserve to make the playoffs.
New Year’s Day vs. Giants (9-4)—It’s quite possible that this game will be the start of the playoffs for the Redskins—win and they play on, lose and they go home. Norman vs. Beckham might take a back seat.