Playoffs still a 50-50 proposition for 5-2 Redskins?

Ben Krimmel
November 01, 2018 - 10:12 am

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins are 5-2 and sit atop the NFC East, but reaching the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season is not a foregone conclusion. 

NFL Media's Cynthia Frelund, who runs an advanced mathematical model to determine each team's win total, gives the Redskins just a 50.9 percent chance at reaching the postseason. 

"(Frelund's) got the math, based on the last 15 seasons, in her metrics at 8.9 wins (for the Redskins)," Eric Bickel said on The Sports Junkies Thursday.

"In 15 seasons, defenses that are strong up the middle at all three levels (interior pressure, stopping the run and pass defense in the middle of the field) earned between 1.7 and 2.2 more wins in a season," Frelund writes about Washington. "Looking at the Redskins' defensive front -- and factoring in the trade acquisition of safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix -- the playoffs certainly appear to be within Washington's reach."

"So even though they're on fire right now, sitting pretty and they've got a game-and-a-half lead," EB said. "There's a long way to go."

"Yeah, it's not over, (but) I still think they get in," Jason Bishop said. "And if they beat the Falcons, I'll put it at 100 percent." 

Frelund's model compares this current season's games with 15 previous seasons situational production metrics and tracks personnel, matchups, play-calling, and results from past seasons establishes historical profile for each team. 

Other mathematical models predict a slightly rosier future for the Redskins. Football Outsiders is the most bullish, giving Washington a 75.4 percent chance at making the playoffs and a 66.4 percent chance at winning the NFC East. FiveThirtyEight gives the Redskins a 60 percent chance at the playoffs and 47 percent chance for the division. ESPN's Football Power Index is most similar to Frelund's prediction, calculating a 9-7 final record for Washington with a 51.5 percent chance at the playoffs and 41.6 percent chance at the NFC East crown.

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