Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Redskins are the Best Team in the NFC

The Redskins are the best team in the NFC. That might be like the one-eyed man being king in the world of the blind, but never the less, the Redskins are the best team in the NFC. Fans who would like to see the NFC upset the AFC in this year’s Super Bowl should be rooting for the Redskins to get there because they have the best chance to do it.

Others might argue that Seattle and Chicago, the teams that own the number one and two seeds in the NFC playoffs, respectively, are best. True, those teams have a collective 19 wins and 2 losses against NFC opponents, but they have a collective 0 wins and 2 losses against the Redskins. That’s worth repeating: The Seahawks and Bears are 19 - 0 against NFC opponents not named the Redskins and 0 – 2 against the Redskins this year.

Seattle plays in the NFC West which is probably the weakest division in the NFL, and plays six games against Arizona, St. Louis, and San Francisco. Those three teams have a combined record of 13 – 32, and Seattle is 6 – 0 against them.

Chicago plays in the NFC North, which is probably the second-worst division in the NFL, and plays six games against Minnesota, Detroit, and Green Bay. Those three teams have a combined record of 16 – 29, and Chicago is currently 5 – 0 against them with one game left against Minnesota.

The Redskins play in one of the toughest, most-balanced divisions in the NFL with four head coaches that have a collective eight Super Bowl appearances and fourteen conference championship appearances; a division which has a last place team with six wins—the Eagles—that was last year’s NFC Champion. The Redskins division opponents have a combined record of 24 – 21 and the Redskins are 4 – 1 against them so far with one game left against that last place team. Also, the Redskins are 5 – 0 against teams from the NFC West and North this year. Skins fans wish they could have played more games against the West and North.

So, while Seattle and Chicago have the top-two seeds in the NFC, the Redskins are clearly better.

The Redskins are better than the Giants. True, the Giants made them look bad in one game this year in New Jersey; it was the worst performance by the Redskins this year. But, as I’ve written before, there were unusual circumstances in that game that are literally impossible to repeat that gave the Giants extraordinary motivation. When the season was on the line this week and the Giants could have closed the door and possibly owned the number two seed and a bye, the Redskins beat them up. When the Redskins beat Philadelphia this week they will finish 10 – 2 in the NFC and 5 – 1 in the division compared with 8 – 4 in the NFC and 4 – 2 in the division for the Giants; that is still good, but not as good as the Redskins.

The Cowboys? Puhleeeze! The Skins beat them twice including a crushing 35 – 7 win when everything was on the line and the Cowboys wanted revenge.

The Redskins are better than Tampa Bay and Carolina. The Redskins beat the Bucs in Tampa as everyone in the nation who was not wearing a striped shirt was able to see with their own eyes. Troy Aikman, Boomer Esiason, writers at The St. Petersburg Times and everyone that doesn’t have a bias against the Redskins all saw Alstott come up short in his two-point conversion try in the Redskins win over Tampa Bay. But the striped shirt guys inexplicably did not see enough evidence to overturn a really bad call and handed the Bucs a one-point win. As for the media-darling Panthers, they couldn’t even beat the Cowboys at home in a crucial game. Tampa’s record in the NFC is 8 – 3 (7 – 4 without the Alstott gift) and Carolina is 7 – 4 and each have one NFC game left. The Redskins would be 11 – 1 in the NFC (after beating Philadelphia) if it weren’t for the Alstott gift.

So, the Redskins are the best team in the NFC by virtue of being better than the best the NFC has to offer. If there is any justice in the NFL, the Giants will lose to Oakland on Saturday and the Redskins will beat Philly. With that, the Redskins would win their division and host a first-round playoff game, possibly against the Buccaneers. That wouldn’t be as good as finishing 11 – 5 and getting a first-round bye, which they would have achieved were it not for the Alstott gift, but it would be close enough. It would be some measure of justice.


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