Washington takes a tumble in Week 15 NFL power rankings
By Jerry Trotta
The Washington Football Team, or what’s left of them anyway, will make the trek up to Philadelphia for a colossal road date with the Eagles on Sunday.
Both squads are 6-7 and have a somewhat clear view of the playoffs, and the only thing separating them in the standings is the fact that Washington (1-1) owns a better divisional record than their longtime rivals (0-2).
In order for Washington to keep a nice cushion over Philadelphia, they need to win this game. That’s obviously easier said than done, as the club has placed a whopping 21 players (nearly half the roster) on the COVID list this week.
Couple that with a battery of injuries and you have a decimated roster. With that in mind, plus the heartbreaking loss to Dallas last weekend, and it’s easy to see why Washington took a tumble in the Week 15 power rankings.
Let’s see where some prominent outlets ranked them.
Where Washington sits in the latest NFL power rankings.
NFL.com moved Washington from No. 17 to No. 18. Not a huge drop, but writer Dan Hanzus spilled the hard truth on Taylor Heinicke, saying the 28-year-old QB looks “mediocre” when he’s not supported by the running game. Until we see something different, Dallas gave teams the blueprint on how to stop Washington’s offense.
ESPNs latest rankings dropped Washington from No. 16 to No. 19. While writer John Keim blasted the special teams unit, he, like Hanzus, believes the struggling offense is what’s holding the team back.
FanSided actually has Washington the highest of any expert rankings this week, listing them at No. 16, ahead of other playoff hopefuls like Denver, Pittsburgh, Miami, Cleveland, Minnesota and New Orleans.
Finally, USA TODAY slated Washington at No. 19. This marks the club’s biggest drop, as they checked in as high as No. 15 last week. The reason for their tumble? The state of the DL, which is currently without foundational pieces Jonathan Allen and Montez Sweat on the COVID list and Chase Young on IR.
Tough to have any qualms with these rankings, though it’d be nice to know what the team would’ve accomplished during the regular season if not for injuries and the unforeseen COVID outbreak.
We’d probably be talking about Washington giving Dallas a serious run for their money in the NFC East. Alas, the state of the team is as dismal as it was heading into the bye thanks to 18 players landing on the COVID list since Monday.
On paper, Washington deserves to be ranked higher. Fully healthy, this roster likely belongs in the 10-15 range in terms of power rankings. However, the weekly rankings have to take everything into consideration.
With injuries and positive COVID tests continuing to mount, the team will be hard-pressed to make another notable jump this season.
Here’s to hoping they defy the odds.