Panthers win damages Washington's playoff hopes

The Redskins now need to win their final two games of the season

Panthers win damages Washington's playoff hopes

Carolina Panthers fullback Mike Tolbert (35) carries the ball during the second half against the Washington Redskins. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Washington's hopes of a playoff spot were dealt a blow on Monday night, after a 26-15 loss at home to last season's NFC Champions, the Carolina Panthers.

Lying in third place in the NFC East, the Redskins still remain with a slim chance of reaching the playoffs, but the loss has fallen them behind Green Bay and Tampa Bay in the quest for the final wildcard spot.

Carolina, who are bottom on the NFC South, won only their second away game of the season, after Cam Newton threw for two touchdowns, either side of the break. Ted Ginn Jr. and Mike Tolbert were on the end of the throws as the Panthers never trailed in the game.

The result means that Washington have to win their final two games of the season, to have a realistic chance of reaching the playoffs for the second season in a row. Last year, they lost to Green Bay in the Wildcard Round, after winning the NFC East.

Next weekend, the Redskins are in Chicago, before a home game in Week 17 against divisional rivals, the New York Giants. That game could see both teams enter the playoff as wildcard sides.