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NFL Power Rankings 2021: Washington doesn’t even need to play to slide lower in the rankings

Washington Power Rankings!

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Washington Football Team v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Tafoya/Getty Images

The Washington Football Team entered the season with high hopes and expectations of repeating as the NFC East champions. They went into their Week 9 bye with a 2-6 record after losing to the the Broncos in Denver 17-10. Washington now enters Week 9 looking to get some injured players back as they prepare to host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a playoff rematch.

The team is in last place in the NFC East, and most fans are calling for massive changes to the roster, coaching staff, and ownership(as always). Ron Rivera has finally admitted the mistake of going with Chris Blewitt at kicker, replacing him with Joey Slye. That has done nothing for the team’s slide to the bottom of the power rankings.

High: 25

Low: 30

Average: 27.9


Oddshark - Last Week: 25


The Lines

Washington’s underachieving defense is no longer giving up the most PPG in the NFL, but they’re still yielding a league-high 56.5% conversion rate on 3rd down and a 60% conversion rate on 4th down. Last Week: 25



Bold second-half prediction: Washington will finish with a 5-12 record.

That record will qualify as a huge disappointment after a 5-2 finish last season led to bigger expectations in Ron Rivera’s second season. But Washington will be lucky to even be favored in more than two games the rest of this season — it still plays Tampa Bay, Seattle (with Russell Wilson most likely), Las Vegas and two vs. Dallas. Rivera’s teams typically improve in the second half of the season — 42-30 in his career in a full second half. Also, of the five times his teams were under .500 in the first half, they posted a winning record in the second half four times. However, with lackluster quarterback play combined with numerous injuries and a difficult schedule, a turnaround will be exceptionally difficult. — John Keim Last Week: 27

The Athletic

Are they good? Not hardly. At least they have injuries to blame on offense, with Ryan Fitzpatrick out since the opener and Curtis Samuel practically the same. On defense, this is a bottom-five unit in yards and points allowed, and now they’re without Montez Sweat for a month. Maybe the prospect of facing Tom Brady can wake Chase Young up from a far-too-quiet sophomore season, with just 1 1/2 sacks and only four total QB hits. We want to say “they were 2-6 last year and won the division” but we just can’t do it, even as bad as Dallas looked against Denver. Last Week: 26

Yahoo Sports(Schwab)

It’s already worth wondering if Terry McLaurin is on the Allen Robinson career path and won’t get a decent quarterback until he’s in his late 20s. McLaurin is probably one of the NFL’s best receivers but we might never see that level for a while. Last Week: 26

Athlon Sports(Fischer)

It was around this time last year that the WFT started to really turn things around. Nobody is expecting a similar story in 2021 given some of the upcoming opponents and *gestures at everything* what’s going on around the franchise. Last Week: 25

Pro Football Network

The Football Team hasn’t had the defensive production they believed they’d get going into this season. Chase Young is a great player, but he hasn’t quite made the strides we expected in 2021. However, it’s the Washington secondary and linebackers that have let them down defensively.

They don’t have much of anything on the offensive side of the ball. Terry McLaurin is outstanding, but he doesn’t have a quarterback that can consistently get the ball to him on time or with accuracy. With Taylor Heinicke performing at such a low level, I wonder if they look to give Kyle Allen a shot after the bye. Last Week: 27

CBS Sports(Prisco)

Coming out of their bye, they have to hope they can turn things around quickly as one of the biggest flops of the year. It won’t be an easy start to that process with the Bucs on tap. Last week: 27

The Ringer(Kelly) - Last Week: 27


Much was made of Washington’s fearsome front seven entering the season. Anchored by a pair of rising stars in Chase Young and Montez Sweat, the belief was that Young & Sweaty (my nickname, not theirs) would disrupt game plans on a weekly basis and put Washington in position to successfully defend its NFC East title. It hasn’t worked out that way. Young, last year’s No. 2 overall pick, has disappointed with just 1.5 sacks, and Sweat is now on the shelf for up to a month after sustaining a broken jaw in Week 8’s loss to the Broncos. Ron Rivera’s defense was built to win up front — it’s just one of many things that haven’t come together as planned for the Football Team. Last Week: 28

