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NFL Power Rankings: A Tie and a Bye don’t change much for the Washington Commanders’ rankings this week

Washington heads into their bye week

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NFL-Washington Commanders at New York Giants Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Washington Commanders tied the New York Giants on Sunday. Washington was in the playoff picture as the 7th spot in the NFC, but have now dropped to 8th. That will change during their bye week, and it’s very likely that the third, and final, Wild Card spot will come down to the New York Giants and the Washington Commanders. They will have a rematch in two weeks in a game that was flexed to primetime on Sunday Night Football. Before that the Giants have to face the 11-1 Philadelphia Eagles. Good luck with that.

A tie is like kissing your sister, and it didn’t really move the needle one way or another for a lot of rankers. Most just left Washington where they had the team ranked last week, with the at least it wasn’t a loss mentality. There was some movement slightly up and down. but the high and lows stayed the same from last week, and their average ranking actually went up by .2!

High: 9

Low: 17

Average: 12.9


The Score

The Commanders will likely turn to Nick Martin at center in the final stretch of the year after starter Tyler Larsen suffered a potential season-ending injury. It’s a second chance for Martin, who struggled in two starts early this campaign. Last Week: 9


Athlon Sports(Fischer)

The momentum this group has built up recently wasn’t fully stopped against the Giants but that tie did seem to leave more than a few members of the team puzzled when the clock hit zeroes. Last Week: 9


NFL Spin Zone(Gurzi)

As if the NFC East wasn’t crowded enough, the New York Giants and Washington Commanders went ahead and tied in Week 13. The Commanders are now sitting at 7-5-1, which is the worst record in that division — which is now the best in the league since the Patriots lost on Thursday.

Washington started out 1-4 but turned things around when they put Taylor Heinicke in at quarterback. They had three wins in a row before this one and while a tie isn’t ideal, they still haven’t lost since Nov. 6 when the Vikings beat them 20-17.

It would be interesting to see what they could have been if they had never added Wentz but at least they’re in line to make a run at the playoffs still. They would have been in much better shape with a win here, but at least they didn’t lose. Right? Last Week: 11

CBS Sports(Prisco)

The tie against the Giants could help them when it comes to the playoffs. They head into their bye this week losing just once in the last eight games. Last Week: 13

Sporting News(Iyer)

The Commanders also should be happy with the tie against the Giants that helped keep them ahead of the Seahawks, knowing they got that result on the road with the rematch in Washington happening again after their bye. Taylor Heinicke, the running game and the defense are giving them just enough. Last Week: 12


The Washington Commanders keep finding ways not to lose games, call it the Taylor Heinicke effect. In truth, a majority of the credit belongs to the Commanders’ excellent defense and the emerging receiving trio of Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel and Jahan Dotson. Last Week: 12

Fox Sports(Helman)

Genius proposal: when they’re done with their bye week, the Commanders play the Giants again. What if we just give the winner credit for both wins, rather than bother with this tie nonsense? Last Week: 12


Washington almost went the entire second half without scoring prior to a game-tying touchdown inside the two-minute warning. The Commanders will see the Giants again in Week 15 after a Week 14 bye. Last Week: 11


Last Week: 13



Seventy minutes against the Giants, a week off, and at least 60 more minutes against the Giants after that. Last Week: 15

New York Post(Dunleavy)

Last Week: 11



We’re No. 1 in... time of possession.

The Commanders lead the NFL by averaging 32:59 time of possession each week. They’ve been good in this area all season but it’s been pronounced in the last eight weeks when they’ve gone 6-1-1, in part by keeping the ball for an average of 33:48. Their renewed commitment to the run game has helped a lot — they averaged 89 yards and 3.87 yards per carry in the first five games; it’s 146.6 and 4.10 in the last eight. Finally, the result has been the defense playing five fewer plays per game since Week 5, keeping them fresh. — John Keim Last Week: 12

Taylor Heinicke isn’t as naturally talented or consistent as you might want your starting quarterback to be, but then he hits a throw like we saw on Sunday with the game hanging in the balance at the Meadowlands, and you’re reminded why the quarterback has endeared himself to so many Commanders fans. Heinicke’s clutch fourth-down conversion to Curtis Samuel set up a game-tying touchdown pass to Jahan Dotson, and even a scoreless overtime period couldn’t shake the feeling that these Commanders aren’t going away in the NFC playoff chase. Up next: A long-awaited bye before a pivotal rematch with the Giants at FedExField. Last Week: 13

The Athletic(Wulf)

Make the playoffs: 45.5 percent

Win the Super Bowl: 2 percent

Make sure Chase Young still exists. It has been a frustratingly long wait for Young’s return for a Washington defense that nevertheless ranks 10th in DVOA. But it could use his pass-rush juice, which could have made the difference in Sunday’s stilted tie. Now, the Commanders kiss their wounds over the bizarrely timed bye before a rematch with the Giants that feels like someone in charge of the schedule simply wasn’t paying attention. Last Week: 15

The 33rd Team(Domowitch)

Good news: Their defense will get a massive boost after the bye with the return of defensive end Chase Young.

