In this morning's post about NFC East playoff scenarios, I did not mention the possibility that any of our division's teams might actually be able to clinch anything in Week 16. But we all mull this stuff over and look at all kinds of scenarios all day, just like you guys do. We even use the Playoff Machine. And as we do that, new information and possibilities come to light.
So I'm here to fill you in, with the help of ESPN Stats & Information, on the chances that the Washington Redskins or the New York Giants could clinch playoff spots this week.
The Giants clinch a playoff spot this week if they win and the Cowboys, Redskins, Vikings and Bears all lose. This is because, even though a Week 17 loss by the Giants would cost them the tiebreaker against the Cowboys-Redskins winner for the division title, they'd win tiebreakers over any combination of the Seahawks, Vikings and Bears in the wild-card race.
The Redskins clinch a playoff spot this week if they win and the Giants, Vikings and Bears all lose. That's because, even if they lost to the Cowboys in Week 17 and failed to win the division, they'd win wild-card tiebreakers over any combination of the Seahawks, Giants, Vikings and Bears.
One other note: According to NFL.com, via The Newark Star-Ledger, the Giants could actually be eliminated from playoff contention this week. Here it is.
The Giants are eliminated from playoff contention if they lose, the Redskins and Cowboys win and the Seahawks win or tie. This is because a Giants loss would mean they can win no more than nine games, whereas the Seahawks would have 10 (or nine and a tie) and the winner of the Week 17 Redskins-Cowboys game would be guaranteed to have at least 10.
So, a little bit on the line for the Giants this week, it would seem!