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NFL Power Rankings 2017: Redskins drop to the middle of the pack

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The Redskins loss drops them down

Minnesota Vikings v Washington Redskins Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Redskins(4-5) lost a high-scoring game to the Minnesota Vikings(7-2), and saw their playoff hopes get a little slimmer on Sunday. The defense on the field this week looked a lot different than the one that helped get the upset in Seattle last week. The offense put up 30 points on a stout Vikings defense, but that wasn’t enough to get the win.

Washington came back in the rankings last week, but is drifting back to the middle of the pack this week. They have a losing record, but have played the toughest schedule in the NFL this year. That gives them some respect in the rankings, but they need to get wins to stay in the hunt. They go to New Orleans to face the Saints(7-2) this week in a make or break game for their season.

Redskins Week 11 Ranking Average: 16.3

Is their ranking too high or too low this week?

14. Sports Illustrated

Last Week: 10

14. Bleacher Report(Simms)

The Washington Redskins are a dangerous team. They are getting healthy, and when they're healthy, the Redskins are one of the better teams in the game. However, time is running out for Washington to get back into the NFC East race. The Redskins may be chasing a wild-card spot from here on out.

Kirk Cousins is capable of making big plays; however, he will make questionable decisions. One of the biggest plays against Minnesota was an interception he threw right before the half that led to a Vikings touchdown. It gave Minnesota a 28-17 lead and changed the dynamic of the game.

As the offensive line gets healthier, we should see improvement in the run game. That should help take pressure off Cousins. The defense is solid, if unspectacular, and is capable of making plays. Washington is still a dangerous team but is going to have to go on a run soon.

At 4-5, two more losses could keep the Redskins out of the postseason. Last Week: 11

14. Yahoo Sports

The Vikings played well, but it was shocking how unprepared Washington was. The Redskins also lost running back Rob Kelley to knee and ankle injuries, and they need rookie Samaje Perine to step up. Perine has been a pretty big disappointment to this point. Last Week: 12

15. USA Today

Kirk Cousins tied for club lead with three rush TDs. Nice point for contract negotiations ... and better indication of where this team struggles. Last Week: 10

15. NFL.com(Harrison)

Didn't matter what defensive coordinator Greg Manusky was calling out there. The Vikings solved it, and right quick. Minnesota's offense scored 35 points in its first 31 plays. Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur not only won the chess match, but nearly every move therein. If Ryan Kerrigan and Preston Smith don't get home for the Redskins, their secondary can't hold the fort very long. That's why Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins had to be perfect Sunday. Unfortunately for Washington, he wasn't. Putting that aside, I can't help but be impressed by D.J. Swearinger. He was everywhere Sunday: picks, run support, you name it. Last Week: 13

15. Athlon Sports

You have to admire the way the team continued to battle in the second half against the Vikings but it’s pretty apparent that the depth chart is just too depleted to keep pace with some of the league’s best. Last Week: 14

16. NBC Washington

Want to build your case that momentum doesn’t really exist on a week-to-week basis in the NFL? Use the Redskins, who took down the Seahawks in Week 9 and then were helpless vs. the Vikings in Week 10, as your exhibit A. Washington has one more really tough test left in New Orleans, and then the schedule evens out afterward. They’re better than their 4-5 record suggests but still nowhere near consistent enough right now to be a contender. Last Week: 13

16. CBS Sports(Prisco)

What happened to the defense against the Vikings? That's a bad loss for a team that can't afford them and now faces a tough road game against the Saints. Last Week: 15

16. Sporting News

The Redskins missed an opportunity to leapfrog the Cowboys in the NFC East. Last Week: 16

17. NESN

Washington now has lost three of its last four games and will face the red-hot Saints in Week 11. The playoffs seem like a long shot for D.C.’s favored sons at this point. Last Week: 13

18. ESPN

The Redskins have played the toughest schedule to date, but they have the second-easiest remaining schedule. The potential for wins is there, with two games against the Giants and home matchups with the Cardinals and Broncos still to come. Last Week: 13

18. Washington Post

The shocking win in Seattle was followed by Sunday’s loss at home to the Vikings. There’s no disgrace in losing to a very good Minnesota team. But it remains one step forward and one step back for these Redskins, who perhaps have found their level. Unfortunately for them, that level appears to be right around the .500 mark. Last Week: 13

18. NJ.com

Washington is among a few teams with losing records that have enough talent to scare anyone. Injuries and poor execution have separated this team from playoff position. Last Week: 14

18. Chicago Tribune

Defense has played so well much of the season but simply didn’t show up in a home loss to the Vikings. Last Week: 17

20. OddsShark

Last Week: 14