The following statement should not be true, but it is: The 3-9 Washington Redskins are still in playoff contention.
Enter Jim Carey from Dumb and Dumber - "So you're telling me there's a chance."
Dumb and dumber is exactly how the NFC East and this situation should be described. There is a fairly plausible scenario in which they could actually get in. A laughable division presents the Redskins with a crazy opportunity to end the season.
Their only chance of making the playoffs is by winning the division. A loaded NFC eliminated the Redskins from the Wild Card weeks ago. The division, however, is the worst in football, and frankly, does not deserve to even award a home playoff game to the victor. Combined, the division is 10-26 against teams outside of the NFC East. Still, the rules are the rules and either the Cowboys, Eagles or Redskins will be in the postseason. The Giants were eliminated with their loss to Green Bay this week.
This improbable situation stems from the previous two weeks. The Redskins went 2-0 against the Lions and the Panthers while the rest of the division found every which manner to lose, going 0-6. Once left in the cellar of the NFL and looking toward the draft, Washington is now only three games back of the division-leading Dallas Cowboys with four weeks remaining.
Here's the ridiculous scenario that needs to play out over the final weeks for the Redskins to make the playoffs:
-Redskins win out (@ Packers, vs. Eagles, vs. Giants, @ Cowboys)
-Cowboys lose out (@ Bears, vs. Rams, @ Eagles, vs. Redskins)
-Eagles go 1-3 with win vs. Cowboys (vs. Giants, @ Redskins, vs. Cowboys, @ Giants)
Here's what happens to the division as a result:
Since the Redskins already lost the secondary tiebreaker to the Cowboys this season (division record) the only way Washington gets in is having a better record.
Of everything that has to transpire, the biggest question mark is Washington marching into Green Bay and getting a victory. The Redskins have not won at Lambeau Field since 1986, according to Pro Football Reference. Since then, they've been outscored 122-43 in the four games at Green Bay.
Odds there are not likely, but everywhere else? That's not a far stretch.
The Cowboys, while having one of the most talented rosters in the league, are massively inconsistent and continue to shoot themselves in the foot. Reports indicate Jason Garrett is all but gone at head coach, barring a massive turnaround. The Cowboys could easily fall apart down the stretch against the toughest schedule of the three teams.
Philadelphia is not in much better shape. They lost to Miami last week. Sure, they play the Giants, but appear to be in a downward spiral having lost three in a row.
That leaves Washington ripe to take advantage of everyone else's demise by winning the division with a losing record.
It's ludicrous that the season has gotten here, but the NFC East stinks worse than a dumpster on a hot summer day.
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There is an actual scenario that has the Redskins in the postseason originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington