Week 15 Power Rankings Roundup

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Every week in the NFL season is an opportunity to learn about the muster of a team.  Win, lose or draw, each game serves as a fairly concrete indicator of how a team is doing.

But for a team like the Redskins, a game like the Patriots’ was anything but clear-cut, and boiled down to what experts focus on.

Do wins matter most?  Then this team failed to measure up and should be dropped in the power rankings.  Does matching up well against one of the best teams in the entire league matter most?  Then this team clearly deserves to be rewarded for their good showing.

Can’t make heads or tails of Sunday’s game?  Then keep them where they are.

There’s a little bit of everything going on in this week’s buffet of power rankings, and some cheap shots included in the analysis, for free:

CBSSports.com gave the Redskins No. 29, dropping from No. 28 last week:

I don’t normally bother to arg with each designation, but I would disagree with half of Pete Prisco’s analysis here.  Going against the top offense the the AFC has to answer, the Redskins were able to find turnovers and create pressure when need be.  On offense, the team was able to execute the game plan effectively with a blind side of the offensive line that’s greener than Gumby.  Does this roster need some help and some health?  Sure?  But void of talent?  That’s just silly.

FOXSports.com actually elevated the Redskins to No. 22, after a drop to No. 25 last week:

NBC/Profootballtalk.com held the Redskins even at No. 28, same as last week’s No. 28 (and the week before):

ESPN.com held the Redskins to No. 27, same as last week’s No. 27:

NFC East blogger for ESPN.com, Dan Graziano seems to present evidence that the Redskins deserve a higher ranking, noting that they could probably beat several teams listed in front of them, and nearly beat the Patriots.  However, he stops just short of doing so, noting that No. 27 is probably just about right:

Unchanged after they played the Patriots to the wire and lost. The Redskins are 4-9, assured of a third straight losing season and currently lined up for the fifth pick in the draft. Hasn’t gone great, though there are always those memories of Week 6, when they were ranked 10th in this poll. Do I think they’re better than the Chiefs and the Jaguars, who are directly in front of them? Sure. But this is the neighborhood in which they belong at this point.

Success in the NFL is determined by a team’s wins and losses.  In the real world, there are no stats for talent, character, effort or progress–only results.  With the roster compiled in training camp, I’d be interested to see how they would have fared with perfect health  With the needs that this team had coming out of the offseason, I’d be interested to see how this team would have fared with a normal offseason.

But the one thing that the Redskins can control, is that the players that take the field for the next three games have something to show, and they have the opportunity to do it.  As head coach Mike Shanahan said on Monday, “Everybody’s playing for their jobs.”  This is every player’s invitation to put his best foot forward.

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