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Alternate-universe NFC playoff picture

Over at the NFC North blog, the inimitable Kevin Seifert has begun a feature in which he will track the NFC playoff standings as they would be if the final play of the Packers-Seahawks "Monday Night Football" game had been called correctly. In this alternate universe, the Packers would be 9-3 and the Seahawks 6-6.

Why does this matter to us over here at the NFC East blog? Well, because as you can see in Kevin's chart, if the Seahawks were 6-6, then the 6-6 Washington Redskins would currently occupy the NFC's second wild-card spot. Additionally, the 6-6 Dallas Cowboys and the 7-5 New York Giants would have accordingly easier routes into the playoff field. (It is extremely unlikely that the Philadelphia Eagles' chances would be affected at all.)

Now, as Kevin points out with a reference to the Butterfly Effect, you can't go back and change one result and expect that everything that's happened since would have been the same. For instance, had the play not been so badly called, the NFL's lockout of the officials might have continued, and games in ensuing weeks might have turned out differently as a result.

Personally, the reason I don't think Redskins fans would have a right to gripe about this is that their team would also currently occupy that playoff spot if it had, say, managed to defeat the dreadful Carolina Panthers in a Week 9 home game. Or if they'd covered Victor Cruz on the Giants' final play in Week 7. Or maybe had Josh Morgan not thrown the ball at an opposing player at the end of the Week 2 game in St. Louis.

However, I found it interesting and thought you might, too, so here it is. Commence arguing.