A weekly examination of the Redskins’ ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 10 | Last Week: 25 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The Washington Redskins felt good about their win in Oakland. However, they know they could have played better and that heavy lifting remains. The ESPN.com voters clearly agree.
A win at the Raiders helped the Redskins inch up in the Power Rankings, moving two spots to No. 25. While the Redskins could feel good about the victory -- linebacker Brian Orakpo, nose tackle Barry Cofield and linebacker Ryan Kerrigan all had two sacks apiece -- it was not the sort of aesthetic victory that makes anyone forget about their play in the first three weeks. And while the defense did what it should against a backup quarterback, the fact is it still has to prove it can get it done against a legitimate starter.
There are two 1-3 teams ranked ahead of Washington: Atlanta (16th) and Minnesota (24th). The Falcons at No. 16 is debatable, but they’ve lost close games to New Orleans (by six), Miami (four) and New England (seven). Those three teams are a combined 11-1. The Vikings' three losses, by a combined 15 points, have come against teams with a combined 8-4 record. Meanwhile, the Redskins’ three losses have been by a combined 31 points against teams that are 5-6 combined.
Also, the NFC East continues to plummet as three of the teams are ranked in the bottom eight. That’s what happens when your division has a point differential of minus-126, and the next closest division, the AFC North, is at minus-37.