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Despite what you might have heard, beating the Jets in overtime makes us better

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And not just better off. Idea blatantly stolen from Chris at Arrowhead Pride. Here's how your Redskins shake up relative to the opposition, per ESPN, CBS Sportsline, and Fox Sports. If you care. ESPN:

12 (15) Redskins 5-3-0     In their previous three games, the Redskins rushed for a combined 214 yards. In beating the Jets on Sunday, they rushed for 296 yards. Tough to tell if the ground game is back when the opponent is so bad.
The paranthetical was last week's ranking. I guess it's strange for them to question accomplishment against the Jets (by the way, enough effing Jets bashing; I'm guilty so I won't get too indignant, but good on them for playing us tough with a brand new quarterback) and yet move us up 3 spots. Likely in virtue of stock dropping Chargers (7->14), Chiefs (11->15), Seahawks (12->16), and Ravens (14->17). Et tu, Pete Prisco?
12 [Previously] 17
At 5-3, do we really know how good this team is or can be? They haven't looked great getting to this record.
It's a good thing that power rankings don't decide playoff participation. At 12th, 6th in the NFC, that would be just good enough to get us in the postseason howeva we're behind both the Lions and the Giants, and neither of them can win the NFC West. Thus there are two wild card contenders necessarily ahead of us on Prisco's board and, incidentally, there are two wild card contenders ahead of us in the actual standing. The Redskins need to either unseat the Giants (tough, given the tie breaker) or unseat the Lions (tough, given how well they're playing, but we at least own the tie breaker).

It's late enough in the season to start concluding  postseason scenarios, so allow me a quick tangent. Nothing that happens in the NFC West is likely to change our playoff potential. St. Louis and San Fransisco are sitting at the bottom of the NFC, and neither Seattle nor Arizona has a winning record, currently, which means neither is a favored contender for a wild card spot. In the West, the postseason depends on winning the division. I think the same is likely true for the NFC South. Only Tampa Bay has a winning record, but they are only one loss north of .500. The East and the North are both primed to produce wild card contenders, though the Eagles, Vikings, and Bears are all in the same kind of trouble at 3-5. All of this can change in a relatively short period of time, so I am by no means counting any of those guys out. What I am saying is that if the Redskins are going to play after the regular season, as of this moment the teams we need to pass are Detroit or New York -- more likely Detroit -- and we're pretty safe from the NFC West and, to a lesser degree, the NFC South (those Saints look resurgent). That's all I'm sayin'. What are you sayin' Peter Schrager:

14      Redskins 15 (+1) 10/24 Clinton Portis carried the ball 36 times for 196 yards and a score in his best performance of the season. Shaun Suisham tied a franchise record with five field goals and the 'Skins erased a 14-point deficit to escape the Meadowlands with a win. Suisham's overtime 46-yard boot gave the Redskins their fifth victory of the season. In case you were wondering, they won five games all last year.
Paranthetical is the change this week, which Fox Sports presumes you couldn't figure out by reading their current and previous rank, which sandwiches it. October 24th (yuck yuck yuck) is actually our high/low, which means the Redskins were once ranked 10th, once ranked 24th, but not higher or lower.

Also, Peter Schrager manages to capture our win against the Jets, a great football team, so much better than any of the other rankings. We won, on the road, erasing a 14 point deficit created by an unusual special teams touchdown, on the leg of our kicker who now has concurrant ownership of a franchise record, and oh yea Clinton Portis looked like Clinton Portis. Dwell on the positive. Here are my power rankings:

  1. Peter Schrager - Eloquently described our incredibly gritty, come from behind victory over the New York Jets. Has the most analysis on which to suckle, even if it is still fleeting, and points out a franchise record. Those aren't set every day. He's operating at a very high level. I don't care about the lower rating.
  2. Mike McAllister - Yea it is tough to tell whether or not the improved running game had more to do with the Jets than the Redskins. You're supposed to tell me the answer to tough football questions, though, Mike.
  3. Pete Prisco - I'm not among the camp of people who hate Pete Prisco or think he's worthless. I like him. I read these stupid power rankings all the time, meaningless as they may be. Even if we haven't looked "great" reaching 5-3, we've looked "good enough".