Handicap the NFL Wild Card Race

If the Redskins win out, they will win the NFC East. If they finish 9-7 by beating the Eagles and losing to Dallas, they will win tiebreakers with the Giants, Bears, and Vikings, but not Dallas, if those teams finish 9-7.

I’m assuming the Seahawks will beat the Rams in their finale to go 10-6 and claim one wild card. So if any of the Giants, Bears, and Vikes win their last 2 games, a loss to Dallas would end the Redskins’ season, but I think there’s a pretty good chance that none of those three teams wins out, and if that turns out to be the case, 9-7 gets the Redskins the second wild card.

That all looks about right. Funny that the Giants are the ones looking up and facing elimination earliest of the three teams in the East still in it . Looks like the Redskins beating Minnesota way back in week 6 was a key win for them.

Teams I see in contention (*-get in)



How is Seattle out when the own the tiebreaker against the Vikings (week 9)? Do you think that they are going to win against both Houstan and the Packers?

Seattle won’t win out. (could easily lose either game)

And you think Minnesota will win both of their games? If Seattle wins one of theirs they’re in so basically you are claiming Seattle goes 0-2 AND out of the Bears, Vikings, Cowboys and Giants two of those teams will go 2-0?

Well, they’ve won the more difficult of those two games, and are in the postseason. AFAICT, they will get the higher-seeded wildcard spot if there’s a tie at 10-6, since they’ve beaten both the Bears and Vikings this year. (And in the unlikely event that the 49ers lose and the Seahawks win, giving the Seahawks the division championship, the 49ers get the first wildcard at 10-5-1.)

So in the NFC, there’s really only the last wildcard slot at issue.

Of the contenders for that slot, only the Vikings and Bears can go 10-6 and not win their division by doing so.


  1. If the Vikings and Bears win this Sunday and go 10-6, the Vikes get that slot, winning a tiebreak over the Bears.

  2. If just one of the Vikes and Bears wins and goes 10-6, that team gets the last wildcard slot. Same deal if one team ties while the other loses: 9-6-1 would still do it.

  3. If the Vikes and Bears both lose, dropping to 9-7, that lets in other potential 9-7 teams. So if:

a) the Redskins lose and finish 9-7, the Redskins get that slot, winning a tiebreak over the Vikings. (In this event, the Dallas Cowboys, at 9-7, would be the NFC East champs, so wouldn’t be a wildcard factor. The Cowboys either win the East at 9-7 or go home.)

b) the Redskins win or tie (winning the NFC East by doing so) and the Giants win to finish 9-7, the Giants get that slot, winning a tiebreak over the Vikes.

c) the Redskins win or tie and the Giants lose, there are no 9-7 teams besides the Vikings and Bears, and the Vikes win the tiebreak.