Washington makes notable jump in latest USA TODAY power rankings – Riggo’s Rag

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 21: Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Football Team walks off the field after a 27-21 win over the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA – NOVEMBER 21: Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Football Team walks off the field after a 27-21 win over the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on November 21, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The Washington Football Team’s riveting victory over the Seattle Seahawks helped them jump to the second Wild Card spot in the NFC.

We might be drinking the Kool-Aid (who isn’t?), but we’d go as far as to say that no team should want to play Washington right now.

In short, following the bye, Washington has looked like the force fans expected coming into the year. We’re not sure why it took so long for things to click, but better to hit your stride later in the season than earlier, right?

Believe it or not, the Football Team’s current run of form has seen them start to gain respect in regard to the weekly power rankings.

Those are always a polarizing topic, since no list is perfect, but USA TODAY actually gave Washington a reasonable review following their win over Seattle, bumping them up to No. 19 after ranking No. 23 last week.

Let’s discuss.

The Washington Football Team is ascending up the power rankings.

Based on last week’s power rankings, Washington’s win over Seattle helped them leapfrog the likes of the Eagles, who laid an egg against the Giants, the Steelers, who just suffered their worst loss since 2016, the Saints, who are going nowhere fast with their current QB situation, and the Panthers, who were forced to bench Cam Newton and are now without Christian McCaffrey for the rest of the year.

Pretty fair analysis, don’t you think?

Ok, now time for the teams who checked in ahead of Washington.

USA TODAY has the Browns at No. 18, the Broncos at No. 17, Raiders at No. 16 and Chargers at No. 15. Tough to have any qualms with where those squads are ranked…though Cleveland has looked like a dumpster fire in recent weeks.

They’ve scored a combined 27 points in their last three contests and failed to defeat the Ravens on Thursday night despite Lamar Jackson throwing four interceptions, three of which came in the second quarter alone!

Washington, meanwhile, has defeated Tom Brady, Cam Newton (the competent version) and Russell Wilson in consecutive weeks. Based on recent form, Ron Rivera’s group should no doubt rank ahead of the Browns.

Sure, the offense finally came back down to earth on Monday night, but they scored a combined 56 points in the previous two fixtures, so let’s not pretend like the sky is falling. The last time we checked, Taylor Heinicke is still playing like a franchise QB and the rushing attack is hitting its stride at the perfect time.

Taylor Heinicke has beaten Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson this year.

Those 4 QBs have 30 Pro Bowls, five MVP awards and 8 Super Bowl rings combined.

Not bad for an undrafted 28-year-old out of ODU

— Pete Hailey (@PeteHaileyNBCS) November 30, 2021

As for the defense, well, the 18 points it’s allowing over the last four games is good for the sixth-best of any team during that span.

We won’t jump the gun and say Washington should hurdle the Broncos, who own the head-to-head advantage, or the Raiders, who are fresh off an impressive road win in Dallas. However, that could change if the Football Team picks up a victory on the road in Sin City this weekend.

What do you think, Washington fans? Are you content with there the team sits in USA TODAY’s Week 13 power rankings?