Washington loses to Carolina, NFC East race goes down to Week 17

NFL: DEC 27 Panthers at Washington Football Team
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The NFC East race will be decided on the final day of the regular season.

The Washington Football Team had a chance to clinch the division today, but instead laid an egg in an ugly loss to the Carolina Panthers. Now Washington will see if it can win the division next week.

If the Football Team beats the Eagles in Week 17, then the Football Team wins the NFC East. But a loss next week would eliminate the Football Team. At this moment, the Eagles, Cowboys and Giants are all still alive, although the Eagles-Cowboys loser will be eliminated.

Today’s game was a disaster for Dwayne Haskins, last year’s first-round pick who has been bumped down to third string. After three turnovers, Haskins was benched for fourth-string quarterback Taylor Heinicke, who was better than Haskins but not good enough to lead Washington to a victory.

The NFC East race is still there for the taking in Week 17. But Washington better hope Alex Smith is healthy.

24 responses to “Washington loses to Carolina, NFC East race goes down to Week 17

  1. Haskins is awful and it was obvious that the team didn’t believe in him today. There was no fire because they didn’t believe he was their best chance to win.

  2. Does it really matter who wins this ugly division? None of these teams deserve to make the playoffs. The NFL should seriously look at seeding by best record in the future and not just automatically give division winners a playoff spot. Especially when they’re under 500, leaving out a more deserving team.

  3. Hmmm. Wonder if “the football” team would do better with an experienced QB like Colin Kaepernick, even at this point in the season.

  4. “Does it really matter who wins this ugly division? None of these teams deserve to make the playoffs. The NFL should seriously look at seeding by best record in the future and not just automatically give division winners a playoff spot. Especially when they’re under 500, leaving out a more deserving team.”

    Well, I would argue that if you win your division, then by definition you do deserve to make the playoffs, and if you both can’t win your division and also aren’t one of the three best wild card teams, then you don’t deserve to make the playoffs.

    In other words, the goals for each team are clearly defined before the season starts. If you can’t achieve these goals, it’s your fault, not the system’s.

    Plus, the division/wild card system makes the end of the regular season interesting as a lot more teams, even some with bad records, have meaningful games during these last few weeks. If it means that every so often a team with a 7-9 record makes the playoffs, so be it.

  5. It’s good to see each division represented in the playoffs, but this year’s NFC East is pathetic. Even in NCAA a team has to win a certain number of games to be bowl eligible. It’s possible a 6-10 in the NFC East may host a playoff game this year while an above .500 may not even get in.

    The NFL should be embarrassed and need to at least consider making exceptions to the format when a division winner can’t finish with a .500 record.

  6. Just because a division is having a down year is no reason to start changing how the playoffs are done. The division winner should be in the playoffs, period. If you want to seed the teams after the playoffs are determined then fine, but there is a reason they have divisions in football. It makes each week more exciting and meaningful.

  7. Haskins is up for trade, Washington will take anything including a fence post with a turtle on it. What a poor excuse for a quarterback.

  8. I know it’s been a nightmare season for the Cowboy’s and I don’t care about playoffs now.
    But congratulations for not giving up and getting better in the final weeks.
    You almost beat the Steelers with an off the street QB and you have won 3 straight in
    convincing fashion. That bodes well with all the rookies that got real NFL experience
    replacing expensive injured veterans.
    But the best thing is you kicked Eagle butt and knocked them and their nonsense trash
    talk out of the playoffs.
    Eagles were the only team with continuity in their coaching staff in the NFC East.
    They have no excuses for finishing last.

  9. Haskins looked completely lost. He simply appeared as if he had no understanding of where to go with the ball. Haskins plays like he has not practiced or studied at all.
    Heinicke came in and looked decisive, and moved the ball down the field. If Alex Smith can’t go next week, I’d start Heinicke. He clearly has a better understanding of what he’s supposed to try to do. He’s been in the NFL for 5 years, maybe he’s not great, but knows how to be a professional and study, and that experience was clear and obvious today.

  10. Haskins is an example of bad decision making by management. Maybe if Washington actually used scouting info instead of bonehead GM’s and Owners over-riding everyone around them (who often know what they’re doing) this franchise might be relevant. Danial S. needs to sell this team and let the fanbase have something to root for again.

  11. The division is now between Washington, Dallas and the Giants. May the bizzaro division end gloriously.

  12. I would think that the NFL is quite pleased that there will be 3 of 4 teams in one division that have a chance to win the division on the last weekend of the season. Has that ever happened before? And there are 3 fanbases that still have a hope for a preseason. WFT v Philly Eagles might even end up on SNF.

    What is the motivation for the NFL to change things? Because fans of a 9-7 or 10-6 team might not make the playoffs? Doubt if that is sufficient to bring about change.

  13. I`m just like another poster on here that said….”I knew they were going to lose when it was announced that haskins was starting”

  14. Smith starting and winning the division next week is tailor made, feel good news the networks want.

  15. If you’re going to have divisions, then the division winner must get a playoff spot. The only way to solve the problem of a bad team getting into the playoffs is to do away with the divisions altogether and just say the six best teams by record in the conference get in. But this isn’t a problem that happens often enough to make that type of rule change.

  16. danimal1974 says:
    December 27, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    “Does it really matter who wins this ugly division? None of these teams deserve to make the playoffs. The NFL should seriously look at seeding by best record in the future and not just automatically give division winners a playoff spot. Especially when they’re under 500, leaving out a more deserving team.”

    Well, I would argue that if you win your division, then by definition you do deserve to make the playoffs, and if you both can’t win your division and also aren’t one of the three best wild card teams, then you don’t deserve to make the playoffs.

    In other words, the goals for each team are clearly defined before the season starts. If you can’t achieve these goals, it’s your fault, not the system’s.

    Plus, the division/wild card system makes the end of the regular season interesting as a lot more teams, even some with bad records, have meaningful games during these last few weeks. If it means that every so often a team with a 7-9 record makes the playoffs, so be it.
    ———————————————————————————-

    Division winner gets a spot but, not a home playoff game if wild card team has a better record!

  17. I’m trying to think of a single quarterback drafted out of Ohio State who actually was a success in the NFL. Anyone know of one?

  18. No superstars but Mike Tomczak was in the NFL for 15 years and was a serviceable starter at times and the same could almost be said about Kent Graham.

  19. Well as a Panther fan I’ll take the W even though it may knock the team out of picking 4th in the draft but a freaking W this season has been far and few between!!!

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