Power Rankings: No. 27 Washington

A weekly examination of the Redskins’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:

Preseason: 10 | Last Week: 24 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002

In most seasons, being ranked one spot ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers and two in front of the New York Giants would be a good thing. Not this season.

And if not for some putrid play by other teams, including the Steelers and Giants, the Washington Redskins might be even closer to the bottom than they already are at No. 27. Just like the first two weeks, the Redskins deserve their ranking. No, this isn’t college football, where the rankings ultimately matter. But it does provide an indication of how the Redskins are playing. My guess: No Redskins fan needs the rankings to let him know that they’re playing poorly.

The good news for Washington is that it faces No. 30 Oakland on Sunday -- and the Raiders also have earned their position.

The Redskins are trying to avoid their first 0-4 start since the 2001 season, and if they somehow lose to the Raiders, a new motto could be, “Thank goodness for Jacksonville!”

It’s not as though the once-mighty NFC East is tearing it up: At No. 15, Dallas is ranked the highest. But Philadelphia (No. 23), the Redskins and the Giants (No. 29) all are ranked in the bottom 10. It says a lot about the quality of this division -- and also why the Redskins still have hope at 0-3.