Who to root for in Week 16 if you’re a Washington Football Team fan

Week 16 Washington Football Team rooting guide originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Just two weeks ago the Washington Football Team (6-8) was firmly in control of its playoff fate, including having a path to the NFC East title. Now, entering Week 16 the Burgundy and Gold are desperately in need of help from those above them to even have a chance in the final three weeks.

Losing in Week 15 to the Philadelphia Eagles dropped Washington from the No. 7 seed to 10th place in the conference and a full game back of the final Wild Card spot. Just winning out won’t be enough.

And to have a chance, they have to get back to those winning ways from just a few weeks ago.

Three weeks remain with only the Green Bay Packers (11-3) holding a playoff spot. Two teams are out after the Chicago Bears (4-10) lost last week. That leaves six spots remaining for the remaining 13 teams. However, for Washington, their path is only in the Wild Card. They can grab only one of the final two spots.

This leaves a lot of clarity for which teams are now in contention with Washington. No longer are the Cowboys, Packers, Rams, Buccaneers or Cardinals teams of concern.

A reminder on the methodology for this guide. The selection of which team to root for is based on the assumption that Washington wins out the remainder of the season (resulting in a 9-8 record). The only time it will not is when there is a bigger benefit in direct playoff positioning amongst the two teams for a matchup.

Tiebreaking procedures are considered with head-to-head results being the priority, followed by the win-loss percentage in division games and common opponents. 

So far Washington has tiebreakers over the following teams:

-Atlanta Falcons (6-8) – head-to-head 

-Carolina Panthers (5-9) – head-to-head 

-Seattle Seahawks (5-9) – head-to-head 

The Burgandy and Gold have lost the tiebreakers to these teams:

-New Orleans Saints (7-7) – head-to-head

Tiebreakers that are yet to be determined by contending teams:

San Francisco 49ers (8-6), Philadelphia Eagles (7-7), Minnesota Vikings (7-7) and New York Giants (4-10).

At this point, Washington is in contention for only the No. 6 and No. 7 playoff spots.

Washington Week 15 Rooting Guide

San Francisco 49ers (8-6) at Tenneesse Titans (9-5)

Thursday, Dec. 23 at 8:20 p.m. ET

Things are getting dicey when it comes to Washington chasing the 49ers. A week ago, the concern was holding the edge in a tiebreaker scenario. Now, the 49ers seem to be cruising toward the second Wild Card. This is a big one, root for the Titans.

Philadelphia Eagles (7-7) at New York Giants (4-10)

Sunday, Dec. 26 at 1 p.m. ET

New York looks to be trending toward tank-town during the final weeks of the regular season. Mathematically, the Giants still have a chance, could that be enough to get them hyped for an upset? Root for the Giants.

Los Angeles Rams (10-4) at Minnesota Vikings (7-7)

Sunday, Dec. 26 at 1 p.m. ET

The Rams’ positioning is no longer of consequence for the Burgundy and Gold. For Washington’s sake root for the Rams to knock Kirk Cousins’ Vikings out of the final playoff spot.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-4) at Carolina Panthers (5-9)

Sunday, Dec. 26 at 1 p.m. ET

That tiebreaker over the Bucs is no longer relevant except for the fact it gave Washington another win. Now you just root for the Buccaneers to beat the rest of their NFC South foes. This week just happens to be the Panthers. 

Detroit Lions (2-11-1) at Atlanta Falcons (6-8)

Sunday, Dec. 26 at 1 p.m. ET

Detroit held up their end of the bargain to give Washington hopes of passing the Cardinals last week. Washington just didn’t do their part. This week the game and result have more significance on getting into the postseason. Root for the Lions to keep up their hot streak.

Chicago Bears (4-10) vs. Seattle Seahawks (5-9)

Sunday, Dec. 26 at 4:05 p.m. ET

No need to complicate this one with the Bears officially out of the playoffs. Root for the Bears.

Washington Football Team (6-8) at Dallas Cowboys (10-4)

Sunday, Dec. 26 at 8:20 p.m. ET

Washington’s playoff hopes have fallen down to only 9% entering the week according to FiveThirtyEight. While as important as the upset would be, it would only improve their odds to 25% alone. Last week was the game to have, more needs to be done. A loss wouldn’t officially eliminate them (even if the results don’t far their way), but their chances would sit at 3%. Root for Washington.

Miami Dolphins (7-7) at New Orleans Saints (7-7)

Monday, Dec. 27 at 8:15 p.m. ET

A rare AFC vs. NFC game late in the season. No need to overthink this, root for the Dolphins.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up