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NFL Power Rankings 2018: Week 16 Edition. Josh Johnson lifts the Redskins

Where do the Redskins rank going into Week 16 of the 2018 season?

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Washington Redskins v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Josh Johnson got his first win as a starter and breathed some life into a limp Redskins offense. They kept their playoff hopes alive, and are giving Jay Gruden a stay of execution. Can the Redskins win out and will their way into the playoffs with some help?

Where should this week’s Washington Redskins team be ranked?

Highest Ranking: W1: 14 W2: 8 W3: 12 W4: 7 W5: 7 W6: 13 W7: 9 W8: 9 W9: 6 W10: 11 W11: 9 W12: 11 W13: 14 W14: 14 W15: 21 W: 17

Lowest Ranking: W1: 26 W2: 23 W3: 27 W4: 20 W5: 19 W6: 20 W7: 20 W8: 20 W9: 19 W10:20 W11: 21 W12: 23 W13: 25 W14: 32 W15: 32 W16: 29

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 W9: 9.8 W10: 15 W11: 12.3 W12: 15.3 W13: 17.8 W14: 20.8 W15: 26.2 W16: 22.2

17. Washington Post

Josh Johnson got his first victory as an NFL starting QB and, somehow, the Redskins are still alive in the playoff race. Coach Jay Gruden deserves credit for holding this thing together. Last Week: 24

18. Sporting News

Josh Johnson doesn’t really change who the Redskins were when they were winning with Alex Smith. They are still bent on making games ugly and stealing close ones in the end by running the ball as best they can and stopping the run. Last Week: 21


Jay Gruden is likely saving his job with how +hard the Redskins are playing despite a crazy amount of injuries. Last Week: 23

18. NESN

Josh Johnson kept the Redskins in the playoff conversation by leading them to a last-second win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The dream ride likely will come to an end in Week 16 when Washington visits the Titans. Last Week: 25

19. Fansided

Recap: Losers of four consecutive games after a 6-3 start, the slumping Washington Redskins made their way south to Jacksonville to take on a Jaguars’ team that was embarrassed more than a week ago at Nashville. Josh Johnson would get the start at quarterback for Jay Gruden’s squad and he and the offense were kept under wraps for the vast majority of the afternoon. But the ‘Skins rolled up 104 of their 245 total yards in the final stages of the fourth quarter, as Johnson found tight end Jeremy Sprinkle for a six-yards touchdown and Dustin Hopkins booted a 36-yard field goal on the last play of the game to end Washington’s slump. Last Week: 22


Among many storylines on Sunday -- most of them playoff-centric -- a special story played out in Jacksonville. Sure, the Redskins kept their playoff hopes alive with a late win, pushing their record to 7-7. And Adrian Peterson, held in check all day, got physical late to grind out a crucial first down, setting up Washington’s field goal as the clock moved to 0:00. But the real takeaway was a lesson of perseverance. Josh Johnson hadn’t started an NFL game since 2011. The guy didn’t take a single regular-season snap from 2014 through 2017. Yet there he was Sunday, on his 12th NFL team, staring down the Jags defense, down 13-6 with half the fourth quarter gone. No problem. Johnson went 5-for-6 on the ensuing drive with a touchdown toss in the red zone to draw even at 13-13. After a Jags turnover, Johnson and Peterson maneuvered the Redskins into position to let kicker Dustin Hopkins ice this deal. Johnson ran off the field with his first career win as an NFL starter, at the tender age of 32.

Side note: Johnson was seen limping after the game. The Oakland native shrugged it off. “I haven’t been hit in two years,” Johnson said with a laugh, via the Washington Post. “I haven’t played a 300-pound defensive lineman like Calais Campbell and (Yannick) Ngakoue. My body’s getting acclimated. There’s a lot of things I’m doing on speed dial right now.” Bet ya a cool Mountain Dew a lot of folks in Johnson’s inner circle dialed him up after Hopkins’ boot sailed through the uprights. What a story. Last Week: 23

19. The Score

Congratulations to Josh Johnson. The journeyman quarterback’s on his 13th team in his 11th NFL season, and finally recorded his first win. Last Week: 23

