Here’s where Commanders’ playoff chances stand after Week 14

The sub-week gives, the sub-week takes away. For the Washington Chiefs in Week 14 of the 2022 NFL season, the bye week was VERY kind.

Here’s what happened this weekend in the league: the Giants caught the Eagles for the lead in the NFC East (clinching a playoff spot in the process) by a final score of 48-22. The loss dropped New York’s record to 7-5-1, which is the same as Washington. Elsewhere, the Chiefs have a steak dinner for the Carolina Panthers, who took down the Seattle Seahawks 30-24 on enemy territory. Seattle’s loss dropped their record to 7-6, which is out of the current playoff picture.

So, even though the Chiefs were kicking their feet and staring at the couch this past weekend, their playoff situation improved significantly. At 7-5-1, they will moved up two spots in the NFC playoff race, passing the Giants thanks to both teams’ divisional records. It’s a useless cliche, but it’s relevant here: if the playoffs started today, Washington is IN and would face the San Francisco 49ers in the first round.

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The NFL playoffs work like this: in each conference, the four division winners are guaranteed a spot. In addition, the three teams with the next best records in the conference are awarded Wild Card spots – which is what got Washington into the playoffs last year. two years despite finishing 7-9.

So, here’s where things stand regarding the Chiefs’ postseason chances with five games left this season in a crowded NFC playoff race, given each team’s remaining strength of schedule.

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In a playoff spot

1. Philadelphia Eagles, 12-1 (NFC East leader; Strength of Record Remaining: .471)

2. Minnesota Vikings, 10-3 (NFC North leader; SoS left: .385)

3. San Francisco 49ers, 9-4 (NFC West leader; SoS left: .461)

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6-7 (NFC South leader; SoS left: .451)

5. Dallas Cowboys, 10-3 (First wild card; SoS left: .606)

6. Washington Chiefs, 7-5-1 (Second wild card; SoS left: .606)

7. New York Giants, 7-5-1 (Third wild card; SoS left: .654)

In the hunt

8. Seattle Seahawks, 7-6 (SoS left: .577)

9. Detroit Lions, 6-7 (SoS left: .385)

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10. Green Bay Packers, 5-8 (SoS left: .549)

Yes, that’s right. If the playoffs started today, all four teams in one division (the NFC East) would qualify for the postseason – that would be the first time in NFL history. However, Washington’s unique situation is interesting.

The remaining schedule includes another contest against the New York Giants, one against Dallas and another against the 49ers. These contests determine how comfortable each team is going into the playoffs.

Basically, the Chiefs’ playoff situation improved dramatically on Sunday. With four games left this season, and three of those games coming against conference rivals, the Chiefs have a lot riding on every yard to gain over the next few weeks .


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