Nine terrible NFL teams can still somehow make the playoffs. Here are their scenarios
Like the Vikings, the 3-8 Redskins are blessed with a poor division that is winnable with an 8-8 record. The 'Skins can finish no better than 8-8, but there is no guarantee that the Cowboys, Eagles, or Giants will even manage to finish 8-8 in the NFC Least.
Looking at the likelier Wild Card scenarios for an 8-8 team in the NFC, we see that the 49ers and Cardinals would eliminate the Redskins from Wild Card contention by just going .500 or better from here on out. So Washington fans must root against the 49ers and Cardinals, plus hope for two or more losses by the Eagles, Bears, Packers and Rams. Plus, you know, those five consecutive Redskins wins to close out the season.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS PLAYOFF SCENARIO
The best 3-8 Tampa Bay can possibly hope for is an 8-8 NFC Wild Card spot. With New Orleans having already won 9 games, Tampa Bay cannot possibly with the NFC South with an 8-8 record.
So let's look at the Buccaneers' Wild Card scenarios. The Bucs need for San Francisco and Arizona to lose at least 4 of their remaining 5 games. They need for Philadelphia and Chicago to lose at least 3 of their remaining 5 games. And they need for Green Bay and St. Louis to lose at least 2 of their remaining 5 games -- all while the Buccaneers themselves win each of their 5 remaining games.
BUFFALO BILLS PLAYOFF SCENARIO
The Bills can still win the AFC East outright by winning every game, along with a 1-4 or worse Patriots collapse (and 2-3 or worse Jets and Dolphins collapses) to finish the season. Currently 4-7, the Bills can even finish with a respectable 9-7 record. But it's more likely that the Patriots will win the two games necessary to freeze Buffalo out and leave the Bills hoping for Wild Card help.
While the first Wild Card spot in the AFC is going to the AFC West runner-up (Broncos or Chiefs) no matter what, the second is being fought over by an 11-team logjam of below-.500 clubs. This bodes well for Buffalo's extremely slight chances.
Bills fans need for the Titans, Steelers, Ravens, Chargers and division rival Jets and Dolphins to all lose at least two remaining games. They also need for the Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders to lose at least one more apiece. Oh, and beat everyone remaining on their schedule, including New England on the road in Week 17.
And what about the Oakland Raiders, Cleveland Browns and New York football Giants? Click on for their possible playoff scenarios....