The Redskins took control of the NFC East on Sunday with their win over the Cowboys, and the Eagles spectacular 4th quarter meltdown against the Panthers. Washington is now a game and a half ahead in the division, and the only team with a winning record. They travel to the bowels of New Jersey this Sunday for their second division game in a row to face the broken New York Giants.
The Redskins steady climb up the Power Rankings continues this week. Over half of the professional power rankers have Washington in the Top 10 this week. Their defense has been impressive, and Adrian Peterson’s revival in DC has been more fun than I thought it could be. The Alex Smith experiment is a slow grind, but the wins are coming and the Redskins currently have the 6th-best record in the NFL.
Where should this year’s Washington Redskins team be ranked?
Highest Ranking: W1: 14 W2: 8 W3: 12 W4: 7 W5: 7 W6: 13 W7: 9 W8: 9
Lowest Ranking: W1: 26 W2: 23 W3: 27 W4: 20 W5: 19 W6: 20 W7: 20 W8: 20
Average Ranking: W1: 20.5 W2: 15.5 W3: 22.7 W4: 15.1 W5: 14.3 W6: 16.4 W7: 14.3 W8: 11.2
Hail to their run defense, rushing offense and ability to protect the ball with Alex Smith. There are very few style points with this team, but the Redskins are getting it done. Last Week: 12
The Redskins had some good fortune Sunday against the Cowboys, particularly with the controversial snap-infraction penalty against Dallas before its missed would-be tying FG. But give the Redskins credit for playing well on defense and avoiding turnovers while doing just enough on offense. They certainly can win a less-than-fearsome NFC East, especially given their favorable schedule the rest of the way. Last Week: 11
They are the leaders in the NFC East and that defense is suffocating at times. The offense does need to pick it up a bit. Last Week: 9
They won their home game against Dallas to lead the NFC East by one game. They play another division game against the Giants. Last Week: 12
9. USA Today
Slow and steady wins the race. No team averages more time of possession per drive (3:04) for a rare “3 yards and a cloud of dust” outfit. Last Week: 11
The Redskins won by a matter of inches, but a win is a win nonetheless. Beating the Cowboys puts them firmly in the driver’s seat within the NFC East, too. Last Week: 13
9. SB Nation
The NFC East clearly appears to be the worst division in football. The Eagles are in a post-Super Bowl slump (still). The Giants are paying the price of continuing to trust Eli Manning. The Cowboys think trading away a first-round pick in exchange for Amari Cooper is going to solve their problems. And Washington is now on top of the division, and looking like the best team in a bad division. Who thought Adrian Peterson would be among the best players on a division-leading team in 2018? Last Week: 16
A couple of weeks ago, the Washington Redskins were waylaid 43-19 in New Orleans. At 2-2, they looked like the poster children for the NFC East: a mediocre team in a mediocre division.
Now, the Redskins look like a team with a firm grip on first place. By virtue of their 20-17 win over the Cowboys at FedEx Field, they are now up two games in the loss column on Dallas and Philadelphia.
The Redskins aren’t blowing anyone away. Alex Smith threw for just 178 yards. Adrian Peterson averaged an OK 4.1 yards per carry. No receiver had five catches or 45 yards.
But just as they did last week against the Carolina Panthers, the Redskins made plays when they needed to on both sides of the ball.
Brent Sobleski is not worrying about style points.
”An important outcome—no matter how it was achieved—went in Washington’s favor Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys,” he said. “Washington now sits atop the struggling NFC East with a 4-2 record and a 1.5-game lead. A top-five defense is being supplemented by Adrian Peterson’s resurgence. How Jay Gruden’s squad gets the job done may not be pretty, but they’re doing more than enough in a poor division.” Last Week: 13
Huge win for the Redskins, who, at 4-2, are cruising in the weak NFC East. Weird to call this division weak, huh? Especially for old-time Washington fans who lived though the early 1970s battling Tom Landry’s Cowboys, or the ‘80s against Bill Parcells’ Giants or Jimmy Johnson’s ‘90s dynasty in Dallas. Speaking of legacy, Adrian Peterson sure is adding to his. Peterson is on a direct course for 1,000 yards rushing in his 12th season. The list of guys who have reached the 1,000-yard benchmark at that juncture of their career is short and impressive: Franco Harris, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, Frank Gore and the baddest Redskins RB of ‘em all, John Riggins. Peterson provided enough oomph to a depleted Washington offense to outlast the pesky Cowboys. And by the way, kudos to the Redskins for wearing their whites at home, like they used to. That uni juxtaposed with the Dallas road blues is NFL pageantry, folks. #HTTR #firstplace Last Week: 16
10. Athlon Sports
Somebody has to win the NFC East and it appears the Redskins are staking their claim with that escape against Dallas. It’s still hard to figure out if this is a good team overall, and if they can win on the road with any consistency, but baby steps are baby steps for one of the NFC surprises. Last Week: 12
10. Walter Football
The Redskins have been removed from the underrated list because they beat the Cowboys at home. Sure, they could’ve lost had the Cowboys not screwed up at the end, but they managed to beat a tough Dallas defense without Jamison Crowder and Chris Thompson, which was very impressive. The Redskins are now a game-and-a-half ahead of both the Eagles and Cowboys, though it’s worth noting that they haven’t played Philadelphia yet. Last Week: 10
Jay Gruden’s team had dropped four straight games to the Cowboys. And the Redskins were also winless at home in their last five encounters with their bitter NFC East rivals. But running back Adrian Peterson continues to drink from the Fountain of Youth and provided Washington with 99 yards rushing on 24 carries. Quarterback Alex Smith threw for 178 yards and one score and the team played turnover-free football. But the ‘Skins offense was virtually non-existent in the second half and the team held on for the win. Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan had two of the team’s four sacks of Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott. Last Week: 13
11. The Score
Psst, Washington is the only NFC East team above .500. Pass it on. Last Week: 15
Ryan Kerrigan might be one of the most underrated players in the league. His efforts helped Washington maintain their NFC East lead. Houston (4-3) is the only team remaining on Washington’s schedule that currently has a winning record. Last Week: 14
Washington is lucky the Cowboys missed that field goal — reportedly thanks to them seeing on film Dallas’ long snapper moving the ball and alerting the officials to watch for a penalty — because they almost had an epic collapse. But they got the win, and the schedule remains easy for the foreseeable future. Last Week: 15
Alex Smith not playing well but not turning it over, which helps Last Week: 16
The Redskins snapped their streak of alternating wins and losses. They are simultaneously the team that made the biggest jump in our rankings this week, and the fan base that’s most likely to be upset by their ranking, given the team they’re immediately behind. They’re up two games in the loss column on the Eagles and Cowboys, even though their +5 point differential is third in the division. Last Week: 19
Jason Garrett’s miserable clock management helped the Redskins grab a key division game and take a 1 1/2 game lead in the NFC East. Alex Smith threw for fewer than 180 yards for the second week in a row, but a 24-carry, 99-yard game from Adrian Peterson and a fierce defensive effort helped Washington move to 4-2. Last Week: 20
Need more from: WR Josh Doctson. The former first-rounder has not yet developed into the vertical perimeter threat the Redskins had hoped for. Alex Smith currently ranks 27th with a 40.5 completion percentage on passes traveling 15-plus air yards, including 0-for-6 when targeting Doctson on those throws. Last Week: 16
Last Week: 20
Last Week: 17
Where should the Redskins rank this week?
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