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PFT preseason power rankings No. 25: Washington Redskins

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After the first 14 weeks of the 2016 season, the Redskins looked like a pretty good bet to make the playoffs for a second straight season as they were 7-5-1 with two home games and a road date with the hapless Bears to close out the schedule.

They beat the Bears, but losses to the Panthers in Week 15 and a Giants team with nothing to play for in Week 17 meant that there would be no playoff streak. The offense, which was strong all year, managed just 25 points in those losses and they’ll have to bounce back without offensive coordinator/new Rams coach Sean McVay and wide receivers Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson.

Those changes could make life more difficult for quarterback Kirk Cousins, who had another good season but remains without a long-term contract after getting a second straight franchise tag. That didn’t hurt him on the field last year and his focus should remain strong with the prospect of a big payday still on the horizon, but success will have to come with a different supporting cast this time around.

Biggest positive change: While the offense was a strength in Washington last year, the defense was less impressive. The Redskins changed defensive coordinators with Greg Manusky replacing Joe Barry and they were aggressive in the offseason by adding players to the unit. First-round defensive end Jonathan Allen, linebacker Zach Brown and safety D.J. Swearinger highlight the new additions and will be counted on to spearhead improvement on the field this season.

Biggest negative change: In many circumstances, the departures of McVay, Garçon and Jackson would take the prize in this category but the winner has to be the departure of General Manager Scot McCloughan. The drama that was synonymous with the franchise quieted during McCloughan’s time in Washington, but it came back in full force with the awkwardly handled ouster of a guy who had done a lot to get the team back on track after the ugly end to the Mike Shanahan era. Doug Williams moved to the top of the football operations department, but it feels like the shift moved power back to president Bruce Allen when all was said and done.

Coaching thermometer: There’s no fire, but that doesn’t mean it’s chilly. Jay Gruden is 21-26-1 through three years in Washington and changes to a front office often come with coaching changes, especially if they aren’t sold on their starting quarterback. A rocky start will likely be accompanied by an uptick on Gruden’s thermostat.

We’d like to crack a beer with … Josh Norman. The cornerback isn’t shy about sharing his opinion under any circumstances, so we imagine it would make for an entertaining visit to share some cold ones while talking Odell Beckham, Dez Bryant and anything else that comes to mind.

How they can prove us wrong: They won the division in 2015 and, as mentioned, weren’t far away from the playoffs last year so it doesn’t feel far-fetched that Washington could find themselves in the mix. For starters, the new faces on defense will have take to Manusky’s vow to be more aggressive and Josh Doctson and Terrelle Pryor will have prove to be capable replacements for the departed wideouts if the Redskins are going to contend in a deep NFC East.

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63 Responses to “PFT preseason power rankings No. 25: Washington Redskins”
  1. eg2crx says: Jul 13, 2017 3:06 PM

    A game away from missing the playoffs with pretty much everyone but Jackson and Garçon coming back and somehow they’re terrible now lol

  2. iansamuelkay says: Jul 13, 2017 3:09 PM

    You literally have to be an idiot to think the Skins have the 7th worst roster in the NFL. You guys are freaking jokes.

  3. RussianBreadMaker says: Jul 13, 2017 3:09 PM

    This ranking is a joke.

  4. chaseutley says: Jul 13, 2017 3:09 PM

    The NFC East has been a 4-team division for the last 15 seasons. The Redskins have finished 3rd or 4th for 12 of those years. Lucky number 13 is on deck.

  5. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 13, 2017 3:10 PM

    “You’re number 25, you’re number 25!”.

  6. imcornholious says: Jul 13, 2017 3:11 PM

    I think there’s too much bias in this ranking…. they should be around 15-16th. Ridiculous.

  7. defscottyb says: Jul 13, 2017 3:12 PM

    Laughable… the Skins are winning the NFC East. Book it!

  8. najacoo22 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:12 PM

    25? They’re not good, but they’re definitely not that bad.

  9. najacoo22 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:15 PM

    You’re telling me the Redskins are worse than the Bills? Please.

  10. ncarolinabluze says: Jul 13, 2017 3:15 PM

    I can’t stand the Fighting DC’s, as in hope they go 0-16, but this ranking seems very low. Good QB playing for a contract, good coach with a fire under him, huge additions to a D that already had some nice pieces, loss of an inconsistent Garcon and MEsean Jackson…

  11. burakuzy6592 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:15 PM

    I think this offense is still as potent as it was, T Pryor is a monster and the addition of Perrine should help the run game. The offensive line has become one of the best units in football. Reed and Crowder are primed. The defense has some nice additions but has a lot to prove..

  12. burakuzy6592 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:17 PM

    The Cowboys are starting Jeff Heath at safety and have lost two important parts of the O line, yet you “experts” still give them the East, get out of here. The East is wide open and the Skins have a very capable roster to compete and win the division.

