We’ve been posting somewhat convoluted Redskins playoffs scenarios for weeks because we’re into slow-building disappointment, but now it’s pretty simple: Beat Dallas at home, win the NFC East. Here’s what the odds look like:
The Skins are favored (-3) but that provides little solace. What would ease the pressure, though, is if Washington were guaranteed a wild-card spot by the time Kai Forbath sends Sunday night’s opening kickoff well short of end zone.
What that takes is both a loss by the Bears and a loss by the Vikings. Chicago (-3) is at Detroit and Minnesota (+3) hosts Green Bay. The chances of both happening are not good (see above), but I do not think they’re as low as six-seven percent, either.
Detroit is done and may roll over, or they may be fired up by the prospect of taking a rival into the offseason with them. Of course, they’ve lost seven in a row, and Jay Cutler is 6-1 vs. the Lions.
The Packers are clearly better than the Vikings, and they’re playing for a first-round bye. Of course, the game is in Minnesota and the Vikings are playing for their playoff lives.
Vegas applies the same spread to all three games, so it’s not unreasonable to apply the same 64-77 percent chance of Redskins victory to Bears-Lions and Vikings-Packers. Here’s what that’s tells us: There’s actually more like a 21 percent chance of both Chicago and Minnesota losing.
That’s fuzzy math, I know, and all a wild card does is send Washington to San Francisco (or possibly Seattle) rather than hosting, say, the Bears or Vikings. So, yeah, simple: Beat Dallas.