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Can the Redskins Reach the Playoffs? Part V

The Redskins best chance of making the playoffs is continued stellar play from Robert Griffin III. Getty Images
When I first began calculating Washington's chances of reaching the playoffs, I thought the competitive portion of their season was over. They were 3-6, and while the remaining schedule wasn't exactly daunting, the Skins weren't exactly daunting either.

I estimated their odds at about 1%. ESPN 980's Scott Jackson, co-host of Inside the Locker Room, tweeted to tell me I'd given them too much of a chance.

Since then, the Skins enjoyed a bye week in which their chances jumped to 8% without them even playing a game, and then three consecutive wins -- a clean sweep against NFC East opponents. Their playoff chances improved with each game, reaching approximately 29% before the Monday night showdown against the Giants.

Then they beat the Giants, 17-16.

Unfortunately for the Skins, they may have dug their hole a bit too deep. Washington will make the playoffs if they win the rest of their games to finish 10-6. And while they're likely to be favored in each of their remaining matchups, I estimate their chances of winning out at about 10%.

In contrast, the Skins have approximately a 69% chance of finishing with 8 or 9 wins. Nine wins would give them a 1-in-4 shot of reaching the post-season. Eight wins would almost certainly leave them out of the playoffs. The most likely scenario for Washington this season is to end the season 8-8 and miss the tournament.

In full, I estimate Washington to have a 40% chance of reaching the playoffs. That's a heckuva lot better than the 1% they had when I first started doing this exercise, though the odds still aren't as good as I'd like.

At any rate, here's their remaining schedule with my estimated odds for the Skins winning each matchup:
  • Baltimore Ravens -- 55%
  • @ Cleveland Browns -- 53%
  • @ Philadelphia Eagles -- 56%
  • Dallas Cowboys -- 63%

For the Skins, the strategy is simple: win.