19. Houston Chronicle

Somehow, Washington went to Jacksonville with the well-traveled Josh Johnson at quarterback and pulled out a victory in the fourth quarter. Last Week: 24

20. Yahoo Sports(Schwab)

Let’s take a second and acknowledge how awesome the Josh Johnson story is. He was drafted in 2008, is 32 years old and was a free agent until being signed on Dec. 5. He had never been a starting quarterback for an NFL win before Sunday. “I know every opportunity I get could be my last one, that’s just the reality of my situation,” Johnson said, according to NBC Sports Washington. “I just want to leave it all out on the field. I owe this game that much because I love it that much.” Last Week: 26

21. ESPN

Biggest breakthrough: The defensive line. Three players could be considered breakout guys up front: ends Matt Ioannidis and Jonathan Allen and nose tackle Daron Payne. The Redskins’ defense has been sliding for most of the second half of the season, but this group continues to produce. These players have shown a little wear and tear at times because of heavy usage, but overall, they continue to make plays and take on double-teams. But they also pressure the passer. Ioannidis is second on the Redskins with 7.5 sacks; Allen is third with seven, and Payne has five -- but is second in tackles for loss with 9.5. The Redskins have their issues, but they also have three linemen with less than three years’ experience to build around. Last Week: 21

21. Sports Illustrated

Last Week: 31

22. Bleacher Report

OK, just to get this out of the way—the Washington Redskins aren’t making the playoffs. And if by some small miracle they do, it’s going to be a quick, ugly trip.

That’s not a knock on Washington. For the most part, it’s not the Redskins’ fault that a once-promising campaign has come off the rails.

When Josh Johnson took the field Sunday in Jacksonville, he became the fourth starting quarterback for the team this season. The first two (Alex Smith and Colt McCoy) broke their legs. The third was Mark Sanchez, who broke fans’ hearts.

That the Redskins were able to gut out a win on the road Sunday speaks well to the team’s toughness. But this win says more about how bad the Jaguars are than how good Washington is. This was a game in which the two teams didn’t have 450 yards of total offense combined.

Gagnon gave the team some credit, though:

”Just a few weeks ago, Josh Johnson was the first pick in the inaugural AAF quarterback draft. Now, you wonder if he’ll be on an NFL roster this offseason instead. Washington’s fourth starting quarterback this season has posted a solid 98.2 passer rating while rushing for 94 yards on 16 carries in a game-and-a-half with the Redskins, and he led them to an out-of-nowhere Week 15 victory. They’re still alive in the playoff picture, and Johnson deserves credit. He’s a big reason this depleted team won’t die.” Last Week: 24

23. CBS Sports(Prisco)

They are still alive at 7-7, but now face a tough road game at Tennessee. Can Josh Johnson win another? Last Week: 24

24. NumberFire

Last Week: 27

25. OddsShark

Last Week: 27

25. USA Today

Given how Josh Johnson is playing, we’ll put $10 on the San Diego Fleet to win whatever the Alliance of American Football’s Super Bowl is. Last Week: 25

25. Chicago Tribune

They kept their season alive when fourth quarterback Josh Johnson, in his first start since 2011, won for the first time as a starter in the NFL. Last Week: 29

27. Athlon Sports

So you’re saying there’s a chance? Josh Johnson went seven years between starts but his latest paid off with an ugly last-second win that keeps Washington alive for the playoffs. Last Week: 32


Winning 38 Percent of Neutral Field SimulationsPROJECTED RECORD: 8-8

Their playoff chances currently stand at 12 percent. Their chances are down from 59% back on 11/19. Their power ranking is down 12 spots since 10/29. They are not as good as their projected win-loss record would indicate. Their rank based on projected wins is #17. Last Week: 30

29. Bleeding Green Nation

Josh Johnson made his NFL debut in 2009 but he didn’t pick up his first career win until Sunday. Remarkably, Washington is still alive in the playoff hunt. Last Week: 32

29. Walter Football

This is so frustrating. I wanted to bet against Mark Sanchez. That’s all I wanted for Christmas. Yet, the Redskins took that away from me, signing a competent quarterback to play over Sanchez instead. How dare they try to make the playoffs? I mean, seriously, guys, what’s more important here, my gambling addiction or a shot at the postseason? Come on! Last Week: 32