Commanders slump in ESPN's power rankings
The Washington Commanders picked a bad time to embarrass themselves on Thanksgiving against the Dallas Cowboys. Television ratings were among the highest for any football game in history, with those viewing forced an absolute hammering that eventually resulted in Ron Rivera finally cutting ties with defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio.
It came as no surprise to see the Commanders' slump to No. 25 in ESPN's weekly power rankings as a result. When looking at where the team stands statistically, beat writer John Keim was under no doubt it was a fair reflection on what's been put out on tape.
"Offense: 22- John Keim, ESPN
Special teams: 22
These rankings explain why Washington is 4-8; it's a collective failure and none of these areas have served as a pick-me-up to offset other unit's struggles. Washington's defense ranks last in scoring (29.2 PPG) and 29th in yards (377.7) -- one year after being seventh and third, respectively, in those areas. That group was supposed to lead the way while the offense -- with a new coordinator (Eric Bieniemy), inexperienced quarterback (Sam Howell) and a questionable line -- meshed. That hasn't happened. Howell has improved and in the past six games they rank ninth in yards -- but 22nd in points. In the first six games they ranked 22nd in yards but 15th in points."
Rivera will take over defensive play-calling in one final roll of the dice to save his job. However, his fate beyond the current campaign seems like a foregone conclusion as Josh Harris' ownership group looks to stamp their own mark on the franchise they bought for a record $6.05 billion.