Yahoo Sports(Davis)

A loss to the Bucs on Sunday will drop the WFT to 2-7 – exactly where they were a year ago before sprinting to the NFC East crown. Just sayin’ ... history. Last Week: 26

Betting Pros

Washington’s terrible defense gets Tampa’s explosive offense as they come out of a bye. Last Week: 28

Touchdown Wire(Wojton)

Bye week. Last Week: 28


Bleacher Report

Things have not gone according to plan for the Washington Football Team in 2021. One analyst at Bleacher Report predicted the team would win the NFC East thanks to a stifling defense.

Instead of fielding one of the best defenses in the NFL, it has put forth one of the worst. It ranks 29th in both total defense and scoring defense. After falling to the Broncos in Denver in Week 8, Washington hit the bye five games back of Dallas in the loss column and as losers of four games in a row.

However, while Washington has stumbled this year, head coach Ron Rivera believes the team is headed in the right direction, per Michael Silver of the club’s official website.

“I know it’s about winning—and that’s what we’re working toward,” he said. “People want to see us win, and I get it. When you’re not winning, it’s hard to sit there and say, ‘We’re close.’ But I have to look at it a different way. There are steps we’ve made that are positive, and if we keep taking steps, we’ll get to where we need to go.”

The question is whether team owner Daniel Snyder agrees with that assessment enough to be patient with Rivera. Last Week: 28x


While some may point to a shaky quarterback situation, Washington’s defense has been a big factor in the team’s disappointing 2-6 start. A year ago, the club ranked second in fewest total yards and fewest passing yards.

It’s been a much different story as Ron Rivera’s club ranked 27th in total defense while only two teams in the league were giving up more passing yardage per contest entering Week 9. Washington defender have allowed 20 TD passes. Last week: 25

Sporting News(Iyer)

Washington was off trying to rest up and get healthier to finish with more respectability in the second half. A repeat in the division won’t happen, but Ron Rivera will hope to save face with much-needed help from Ryan Fitzpatrick. Last Week: 28

Pro Football Talk(Florio)

Well, we don’t have to worry about the team doing so well that it won’t be able to dump the WFT placeholder name. Last Week: 28

NumberFire - Last week: 27

New York Post - Last Week: 28


Washington Post(Maske)

There’s little reason for optimism as Washington returns from its bye to play out the string in a seemingly lost season. The pitiable state of last season’s NFC East, which made Washington a division winner at 7-9, raised expectations to unreasonable levels. This was always a rebuilding team that was never anything more than below average. And now it has taken a sizable step backward from that. Last Week: 28


The Washington Football Team desperately needed the nye week. Entering Week 10, Washington needs to get Antonio Gibson more involved and this secondary needs to figure out the issues that made this one of the worst defenses in the NFL through eight games. Otherwise, Washington won’t move much higher than this in our weekly NFL power rankings. Last Week: 25

The Washington Football Team’s current record would “earn” them the 6th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft. They are one of 4 teams that only have 2 wins. Only one team has 1 win(Houston Texans), and the lowly Detroit Lions are at the top of the pack with 0 wins. Washington still has 9 games to go so there is a lot of season left, but it’s looking like they will have a high pick next year unless Ron Rivera’s magical late season run happens again.


Where should the Washington Football Team rank heading into Week 10?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    (17 votes)
  • 66%
    (204 votes)
  • 28%
    (86 votes)
307 votes total Vote Now


Where will Washington pick in next year's draft?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    (15 votes)
  • 36%
    (116 votes)
  • 45%
    (147 votes)
  • 7%
    Trade up to get a QB
    (24 votes)
  • 5%
    Trade 1st round pick away to get a veteran QB
    (18 votes)
320 votes total Vote Now