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Little Chance for Redskins to Reach Playoffs

Without a major change in performance, the Redskins have a slim chance of reaching the playoffs. Getty Images

The Redskins entered the bye week with a pummeling from the Carolina Panthers that left the team 3-6 and all but mathematically eliminated from post-season contention. Indeed, the only NFC team with a worse record is Carolina...which stomped them last Sunday. Depressing, no?

When the schedule was announced, these last 7 games looked daunting. Five division games (two against Philly, two against Dallas, and one against New York), and Baltimore all seemed to be major challenges. Only the Cleveland game looked like a relatively sure thing. While Baltimore and Philadelphia are weaker than expected, the Skins odds of making the playoffs are downright anorexic.

According to the current team efficiency rankings at Advanced NFL Stats, Washington is right in the middle of the pack overall, ranking 17th. Based on a combination of their offensive production, defensive production, and the quality of their opponents, they're currently 8th on offense and 23rd on defense. No surprise, right?

Here are there remaining opponents with their rankings (overall, offense and defense), according to Advanced NFL Stats:

OPP  RANK  ORNK  DRNK 
PHI 20  24  13 
@DAL 16 
NYG  20 
BAL  22  19  22 
@CLE  27  29  11 
@PHI 20  24  13 
DAL  8 16 
       
Skins 17  23 

The data suggest that Washington is likely to have hard fought, close games the rest of the way and that it's possible  (albeit not likely) for Washington make a playoff run.

As I dig into the numbers, here's what I project Washington's odds of winning each individual game:

  • PHI -- 54%
  • @DAL -- 31%
  • NYG -- 39%
  • BAL -- 57%
  • @CLE -- 48%
  • @PHI -- 44%
  • DAL -- 41%
No slam dunk easy wins -- 5 of the 7 basically are at coin flip odds (6, if you want to count the home game against the Giants). It won't be easy. There's a less than 1% chance of  flipping a coin 7 times and getting heads all 7. The Skins odds of winning out aren't even that good. 

In my estimation, they have a 0.3% chance of winning all their remaining games and finishing the season 10-6. Their odds of taking 6 of the 7 -- about 1%. And I think they'll need at least 6 wins to reach the postseason.

The most likely scenario, is 2-3 wins -- something that will make St. Louis fans happy because the Rams own Washington's first round pick because of the trade for Robert Griffin III.

Long odds, but...it's possible. Right?

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