August 8, 2020

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.

ESPN — 12 (Last Week: 15)

“Kirk Cousins currently leads the NFL in completion percentage (69.7). The last Redskins quarterback to lead the NFL in completion percentage was Sonny Jurgensen in 1970 (59.9 percent).”

And people say that Kirk Cousins isn’t a capable NFL quarterback. The guy is a winner and is playing at a level that far exceeds the expectations set for him. It’s not like Cousins hasn’t this kind of ability before, either. He was quite the stud for Michigan State.

NFL.com — 12 (Last Week: 14)

“If this were “Scooby Doo,” I’d be waiting for Shaggy, in his ragged green shirt and dog-turd-brown pants, to unzip the mask on the head of “Kirk Cousins” and unveil Sonny Jurgensen. “And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!” Not sure what’s happened to the current Redskins quarterback, but he’s playing some of the best football this team has seen from the position in 25 years — if you take away Robert Griffin III’s stretch in 2012, you must go back to Mark Rypien in 1991 slinging it to Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders to find a run similar to what Cousins is enjoying. Where’s Ricky Sanders?”

Cousins recent string of play has everybody talking, including his agent. He’s in four a huge pay day this offseason, at least $15 million.

Yahoo Sports — 12 (Last Week: 15)

“Saturday is a huge game for the team and Kirk Cousins. Reports on Monday indicated the Redskins believe Cousins is their quarterback for the long term. That’s fine, but I wonder if that opinion changes if he lays an egg with the division on the line against a bad Eagles team.”

I don’t believe the Redskins will give up on Cousins should he “lay an egg” on Saturday night. If he chokes on consecutive games — meaning a collapse against the Dallas Cowboys the following weekend — he might by looking at a pay cut, but I doubt his future with the franchise will come into question.

FOX Sports — 12 (Last Week: 12)

“With just three interceptions over his past eight games, QB Kirk Cousins is protecting the football like head coach Jay Gruden asked him to and performing beyond a level that we’ve ever seen him play. The Redskins are in the driver’s seat for the NFC East.”

Even if Cousins wasn’t putting up the massive touchdown and yardage numbers, his decrease in interceptions is enough to raise the overall opinion of him. He has been the driving force behind their success, but he has also been far from any reason why they might lose a game. He’s more than a game manager — he’s a field general.

CBS Sports — 12 (Last Week: 12)

“They can lock up the NFC East by beating Philadelphia on Saturday night. Can you believe it?”

Believe it. With a win, the Redskins will be looking at a meaningless game in their season finale with the Cowboys, but not because they’ve been eliminated from playoff contention, because they’ll have already locked up their spot.

USA Today — 12 (Last Week: 12)

“Kirk Cousins is first passer in team history with six 300-yard passing games in a season. His price tag keeps climbing.”

Forget the rest of the team! Just kidding… Cousins has played his brains out to get the team to this point and he will be compensated for his hard work. The front office likes winners, and he’s a winner.

Pro Football Talk — 12 (Last Week: 14)

“Kirk Cousins is getting better and better, and few are willing to admit it.”

If you’ve been a follower of this series, then you know that NBC’s PFT has been one of the many to not willing to admit how good Kirk has been. They’ve darn near killed the “You like that?!” mantra by overusing and have been pessimistically bashing the Redskins — specifically the quarterback — in their rankings. Maybe now they’ve seen the light?

About Brian Skinnell

Brian Skinnell is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins, Nationals and college football. He is a born-and-raised follower of Washington, D.C. sports, “The” Ohio State Buckeyes and auto racing. A graduate of Shepherd University in December of 2014, he has a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies with a Concentration in Sports Communications. Prior to joining District Sports Page (for his second stint), he spent time with Rant Sports, Yahoo Sports and the Washington Redskins. For his day job, he is an Editor for Team Velocity Marketing. Follow him on Twitter @Brian_Skinnell.

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