Power Rankings: ESPN Way Down on the Redskins

WASHINGTON — The Redskins have won three straight games and, at 3-2, are one of the 15 teams in the league above .500.

They’re third in the NFC East, but they’ve rebounded nicely after an 0-2 start to regain relevance in the postseason conversation.

Almost every national power ranking reflects that. For example, CBS Sports has Washington up five spots from a week ago to No. 13, and NFL.com has it up three spots to No. 15. USA TODAY lists the Redskins as the biggest risers in the league, jumping up nine spots to No. 11, and SB Nation has them up four spots at No. 12.

But, then there’s ESPN. ESPN’s Week 6 power rankings see Washington dropping from No. 19 a week ago to No. 22.

So…the Redskins beat the Baltimore Ravens — who were 3-1 entering the game — after beating the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns in previous weeks. They haven’t lost since Sept. 18.

Here’s a visual to help illustrate the disparity in ESPN’s view of the Redskins compared to everybody else’s, per Reddit.

redditranks Power Rankings: ESPN Way Down on the Redskins

So why did they drop in the ranking? Their description offers no explanation:

Jay Gruden has rallied the Redskins to three straight wins following an 0-2 start. Can Washington push it to four straight in a home game against Philadelphia? Gruden’s teams have won three straight against the Eagles.

Only 10 teams have a better record than the Redskins, and four others have the same 3-2 record. So why are the Redskins all the way down at No. 22?

Some other teams ahead of Washington include the Giants (ranked 17th despite a 2-3 record and a three-game losing streak), the Ravens (even after losing to the Redskins, they’re ranked 14th), the Carolina Panthers (ranked 13th despite a 1-4 record), the Arizona Cardinals (ranked 10th despite a 2-3 record), the Cincinnati Bengals (they have a 2-3 record and moved up from 10th to eighth despite losing by 14 to the Dallas Cowboys).

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Titans have a 2-3 record but are ranked 26th, and the Jacksonville Jaguars, who didn’t play this past week, dropped from No. 23 to No. 30.

As for their methodology, here’s what ESPN offers:

Methodology note: These rankings reflect who voters think would win in head-to-head matchups. Higher-ranked teams would more often be favored against lower-ranked teams. Coming off a win doesn’t guarantee a jump, and coming off a loss doesn’t guarantee a fall.

Supposedly, ESPN thinks Washington would win a head-to-head matchup against just 21 teams in the league, two of which it’s already beaten.


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