For much of the season the Redskins securely held the sixth and final NFC playoff spot. A disappointing loss in Arizona two weeks ago changed that, as Jay Gruden's team slipped behind Tampa Bay for the second Wild Card spot, and now with three games remaining, Washington sits a half game out of the final spot.
As the Redskins prepare to face the Carolina Panthers on Monday night, they do so with a little less than a 50 percent chance of making the NFL's postseason. FiveThirtyEight.com gives the 'Skins a 46 percent chance of making the playoffs, trailing the Bucs, who the site listed at a 54 percent chance of making the postseason.
On a five-game win streak that has raised their record to 8-5, few teams have pushed so far so fast as the Bucs for a playoff spot. Interestingly, Atlanta also has an 8-5 record but is ahead of the Bucs in the NFC South title race thanks to tiebreakers. FiveThirtyEight listed the Falcons as near locks for the playoffs at 91 percent.
While the 'Skins focus will be on the Panthers Monday night, Sunday night will mean a lot for Washington's playoff chances as well. Tampa takes on Dallas, and 'Skins fans should absolutely be rooting for the Cowboys.
Behind the Burgundy and Gold, Aaron Rodgers' Packers are making a run at a Wild Card spot, and depending what happens with Matt Stafford's finger, perhaps even a division title. At 9-4, the Lions have an 84 percent shot at making the playoffs and a 75 percent chance of locking up the NFC North, but with their QB injured, those odds could be deceiving. Stafford is expected to play through the injury.
A lot of movement remains for the NFC playoff picture. Three games is nearly 20 percent of the season, and no team outside the already clinched Cowboys should feel over-confident.
Interestingly, the Vegas betting markets see an uptick in the 'Skins playoff chances. Since last week's win against Philadelphia moved Washington to 7-5-1, the Redskins odds to win the Super Bowl improved.
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