It’s hard to believe that only a few short weeks ago, the Redskins media was considering the possibility of a 3-13 finish. It’s even crazier to consider that this team was once sitting at 3-1.
With each win and loss, the media has micro-analyzed the direction of this team, and we’re left with power rankings that reflect whatever the current mood may be. In the final analysis, whether the team is on high at No. 10 or a bleak No. 29, it’s probably only a short-term placement.
After last week’s road win over the first-place Giants, most analysts see the Redskins on the rise, and are projecting the possibilities of a six or seven-win season. However, there are still one of two experts that were more impressed with their near-miss against the Patriots, than the actual win in New York.
I guess you can’t please everyone.
Here’s your holiday buffet of NFL power rankings:
CBSSports.com gave the Redskins No. 23, a huge rise from No. 29 last week:
While I can appreciate CBS analyst Pete Prisco coming around this week, I can’t help by point out his analysis from last week. After standing toe-to-toe with the Patriots, Prisco wrote that the roster was “void of talent.” Am I to believe that somewhere in the six days between games, the team not only filled the void, but found competent players at nearly every roster spot?
It’s possible. It’s more likely that Redskins have a lot more talent and ability than he previously surmised.
FOXSports.com actually dropped the Redskins to No. 23, after a rise to No. 22 last week:
FOX analyst Brian Billick is in charge of these rankings, and he was the one that elevated the Redskins three spots after a loss to the Patriots, and now drops them a spot after a victory over the Giants. Excluding the garbage-time touchdown that they allowed in the game’s final minute, the Redskins defense drubbed Eli Manning and the Giants. Even with the touchdown, the Redskins offense never trailed, and they beat a first place division opponent by 13 points on the road, in December. Maybe that’s not as impressive as it sounds.
NBC/Profootballtalk.com bumped the Redskins to No. 26, up two spots from last week’s No. 28:
ESPN.com also bumped the Redskins to No. 25, up two spots from last week’s No. 27:
NFC East blogger for ESPN.com, Dan Graziano–who was at the game on Sunday–predicts that the Redskins will finish up in even better position than they currently are:
A road win in New York and a season sweep of the Giants earns the Redskins a two-point bump in the rankings. I think they’re better than a couple of the teams in front of them, but they did lose to the Panthers and jeez, the Chiefs just beat the Packers so you have to hand it to them. A strong finish with victories over the Vikings and Eagles could push Washington well above the No. 28 ranking with which it began this season.
It’s been a long wild season, but regardless of how they finish, the Redskins have met and exceeded the expectations of most national publications and pundits, simply by reaching the five-win plateau.
By thriving in spite of injury, the Redskins have explored much more of their roster than the average team, all while seeking and fielding a competitive team. Aside from a few positions, the competition for next year has already begun, and players have the opportunity to write themselves into or out of future considerations. These next two games mean at least as much as any others this season, and I would expect to see some quality football.