February 27, 2021

Washington Redskins Week 16 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Three weeks ago, we were amazed that the Washington Redskins were heading to the month of December with something left play for: the playoffs.

Now, we’re talking about the Redskins having something even greater to play for this December: an NFC East Division Championship.

These are the Redskins we’re used to seeing. Ever since their playoff run in 2012 fueled by the electrifying rookie-version of Robert Griffin III, it’s been heartache after heartache waiting for that team to return. Now led by a different quarterback from the same draft class, Kirk Cousins, Washington seems poised for another opportunity to make some noise in the playoffs.

As they prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles, check where the Redskins have climbed in the weekly NFL Power Rankings.

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Washington Redskins Game 15 Review: With NFC East title on the line, RGIII leads Redskins to 27-20 win over Eagles

With a playoff spot in sight, Robert Griffin III returned to the Washington Redskins (9-6) Sunday afternoon in time to lead the Burgundy and Gold to a 27-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles (4-11) in an unanticipated nail-biter.

The two teams faced off under a rather unprecedented scenario – the Eagles had nothing to lose coming into the match-up at Lincoln Financial Field, while the Redskins faced what many deemed a must-win situation as back-to-back victories against the Eagles and Cowboys would spell the team’s first NFC East title since 1999.

Considering how the Eagles have fared this season, it seemed highly unlikely that the Redskins would fail to find themselves halfway to the crown once they handed the ball back to Griffin Sunday.

Despite the fact Griffin went 16-of-24 for 198 yards and two touchdowns Sunday there were clues that Griffin may not yet be 100 percent. After all, he only carried the ball twice for a total of four rushing yards and he donned a brace on his right knee throughout the day. However, the Redskins’ offensive line provided Griffin with key opportunities for spectacular passes – many of which landed in the hands of fellow rookie Alfred Morris who earned 91 yards on 22 carries.

Under little pressure, the Eagles took big risks against the Redskins on the opening drive. Twice, Eagles head coach Andy Reid entrusted the ball to Nick Foles on fourth and 1, and both times the Eagles converted downfield. From Washington’s 27-yard line, Foles tossed to Jeremy Maclin for the touchdown to give Philadelphia an early 7-0 lead.

It took some time for Griffin to allow the Redskins to answer. With only minutes left in the first quarter, linebacker Perry Riley broke through the Eagles’ lackluster defense to get the sack on Foles from the Redskins’ 20-yard line and, on third and 15, Ryan Kerrigan stripped Foles of the ball in time for Washington’s Richard Crawford to scoop it up.

On the opening drive of the second quarter, Griffin tossed to Morris and Pierre Garcon to set Kai Forbath up for a 45-yard field goal to trim the deficit to 7-3. He tried the same approach on the Redskins’ next drive, connecting with Garcon for 27 yards to help set up a 42-yard field goal for Forbath to make it 7-6 Eagles. The two field goals marked Forbath’s 16th and 17th consecutive shots between the posts, breaking Garrett Hartley’s record for consecutive field goals made to start a career.

But, it was London Fletcher who provided the juice the Redskins needed to awake their offense. On third and 12 from the Eagles’ 20-yard line, Foles made a short toss intended for Jason Avant, which Fletcher intercepted and ran for nine yards.

The strip was exactly what Griffin needed and, on five plays, he relied upon none other than Garcon and Morris to help set up an 11-yard touchdown pass to Joshua Morgan to give Washington it’s first lead of the day, 13-7.

Before the close of the half, the Eagles tacked on another three points on a 38-yard field goal by Alex Henery, but the Redskins nonetheless returned to their locker rooms with a 13-10 lead.

While Griffin’s injury may have limited his movement out of the pocket Sunday, there was little need for him to make any risky maneuvers. In fact, he maintained composure and showed patience as he waited for holes in the Eagles’ defense to surface.

He kicked things off in the second half with a less-than-perfect throw to Garcon, who stretched for the catch to give the Redskins a 29-yard jump to start. This time, Griffin entrusted the touchdown toss to Morris to give Washington a 20-10 jump.

The Eagles added another field goal to make it 20-13, but the RGIII Washington has looked to in hopes that the Redskins will vie for a Super Bowl run returned in full force with just under five minutes left in the quarter.

After short passes to Morris and Evan Royster, Griffin displayed what it means to be patient in the pocket and Santana Moss – appropriately nicknamed Santa Moss on Twitter for the remainder of the game – gift-wrapped a touchdown by dragging his feet to stay in bounds for the catch.

Things looked a little dicey once the Redskins’ defense allowed the Eagles’ Dion Lewis to run for a 17-yard touchdown to trim Washington’s lead to 27-20 with nine minutes left in regulation. Adding to that, the Redskins failed to pad their lead and, with 4:15 left, Foles began the first of many attempts to throw the tying touchdown.