  13. cheetasnevaprospa says: Jul 13, 2017 3:29 PM

    Ha ha ha. This thread is obviously full of Wash homers. Face it, the DC team is terrible, just like its owner.

  14. nhpats says: Jul 13, 2017 3:34 PM

    The Redskins have to be better than the Bills, Bengals, Chargers, and Vikings at a minimum….

  15. mysportsrumors says: Jul 13, 2017 3:35 PM

    Skins will be 4th place at 7-9 a hell of a lot better than this ranking.

  16. Sal Tynuts says: Jul 13, 2017 3:35 PM

    Homers maybe, dummies not so much.

  17. jacoby66forhof says: Jul 13, 2017 3:35 PM

    25th, really? 15 to 20 I can see, but 25? The credibility of the person, or persons, who compile these rankings is in question.

  18. Sal Tynuts says: Jul 13, 2017 3:38 PM

    “They won the division in 2015 and, as mentioned, weren’t far away from the playoffs last year so it doesn’t feel far-fetched that Washington could find themselves in the mix”….so lets put them at 25. In the mix seems like 25ish. Logic at its best!!

  19. dryzzt23 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:38 PM

    Dan Synder has done an excellent job running the REDSKINS over the last few years.
    I’m glad to see that the REDSKINS are relevant again.

  20. phinfan84 says: Jul 13, 2017 3:39 PM

    Skins should definitely be higher in my opinion. Pryor is probably better than Jackson or Garcon. Jackson was injury prone and Garcon has clearly lost a step. Pryor was pretty good last year and had the Browns’ QBs throwing to him. Should be even better this year. Also Jonathan Allen could be a steal. Now it’s the Redskins and they fired the smartest person in the building so their window will be short after they begin making dumb moves again next offseason, but they should probably be ranked ahead of at least the Eagles in that division.

  21. sportoficionado says: Jul 13, 2017 3:50 PM

    The big question here is not if this team has talent, the question is, will they be motivated? Players are watching the qb go through negotiations with the team and come away with no certain future but just to play out the strings; not a good start to building a team in training camp.

  22. ktoast says: Jul 13, 2017 3:50 PM

    I’m a Cowboys fan and even I feel this ranking is low. ps nice to see PFT using the Redskins name again.

  23. beltwaytd says: Jul 13, 2017 3:51 PM

    BAHAHAHAH Redskins at 25…If you look at the offseason moves by the Skins..you would see it improved from top to bottom…Garcon/Jackson are 30 years old looking for one more contract…they got what they needed out of them.

  24. firstdownbrowns says: Jul 13, 2017 3:54 PM

    does 25th mean that Cousins is over rated ?

  25. roxxalott says: Jul 13, 2017 4:02 PM

    The Redskins are better than this smh

  26. stevejjones says: Jul 13, 2017 4:03 PM

    Redskins! They said it! A sphinx says what?

  27. craftyslinger33 says: Jul 13, 2017 4:04 PM

    Wow- You obviously haven’t seen the Skins play in the past 2 years, Josh.

  28. jamaltimore says: Jul 13, 2017 4:09 PM

    Worst NFL TEAM IN MARYLAND.

  29. jagsfanugh says: Jul 13, 2017 4:09 PM

    Not even a fan of this team but 25??? seriously.

  30. jag1959 says: Jul 13, 2017 4:09 PM

    najacoo22 says:
    Jul 13, 2017 3:15 PM
    You’re telling me the Redskins are worse than the Bills? Please.
    ________________

    It’s not just the Bills PFT thinks they are worse than but 24 other teams, a dozen of whom were easily worse than the Skins last year. They do get a slightly tougher schedule this year exchanging the tough AFC West for last year’s pretty weak AFC North but the NFC West is weaker than last year’s NFC North. There’s just no way 24 other teams are going to finish ahead of the Skins, they should be ranked 12-15 at worst.

  31. truninerfan49 says: Jul 13, 2017 4:10 PM

    I am not a Skins fan, but they are better than:
    Bills
    Lions
    Saints
    Buccaneers
    Eagles

  32. cmtumd says: Jul 13, 2017 4:13 PM

    I don’t care what DeAngelo Williams says, DC fans are the most annoying.

  33. billsbackto81 says: Jul 13, 2017 4:15 PM

    najacoo22 says:
    Jul 13, 2017 3:15 PM

    You’re telling me the Redskins are worse than the Bills? Please
    —————————————————-

    I was waiting for this. Thought TorontoJoe would be the one commenting though. Didn’t know the Skins were such a juggernaut to get so upset over someone’s opinion. Get over yourselves, you were 8-7-1 in a division without Brady and are not any better than the Bills, Fins, Tenn, Chargers or any other team you’re thinking of at this point.

