The Washington Redskins defeated the Chicago Bears 41-21 on Saturday to improve to 8-6-1 on the season. Having played in the early game, the Redskins were then able to pay attention to the scoreboard knowing that they did all that they could do. They had to be delighted when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took themselves out of the playoff picture with what was a huge loss to the New Orleans Saints. Now Washington fans will pay close attention to the Detroit/Dallas game, one that will take place this Monday night.

Washington alive in Week 17 no matter what

The game between Detroit/Dallas is not deterministic for the Redskins in the sense that either team winning keeps Washington's hopes alive.

However, the Redskins will surely be pulling for the Cowboys, the hosts of the game and the strongest team in the NFC. If the Cowboys win then matters become simple for the Washington Redskins. They would need to defeat the New York Giants in the final week of the regular season to capture the No. 6 seed in the NFC.

But what will happen if Detroit defeat Dallas? In that case Washington would remain alive in the playoff hunt as they head toward their Week 17 game. However, Washington would need to hope that the Lions then turn around and defeat the Green Bay Packers the next week. That would give Detroit the NFC North divisional title and it would give Washington, if they beat New York, a slightly better record than the Packers.

It's kind of a strange situation in that a win this week from Detroit hurts the Redskins while a win next week from Detroit can help them, but that is the situation.

Redskins' situation is fairly simple

There are no other games that are important for the Redskins any longer. They want to see the Cowboys win on Monday or the Lions win next Sunday.

In all cases Washington want a win over the Giants. The latter matter certainly isn't a lock, however New York's playoff fate has been decided. They will finish the NFC regular season as the 5 seed no matter what. It's possible that New York go into coast mode in Week 17, something that may help Washington to victory.

While there is work to do, it certainly doesn't look that bad from the Redskins' perspective at this point.

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