Bad news: Even though Washington has lost just once in Taylor Heinicke‘s seven starts, it’s still been a struggle for the offense to score points. They’ve scored more than 23 points just once since Week 2. Last Week: 13


Last Week: 15


Bleacher Report

The Washington Commanders were one of the hottest teams in the NFL. And while their unbeaten streak hit four games, their winning streak ended at three.

If that’s confusing, it’s because ties do that. As a matter of fact, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera told reporters that even he wasn’t sure how to address his team.

“We came up here and expected to win,” Rivera said. “We didn’t. We tied. It doesn’t hurt us. It doesn’t help us because these are the guys we are competing with right now.”

There was good: Quarterback Taylor Heinicke threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns, and wide receiver Terry McLaurin caught eight passes for 105 yards and a score. And there was bad: Washington finished a miserable three-of-14 on third down, and it failed to put New York away despite outgaining it by 95 yards.

The Commanders have just one loss in their last eight games, but Seattle’s win Sunday knocked them out of a playoff spot. When they take on the Giants again in two weeks, it will be with little margin for error. Last Week: 13

Pro Football Network(Miller)

Taylor Heinicke is not a good quarterback, but he is a magical one. He almost did it against Tampa Bay in the playoffs a few years ago, and he almost managed to against the Giants on Sunday.

His 4th-and-4 throw to Curtis Samuel defied physics, especially for a QB with his limitations. And that’s the rub with Heinicke. His moments of brilliance cloud us from the fact he’s a mediocre QB.

However, if Washington’s defense continues to play well and the offense can avoid turnovers, the Commanders should make the playoffs in the NFC. Last Week: 15


The Ringer(Gayle)

Sunday’s tie with the Giants was ugly, but the Commanders still control their own destiny in the NFC wild-card race. Quarterback Taylor Heinicke has brought life to an offense that ranked 28th in points per game before he took over as the starter, and the defense remains one of the league’s best. Washington will play the Giants for the second time in three weeks when they host them on Sunday Night Football after their Week 14 bye. FiveThirtyEight gives the Commanders a better than 85-percent chance to make the postseason if they can handle business at home in the rematch with New York. Last Week: 16

Yahoo Sports(Schwab)

Chase Young is being brought along very slowly by Washington off his torn ACL. The Commanders’ defensive line is playing well, so the Commanders don’t need to rush. But it would be nice to see Young back on the field, resuming a career that has a lot of promise. Last Week: 15

Walter Football

Washington’s defense has suddenly become awesome, while the running game has improved. The Redskins also have some talented receivers. They would be a legitimate Super Bowl contender if they just had stronger quarterback play, but Taylor Heinicke continues to loft miserable floaters that are begging to be intercepted. Sadly, this is still better than what Washington was getting out of Carson Wentz.

I think this is the third week in a row I’ve had this analysis for the Redskins, but it still holds true. Heinicke gift-wrapped the Giants their only points after halftime with a lost fumble on a strip-sack, and he was almost intercepted on another one of his ugly floaters. Last Week: 13

Clutch Points(Johrendt)

A tie against one of their foes for the postseason certainly is better than a loss, so the Washington Commanders will take it. Taylor Heinicke led this offense again and had a pretty decent game, and his connection with Terry McLaurin (8/105/1) was on display early and often, hopefully a sign for things to come. Last Week: 15

USA Today(Davis)

They’ve been surprisingly competitive in a stacked NFC East ... even if it feels like they’re definitely no better than a one-and-done playoff outfit. Last Week: 16



In contrast to the Patriots facing a sudden plummet, the Commanders may have to prepare for a vault up the rankings. God bless them, they’re turning the NFC playoff picture into absolute chaos, and now have an almost 70% chance of reaching the playoffs, according to FiveThirtyEight. A phenomenal scheduling quirk allows them to get the Giants again coming off a bye (while the latter has to go through Philadelphia), increasing the odds that Washington could legitimately contend for the No. 6 or No. 7 seed in the NFC. Last Week: 17

The Lines

Taylor Heinicke created some magic to force overtime and an eventual tie at the Giants. The Commanders (7-5-1) head into a late bye week slightly with a 6-1-1 record over their last eight games and they’re close to overtaking the Giants for a Wild Card berth. Last Week: 17


Where should the Washington Commanders be ranked after 13 weeks?

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