By Adam Aniba
Although Washington was in their bye week, their chances of making the playoffs just increased rom 69% to 74% with both the Giants and Seahawks losing. The only team in the NFC that saw more of a dramatic jump was the Lions, who went from 7% to 21%.
The Eagles have clinched a playoff berth and technically have a three game edge. They currently hold the tiebreaker over Dallas and Minnesota who are directly behind them.
Washington on the other hand, faces the Giants for the second straight game coming off their bye week. A win vs New York will lead the way for a much easier path for the final wildcard spot, giving them a two game edge over the Giants. The next three games after that, come against San Francisco (away), Cleveland (home) and Dallas (home).
Beating the Giants would leave RIvera's squad with a 8-5-1 record and one more win during the last 3 games, likely secures their bid for the last wildcard spot.
Looking past the Giants might be premature, but their 12/24 matchup vs San Francisco looms large. The 49'ers were dealt a significant blow when their star receiver Deboo Samuel, who's also a threat in the run game, went down with a high ankle sprain. The injury could keep Samuel out for a few weeks, helping Washington to keep their focus on RB Christian McCaffrey and TE George Kittle in a pivotal home matchup.
Add in the possibility that the Cowboys could sit many of their starters the final week of the season when they face Washington, after wrapping up their own wildcard bid.
Going 2-2 over the next four weeks, should be enough to get RIvera's team to the playoffs for the second time in three years.