Power Rankings: What to do with Redskins?

September, 25, 2012
9/25/12
1:00
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It's Power Rankings day, and you know what that means, right? Well, it means Power Rankings. Let's look at where our division's teams stand, shall we?

6. New York Giants (Last week: 8). Their best game of the season was Thursday's road victory in Carolina with their backup running back and a reserve wide receiver playing starring roles. The constant is the quarterback, Eli Manning, who keeps the Giants among the league's elite by himself even when other things aren't clicking. I had the Giants at No. 5 last week and kept them there this week, dropping the Patriots behind them and jumping the 3-0 Falcons from No. 6 to No. 2. Ashley Fox has them No. 4. John Clayton remains a Giants skeptic and has them at 10. Hard to argue either way, really. I think Sunday night's game in Philadelphia will say a lot more about who the Giants are than did their thumping of the pathetic Panthers.

9. Philadelphia Eagles (7). Sunday night is pivotal for their rank, too. The Eagles will either come out of that game 3-1 with a huge division win in their pockets or 2-2 with worry and questions mounting. Until then, they hover in these rankings. I had them 9th. Jamison Hensley put them 7th. Clayton has them 12th. You can credit them for pulling out their two wins in spite of playing poorly. You can downgrade them for turnovers and quarterback play. You can wave off a road loss in Arizona as just that, or you can use it to prove all of the negative things everyone fears about the Eagles. I still think they'll be good, but the quarterback always was and still is the biggest question mark.

12. Dallas Cowboys (15). Nice little bump up after a tougher-than-expected home victory over Tampa Bay. I have the Cowboys at 11, up two from where I put them last week. Clayton and Jamison each have them at 9, and Ashley at 13, so there seems to be a pretty fair consensus about where they belong. And you can't argue the Seahawks jumping over them, since they beat them head-to-head. Interesting that they play the team directly in front of them in the rankings next Monday night. If they beat the Bears, I could see the Cowboys making a big jump up as they head into their bye week.

22. Washington Redskins (20). I mean, I get it. The Redskins don't deserve the benefit of the doubt, based on recent seasons. But Jamison has them ranked 29th? The Redskins have scored more points than any other team in the league. Sure, the defense is a disaster, and in no way do they look like a contender. And is my ranking of 19 too high? I guess you could argue with it. But there's no one behind them on my list that screams to be ranked higher, and whatever you think of the gimmicky offense they're running, the fact is it's scoring points and being led by a real quarterback. I don't think a team that's doing what this one is doing on offense deserves to be counted among the very worst in the league, no matter how bad they are on the other side of the ball.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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