Last night Washington clinched the NFC East and next week will play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the playoffs. However, winning the division could be the worst thing that happens to them because they will draft much higher than their fellow NFC East competitors.
Washington finished the regular season at 7-9. Had they finished 6-10 they would have been in a three way tie and the New York Giants would have the tiebreaker and win the division.
Let’s take a look at the likely draft positions for NFC East 2021:
- #5 Philadelphia Eagles – At 4-11-1 they are tied with Cincinnati but have the tiebreaker.
- #10 Dallas Cowboys – This talented team struggled with injuries and ended up with a top one-third draft choice.
- #11 New York Giants – They are starting to put the pieces together.
- Best case – #19 Washington Football Team – The highest pick in the draft Washington can get his 19th.
- Most likely – #23 – Washington Football Team – Washington is a heavy underdog to Tampa Bay. If they lose, as well as the other wild-card teams, Washington will slot in at 23rd by nature of being the fourth seed in the NFC.
Now let’s take a look at what happens if the Eagles had beat Washington last night:
- #7 Philadelphia Eagles – at 5-10-1 the Eagles would drop two spots.
- #10 Washington Football Team – Washington would slot in just ahead of Dallas, both at 6-10.
- #11 Dallas Cowboys – Dallas uses the tiebreaker.
- #19-#23 New York Giants – By winning the division the Giants would’ve swapped positions.
Of course, you have to be in it to win it, so Washington fans are certainly happy to see them in the playoffs, particularly with a guaranteed home game. If they go all the way, they will pick 32nd in the draft, which is a good problem to have.