Wednesday, December 22, 2004

An unusual year  

It is an odd year in the NFL to say the least. Down here in Redskins country the high hopes that accompanied the return of Joe Gibbs have been tempered considerably, as the Redskins have limped to a 5-9 record with two games to go. The surprising thing is that they still have a shot at the playoffs. The analysis below was submitted by a regular reader and leather-lunged Redskins fan, who for many years made his living diagraming securitization cash-flows (as should quickly become apparent by what follows):

The Skins make the playoffs if:

A. The Skins win out; AND
B. The Giants lose one of their next two games; AND
C. The Panthers and Saints lose one of their next two; AND
D. Either
1. the Rams lose to the Eagles this week, or
2. the Seahawks lose both of their games.

As for "C" above, since the Saints and Panthers play each other in the last week of the season, at least one has to lose this week. Then, this week's loser has to beat this week's winner in the last game of the year. Of course, if they both lose this week, we don't have to worry about any NFC South team.

This week we root for:
1. a Skins win; and
2. a Giants, Panthers, Saints and Rams loss. If that happens, the Skins would control their future; a simple win against the Vikings would get them in with no scoreboard watching. (I expect to lose my voice at FedEx at that one.)

The facts behind the scenario: The Skins are fighting for the second wildcard spot because they can't finish with a better record than either Green Bay or Minnesota, but one of them will win the division and the other will take the first wild card.

Other than the Giants, the Skins win head-to-head or conference tiebreakers with all of the other 5-9 teams.

A. If the skins win out they are 7-9 overall and 7-5 in the conference and 2-4 in the Division.

B. If the Giants win out they win on the division record tiebreaker (Giants 3-3 vs Skins 2-4). If the Giants lose one more, they finish 6-10 and lose on overall record;

C. If the Panthers or Saints win out they'd have a better record. If they both lose one more, the Skins win against both on Conference record tiebreakers (7-5 for Skins vs. 6-6 for the Panthers and 5-7 for the Saints);

D. 1. If the Rams lose to the Eagles, the Skins best the Rams on Conference record tiebreakers (7-5 vs 6-6); or2. If the Seahawks lose both, the Rams win the NFC West (they beat the Seahawks twice). The Skins would then best the Seahawks on Conference record (7-5 vs. 6-6).


By Blogger TigerHawk, at Wed Dec 22, 09:59:00 PM:

I'm just appalled that after having lived in Virginia for eight months you have become such a rabid Redskins fan that you would root against the Vikings, a favorite team of childhood.  

By Blogger Charlottesvillain, at Thu Dec 23, 09:03:00 AM:

First of all, if you read the post, you would see that it was submitted by a loyal reader. I only stuck it up there. I am not particularly loyal to the Redskins (although as a descendent of Native Americans I am proud that they honor our heritage with their kick-ass name).

Second of all, not that it matters, but I have detested the Vikings since they faced the Miami Dolphins in the 1973 Superbowl. When I follow developments in the black and blue division, I tend to favor the Pack and the Bears, leaving no room for the Vikings.  

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