All 3 of Commanders’ NFC East rivals make divisional round of playoffs

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All 3 of Commanders’ NFC East rivals make divisional round originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Not making the postseason is tough enough, but seeing all three of your division rivals making it to the second round of the playoffs seems akin to salt in the wound.

That’s exactly what Washington Commanders fans are experiencing right now, as the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants have all advanced past the Wild Card round and are into the divisional round of the 2022 NFC postseason slate. Dallas’ dominant win over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night sealed the worst-case scenario for Burgundy & Gold fans.

Dallas will advance to take on the vaunted San Francisco 49ers (who will have two days more rest than the Cowboys come Sunday) on the road in the second round. New York’s win over third-seeded Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card matchup sees them advance to take on their NFC East foe Philadelphia – who earned a bye week in the first round thanks to their top seed in the conference – on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field.

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Meanwhile, the Commanders have already started looking ahead to the 2023 campaign. They’ve been taking interviews for their offensive coordinator vacancy, are looking ahead to April’s draft where they select 16th overall, and to complicate matters further, are likely to be dealing with an impending ownership change in the next few months. After finishing the season 8-8-1, it’s not the spot the team was hoping to be in by mid-January.

To make matters even worse, Washington was a hair away from making the postseason.

On the heels of six wins over their last seven games, the Commanders had a 10-0 lead over the New York Giants in Week 13 and a win would’ve skyrocketed their playoff chances to over 80%. They collapsed, though, tying New York 20-20 in that game and proceeded to lose their next three-straight (all essentially must-wins), eliminating them from postseason contention.

This year marks the first time since the 2002 realignment in which three teams from the same division have all advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs. The NFC East is also the first division since 1997 to accomplish that feat. Sadly for Washington fans, they’re the odd one out.