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NFL Power Rankings 2021: How low can Washington go?

Washington Power Rankings!

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Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Football Team Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Washington Football Team entered the season with high hopes and expectations of repeating as the NFC East champions. They entered Week 6 with a 2-3 record after losing to the New Orleans Saints 33-22 at home. On Sunday they hosted a Kansas City Chiefs team that hasn’t looked like the powerhouse that had gone to back-to-back Super Bowls. Their defense has been Washington Football Team level bad, and the offense has had it’s share of problems, especially turnovers.

All of those problems showed up in the first half for KC, but the 2nd half was a whole different ball game. Washington went to halftime with a 3 point lead, but got blanked 21-0 in the 2nd half. Another game letting the opposing team score 30+ points, and another double digit loss has the fanbase ready for mass firings, and the public dropping the team to the bottom of the barrel where most fans outside of Washington have seen them most of Dan Snyder’s time as owner.

Washington now has two road games in a row against the Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos before they hit the bye in Week 9. The team is 2-4 now, but a 2-6 record would make the displeasure in the fanbase a lot louder. And that’s not including the distractions coming from off the field...

High: 21

Low: 27

Average: 25.1


Athlon Sports(Fischer)

For about a half, it looked like the WFT defense of old had returned. Then a switch seemed to get flipped that was equal parts this team melting down and Patrick Mahomes reverting to MVP form. Last Week: 21



At this point, the Washington Football Team defense is exactly what we’re witnessing. With the secondary unable to stop anyone, an injured Antonio Gibson and an inefficient offense, there’s just no path to Washington being a watchable team for the foreseeable future. Last Week: 24


Washington’s defense has taken an unexpected beating this season. Now Ron Rivera’s club had to take on Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City offense. But the defending NFC East champions owned a 13-10 lead at intermission but Taylor Heinicke and company were done for the day when it came to scoring.

Meanwhile, Rivera’s struggling team allowed 31 points and 499 total yards despite picking off Mahomes twice and forcing three total turnovers. Last week: 24

The Lines

Taylor Heinicke failed to capitalize on some juicy opportunities to take a big lead over the Chiefs and Washington was never able to climb back from those squandered chances. Terry McLaurin couldn’t produce against double teams and there aren’t many other options for Heinicke to target. Last Week: 25

Oddshark - Last Week: 22



Week 1 confidence rating: 5.0

How it’s going now: 3.7

Something was off about the defense in the opener that led to a lower-than-expected confidence rating — plus quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick got hurt. It hasn’t improved, as the defense ranks last in points allowed and 31st in yards — a far cry from fourth in points and second in yards in 2020. Some of it is about the schedule, but certainly not all. And while Taylor Heinicke is a nice story, Washington needs more firepower, and Heinicke is always in a position where he must carry the day, which leads to turnovers and mistakes. — John Keim Last Week: 22

Yahoo Sports(Schwab)

J.D. McKissic got more touches than anyone in the offense on Sunday. Nothing against McKissic, but that’s not a good long-term plan. It doesn’t help that Antonio Gibson’s shin injury seems to be lingering and will for a while. Last Week: 24

Yahoo Sports(Davis)

Rough start for defending NFC East champs and now this – they’ve only got four more home games in the season’s final 12 weeks. Last Week: 22

Pro Football Network

Washington is a bad football team. They faced a struggling Chiefs team that was not great offensively, and Washington still ended up being stomped out by 3 scores. The Kansas City defense hadn’t allowed fewer than 30 points all season, and despite 3 turnovers by the Chiefs’ offense, Washington still only managed 13 points.

The offense is missing a few weapons, but this comes down to Scott Turner probably not being the answer and Taylor Heinicke definitely not being the answer. With the Green Bay Packers up next, the Football Team is most likely staring down 2-5 as they head to Denver before their bye week. Last Week: 24

Touchdown Wire(Wojton)

Washington fared well early against the Chiefs, but then the wheels fell off. The Football Team forced Kansas City into early turnovers, but couldn’t take it the distance in a 31-13 loss. Last Week: 25

NumberFire - Last week: 22

New York Post - Last Week: 24


Things started beautifully on the afternoon Sean Taylor’s No. 21 was retired at FedExField: Washington’s defense stepped up and forced three first-half turnovers, including two Patrick Mahomes interceptions. Taylor Heinicke had a pretty touchdown connection to Ricky Seals-Jones, and the Football Team took a lead into the tunnel after two quarters. It all went to hell from there: Washington’s offense was shut out in the second half, while Mahomes recalibrated himself and guided the Chiefs to a blowout win. Washington entered the season as a defending division champion with a path to improvement. Instead, the Football Team feels like a conference also-ran by mid-October. Last Week: 26

Washington Post(Maske)

The public announcement of the retirement of late franchise great Sean Taylor’s jersey No. 21 didn’t go smoothly. The game against the Chiefs didn’t go well. The outcome of the investigation into the team’s workplace is facing renewed scrutiny. Even the most ardent fans seem to be having difficulty maintaining a positive outlook. Last Week: 25

Sporting News(Iyer)

WFT is starting to see Taylor Heinicke regress to his below-average passing talent. The defense has been the much bigger disappointment, however, giving up way more big plays than it makes. Last Week: 24

CBS Sports(Prisco)

So much for the idea that this team would compete for the division title. The defense has really let them down as they sit at 2-4 on the year. Last week: 26

Betting Pros

It somehow gets worse every week. Last Week: 24

Pro Football Talk(Florio)

Their regression in 2021 makes their division title in 2020 even more impressive. Last Week: 25

The Ringer(Kelly) - Last Week: 25


Bleacher Report

There have been plenty of players, teams and units that have failed to meet expectations over the first six weeks of the 2021 season. But there may not be a bigger disappointment in the entire NFL to date this season than the Washington defense.

Spearheaded by a line stocked with first-round picks, the Washington defense was supposed be among the league’s most formidable in 2021. Instead, it has been downright terrible. After giving up a staggering 499 yards to Kansas City, Washington has surrendered 423 yards per game, second-most in the league. The team has allowed over 30 points in five straight games and ranks dead last in the National Football League in scoring defense.

Earlier this week, defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio called criticism of his defense “predictable.”

“Bottom line is we have plenty of looks that we present, plenty of personnel packages that we have presented, plenty of calls that we presented. It’s about execution, and we haven’t executed at a high enough level,” he said.

Well, after the “execution” demonstrated Sunday, we predict there’s going to be a lot more criticism.

“What the hell happened to the Washington defense? That unit is far too talented to get consistently ripped apart, and now the season is pretty much down the drain as they travel to Green Bay with a 2-4 record,” Gagnon said. “The WFT must make big changes next offseason, especially if that young defensive front doesn’t get it together this year.” Last Week: 26


Where should the Washington Football Team rank heading into Week 7?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    (55 votes)
  • 54%
    (297 votes)
  • 35%
    (190 votes)
542 votes total Vote Now