From Washington’s 17-yard line, Foles underthrew a would-be touchdown pass to a wide-open Maclin and, on first and 5 from Washington’s five-yard line, Evan Moore just barely missed a tying catch himself. On the Eagles’ final attempt, Redskins defensive end Stephen Bowen forced Foles to throw it away as the clock ran down, handing the Redskins their sixth straight victory and an opportunity to clinch the NFC East Division at FedEx Field next Sunday, Dec. 30, against the Dallas Cowboys.

Fantasy Football: Week 16 Survivor Pool

Week 16 is upon us. We do not have a Thursday night game – that game is now on Saturday game so make sure you’ve got those players in your fantasy lineups if you need them. Onto the Survivor pool suggestions for this week.

Bye week: None

Survivor Pool – Week 16 selections

Here is what we have for a top 10 from Office Football Pool and Yahoo! as of Wednesday night:

Office Football Pool

Yahoo! Survival Football

Rank

Team

Percent

Rank

Team

Percent

1

Carolina Panthers

44.70%

1

Carolina Panthers

32.50%

2

Indianapolis Colts

18.20%

2

Indianapolis Colts

32.13%

3

New England Patriots

11.30%

3

New England Patriots

11.86%

4

Denver Broncos

9.90%

4

Denver Broncos

7.36%

5

Green Bay Packers

5.30%

5

Green Bay Packers

5.30%

6

Washington Redskins

3.40%

6

Washington Redskins

4.73%

7

Chicago Bears

2.10%

7

Atlanta Falcons

1.73%

8

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

1.20%

8

Chicago Bears

1.63%

9

Miami Dolphins

1.00%

9

Houston Texans

0.58%

10

Atlanta Falcons

0.80%

10

Miami Dolphins

0.45%

The Carolina Panthers? Number one on the list? Huh. I don’t think anyone would have predicted that 16 weeks ago. Should we follow the leader?

My early picks for this week are below (my final column will be up Sunday):

  1. New England Patriots, Denver Broncos Houston Texans & Green Bay Packers – If you have any of these three teams left, it’s time to use them. There is no reason to hold on to them at this point. Unless you have a pool where multiple entrants have these teams left, you might want to hold off. However, I can’t see too many scenarios where these teams shouldn’t be used this week. I give the Pats an 88% chance to win, the Packers an 85% chance, the Broncos an 83% chance to win and the Texans a 81% chance.
  2. Washington Redskins Robert Griffin III will be back for Washington. LeSean McCoy will be back for the Eagles. RGIII > Shady McCoy. The Redskins are really rolling now and have the offense to take advantage of an uneven Eagles defense. I give the Redskins a 72% chance of winning.
  3. Carolina Panthers – The Panthers look rejuvenated on offense. Cam Newton is back to his All-Pro level of play and DeAngelo Williams is a new man with Jonathan Stewart on the bench.  The Raiders don’t have athletes on defense that can contain Newton. I see the Panthers winning in a shootout. I give the Panthers a 71% chance of winning.
  4. Indianapolis Colts – I like the Colts a lot more if Ricky Stanzi is playing QB as has been rumored. The Colts have a young QB who has matured enough that he should not be intimidated on the road at Kansas City. The Chiefs have no QB, no WRs and an underutilized RB. I think the Colts can overcome the Chiefs solid defense to win on the road. I give the Colts a 69% chance of winning.

Other teams I like early in the week: None

As for the avoid list, I would stay away from the Chicago Bears on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. True, the Cardinals have no QB, but they have some offensive weapsons and an opportunistic defense. The Bears have a gimpy QB, lost their goal line RB and have only one WR in Brandon Marshall. The Cardinals bounced back in a major way last week and I think their defense can control the Bears.

If you get bonus points for picking an underdog, I’d think about Baltimore Ravens at home against the New York Giants. The Giants are banged up all around and the Ravens were embarrassed last week (as were the Giants). The Ravens are a much better team at home and usually pose a pretty big challenge to road teams. The Ravens have to get Ray Rice involved at some point, right?

I also like the Cincinnati Bengals as road underdogs to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers will be one dimensional again and I think the Bengals have the secondary to keep up with them.

Just a reminder, if you ever wanted to see what Vegas thinks each team’s “chances of winning” are, use this handy little converter to transform money lines into win percentages. You can also create a spreadsheet if you’d like (or use this one – scroll to the bottom) to do it for fun at home. This percentage chance to win is another quick way to gauge win expectations for each team each week. You can get a variety of money lines here or here.

Chris Garosi is a contributor for District Sports Page. One of his favorite sports memories is witnessing Wilson Alvarez’s no-hitter at Memorial Stadium in 1991. Chris has played fantasy sports since the pre-Internet days and participates in any league for any sport to which he’s invited. He even won an XFL fantasy league. Really. You can follow him on Twitter at @chrisgarosi

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