April 5, 2020

Washington Redskins Week 8 Power Rankings Roundup

After a thrilling 31-30 comeback win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Washington Redskins enter their Week 8 bye with momentum and 3-4 record.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins put together the strongest performance of his career and silenced his critics for at least another two weeks. Granted, it came against a Tampa Bay team that is one of the worst in the NFL, but a win is a win no matter what. In the past two seasons, W’s have been hard to come by for the Burgundy and Gold.

As we take a look around the national media and where the Redskins rank across the power rankings, you’ll see an obvious trend. Along with that trend, you’ll find a concern that I have for not only the magnitude of the victory last Sunday, but also for how it’ll be remembered.

And away we go!

ESPN — 23 (Last Week: 22)

“The Redskins are 3-0 this season when Kirk Cousins doesn’t throw an interception. He has thrown two interceptions in all four of the Redskins’ losses. You like that?”

Would you look at that? The world wide leader can read box scores. Although, the overall point being made here is that Cousins is still a turnover-prone quarterback. And when you turn the football over as much as he does, it’s hard to win games.

NFL.com — 18 (Last Week: 19)

“Hey, Kirk: I like that. And I can love you like that. Hardly anyone believed in the Washington quarterback. By the second quarter on Sunday, Robert Griffin III suddenly became a hot topic yet again. And professionally, I was starting to wonder if my endorsement of Mr. Cousins as a fantasy spot start on “NFL HQ” was going to earn me something pink — and no, I’m not referring to the Breast Cancer Awareness gear we’re all wearing. Then Cousins started lighting it up. And Washington’s defense tightened, even with its best player hurt. What a comeback for the still-relevant-in-the-shoddy-NFC East Redskins.”

Elliot Harrison is sticking with his belief in Cousins, which is admirable. However, one game does not make a quarterback. In this case, it was really only one half. Can the former Spartan carry that over to Week 9 against the New England Patriots?

Yahoo Sports — 23 (Last Week: 23)

“Kirk Cousins’ great game brings his career mark to 27 touchdowns, 27 interceptions with an 80.5 rating. So yeah, let’s see it a few more times before we think he’s arrived, shall we?”

Agreed. It was nice to see Cousins put together such a strong performance, but he’ll need to consistently display that talent if he wants to be taken more seriously. We’ve seen his potential, but he’ll need more than a strong half to convince the media and fans that he’s a bonafide long-term option at quarterback.

FOX Sports — 17 (Last Week: 23)

“The return of tight end Jordan Reed — who caught 11 passes and two touchdowns last week — adds a necessary element to the passing game. The Redskins are beat up in the secondary heading into the bye week and if this group can’t get healthy for the second half, it will put even more pressure on Reed and the passing game to win games.”

At long last, someone sees a much bigger picture. Cousins didn’t win that game by himself, and Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans didn’t have a huge game on accident. What is surprising, though, is that Washington jumped six (6!) spots in this ranking while Tampa Bay fell just one spot.

CBS Sports — 22 (Last Week: 28)

“Kirk Cousins might hold off on screaming at media members until he strings two good games together. You like that?”

Okay, I guess six spots isn’t THAT far of a leap, but I digress. By the looks of it, Pete Prisco simply read the box score and saw the now infamous post-game video of Cousins. Moving on.

USA Today — 22 (Last Week: 26)

“A one-point win? Over Bucs team that allows the most points per game in the league? We like it, Kirk. No, we really do.”

Barf. This is getting annoying and frustrating. However, it is important to remember that the Redskins comeback effort, while valiant and exciting, was against a bottom dweller that they really should have blown out by 24. Take the win for what it is, but perhaps add a grain of salt to it.

Pro Football Talk — 19 (Last Week: 22)

“If that’s how excited Kirk Cousins gets after beating the Bucs, he may have a Scanners moment if they ever beat a good team.”

Personally, I like the emotion after the game. He’s taken plenty of heat — rightfully so — and he stuck it to his critics. As for beating a good team? The Redskins will have plenty of opportunities in the final nine games of the season. New England, Carolina and New Orleans are all there waiting for them.

In case you missed the theme that concerns me the most, the Redskins most historic comeback win in franchise history will be remembered nationally for Cousins being fired up and yelling at some reporters. Sure, his outburst was a little out of the ordinary and somewhat comical, but that shouldn’t take away from what they accomplished on the field.

At any rate, the Redskins cracked the top-20 in three of the major power rankings. In others, they jumped up a number of spots, but they also fell one spot in ESPN’s rankings. With the week off, expect them to level off here when next week’s rankings come out.

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.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Despite not playing a down, the Redskins did see some movement in the weekly power rankings. Before we dive in to Week 9’s edition of the roundup, take a look back at last week’s. […]

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