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Redskins have advanced to the middle of the NFL pack


Redskins have advanced to the middle of the NFL pack

 Hey, guess what, Redskins fans! Your team is no longer considered to be among the very worst in the NFL.

Almost anywhere you looked before Week 1, pick your power ranking and you found the Redskins to be at or near the bottom of the barrel, anywhere from about 29th to 32nd and dead last. Fast forward to now and quick look around at the Week 6 power rankings around the web shows the Redskins ranked somewhere around the middle of the pack.

Here is a look at some of the major site power rankings this week:, 21st (+3 spots from last week)—“The Redskins are 2-3 despite leading at the start of the fourth quarter in four of their five games. The 44 fourth-quarter points allowed are tied for fourth-most in the NFL.”

Pro Football Talk, 21st (+1)—“Despite the loss in Atlanta, they need to be taken seriously. Especially in a division that shouldn’t be taken seriously.”, 17th (+3)—“Washington moves up only based on the injuries and failures of the Chiefs, Cowboys and Ravens. Kirk Cousins simply can't make that last throw. Like the guy, but ducking a blitzer and slinging the pigskin outside the numbers where a corner is expecting the throw, in that kind of situation, is asking for a loss.”

Mark Maske, Washington Post 19th (-4)—“Perhaps the game-losing interception for a TD in Atlanta was not completely the fault of QB Kirk Cousins. But the fact remains that the timing as well as the volume of Cousins’s interceptions are a major problem, and the Redskins wasted a chance for a victory that would have established them as something more than a wanna-be.”

Power rankings are good Internet fodder and all, but if you’re like me you’d prefer to examine some cold, hard facts rather than a compilation of opinions. One simple way to judge a team is by scoring differential. Last year, the Redskins were outscored by 137 points, the third-worst performance in the NFL. They are still in the negative but just at minus-7, right in the middle of the league at 16th.

A more complex method for ranking teams is with the DVOA metric used by Football Outsiders. They derive the number by comparing a team’s performance against the NFL average on a play by play basis, taking into account such factors as the quality of the opposition. A DVOA of zero is average, a positive percentage is above average and a negative means a team has performed worse than average.

Last year the Redskins finished with a dismal -26.7%, 28th in the leage. Through Week 5 the Redskins stand a slightly above average +2.7%, 15 in the NFL.

Nobody should be throwing a party for the Redskins being towards the lower part of the middle of the pack. They still have major flaws and still appear to be capable of losing to any team at any time. And it’s we’ve only about a third of the way through the season so sample size is still not very large. But they do appear to be headed in the right direction and coming into the season that’s really all a reasonable fan could ask. 

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy. 


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Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown

James Washington

Wide receiver
Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington measured at 5 feet 11 inches at the combine and his 40 time was a pedestrian 4.54.

But forget about the numbers. His catch radius is larger than his height would indicate, and he plays much faster than the stopwatch says he does.

His route tree needs to be cleaned up but his ability to get open deep, make receptions on back shoulder throws and, yes, Redskins fans, fade patterns will make him a productive receiver while he learns.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 213
40-yard dash: 4.54

Projected draft round: 1-2

What they’re saying

He doesn't look like a receiver and he doesn't run routes like a receiver, but then you see him get open deep and make all those explosive plays, and you know exactly what he does for an offense.

—A Big 12 assistant coach via

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins needed a wide receiver to line up opposite Josh Doctson after Terrelle Pryor fizzled out last year. They went out and signed Paul Richardson to a free agent contract, solving the immediate need.

But in the NFL, you should always be looking for your next receiver. It takes most of them at least a season to develop so if you wait until you really need a pass catcher it’s too late to draft one. Washington has the capability to contribute early and develop from there.  

Film review: vs. Pitt, vs. TCU, vs. Oklahoma

—Like most coaches, Jay Gruden wants his wide receivers to block and Washington certainly gives it the effort. He helped backs gain extra yards on stretch plays with hustling blocks downfield. His technique may need some work—a long touchdown run against Oklahoma was called back when he was hit for holding—but the effort is there.

—Against the Sooners, Washington got by a cornerback who was in off coverage and beat him for a long gain. Later in the game, the corner was in press coverage and Washington made one move and beat the defender on a post for a touchdown. We can insert the usual cautions about Big 12 defenses here, but it still was impressive to watch.

—Speed is important but so is how fast a receiver can stop to catch a pass. On one underthrown fade pattern, Washington was able to slam on the brakes while the cornerback kept on running, making the catch for a nice gain out of the end zone an easy one.

—Against TCU he split two defenders on a deep pass. He caught the ball in stride and then he found a second gear and easily outraced the defensive backs to the end zone to complete the 86-yard play. This is a good example of Washington playing faster than his 40 time.

Potential issues: Washington is not a good enough prospect to warrant the No. 13 pick, but he could easily be gone by the time the time their second-round pick is on the clock. As noted above, the quality of the defenses he faced in compiling 74 receptions for 1,549 yards (20.9 per catch) and 13 touchdowns has to be considered.

Bottom line: If I’m the Redskins, I have a talk with Jamison Crowder’s agent before the draft to gauge what his client would want in order to sign an extension prior to the 2018 season. If it’s something the Redskins consider reasonable, they should look elsewhere in the second round. But if a 2019 Crowder departure seems likely,  they should look at Washington if he’s there in the second round. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.