  34. nsawins says: Jul 13, 2017 4:17 PM

    25th??????? Who’s doing these rankings and analyzing these rosters, Stevie Wonder?

  35. JameisWillTakeUsToThePromiseLand says: Jul 13, 2017 4:19 PM

    I personally think they’re overrated but Idk about 25

  36. habby80 says: Jul 13, 2017 4:20 PM

    Your bias is showing……

    Wayyyy off. ~10th at best, ~20th at worst.

    Middle of the pack team…with potential to win a weakish division (my call…Cowboys flop this year).

  37. thesmartestmanever says: Jul 13, 2017 4:25 PM

    Fake news….. Nothing to see here

  38. tjacks7 says: Jul 13, 2017 4:32 PM

    You should really just break it down into groups. You have a bad group with no chance, a mediocre group that should be average to a possible playoff team, a good group you expect to make the playoffs, and then you have the Pats in a league of their own.

    Bad: Rams, 9ers, Bears, Colts, Jaguars, Browns, Bills, Jets
    Mediocre: Redskins, Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Saints, Panthers, Bucs, Cardinals, Lions, Texans, Titans, Bengals, Ravens, Chargers, Chiefs, Broncos, Dolphins
    Good: Falcons, Seahawks, Vikings, Packers, Steelers, Raiders
    Patriots: Patriots

  39. tombombadill says: Jul 13, 2017 4:47 PM

    Gotta say I’m pretty surprised about this ranking. Sure they lost Garcon and Jackson and those are notable losses. But they still have Kirk Cousins, Jordan Reed, Josh Norman, Trent Williams, etc. They destroyed the Packers at home and were 1 game away from making the post season. I’d have them around 16ish.

  40. bearaholic1 says: Jul 13, 2017 4:51 PM

    JETS ??? Worst list ever…go back to the basketball court !!!

  41. jbcommonsense says: Jul 13, 2017 5:47 PM

    Imagine how terrific and bright this team’s future would look, with it’s personnel, and trajectory, if they had extended General Manager Scot McCloughan’s contract, and pushed Bruce Allen out.

  42. fromthere2 says: Jul 13, 2017 6:02 PM

    Do you guys coordinate these rankings? You’re rationale makes zero sense. How is the GM going to affect this seasons record at this point?

  43. normaneinstein7 says: Jul 13, 2017 6:31 PM

    Jay Gruden is 21-26-1 through three years in Washington
    _________________________________

    On the surface that record doesn’t look impressive, but Jay’s first year, when he went 4-12, he took over a Shanahan team that went 3-13 the year before.

    The last two years, the Skins went 9-7 with a division win, a playoff appearance, and 8-7-1 last season. Jay has made progress, considering he’s the first Redskins coach in over 20 years that has put together two +.500 seasons in a row.

    This ranking makes zero since at all. The last two years they’ve been over .500. Even if they don’t improve and end up at .500, that’s enough to put them drafting in the middle of the first round, which would indicate they would be ranked around the 15th range….assuming they don’t improve at all.

  44. jsa5205mvp says: Jul 13, 2017 7:17 PM

    Haha that’s a joke. Just because they can’t sign there QB Long term and media thinks the team is dysfuctional doesn’t mean there roster isn’t talented. They will franchise Kirk in 2018 so we have atleast 2 years with him and they have depth and talented players at every position. The Redskins are a TOP 12 playoff team. Should be in top 12. Looks like the past few drafts are starting to payoff…

  45. tyelee says: Jul 13, 2017 8:31 PM

    The buccaneers and the bills if no other teams are clearly worse than the Redskins…

  46. skinsgal4life says: Jul 13, 2017 8:44 PM

    Thank you, Josh, for calling this team by its proper name! I would rank my ‘Skins at 17. 25 is too low.

  47. ravenswinsuperbowl47 says: Jul 13, 2017 11:02 PM

    25 sounds about right. There’s no way that Cousins will have the arm and brains to overcome the losses of the two high quality WRs.

    Certainly they will vie with Philly for 3rd & 4th places in the NFC East. Whether or not that would qualify them for #25 would be a function of how well other 3rd or 4th place teams play: Jaguars, Saints, Colts, Lions, Bills, Chargers, Rams, Vikings, Bengals etc will “vie” for the #25 spot. At least the Danny Snyders should come out better than the 49rs, Browns, and Jets.

  48. knucklesnuclear1 says: Jul 13, 2017 11:14 PM

    Whoever compiled this list needs another job, or take lessons on unbiased reporting.

  49. harrisonhits2 says: Jul 14, 2017 1:38 AM

    “Homers maybe, dummies not so much.”

    The fact you support a team owned by Dan Snyder says otherwise.

  50. jimmysee says: Jul 14, 2017 8:00 AM

    Those two franchise tags have resulted in pretty good paydays the last two years for Kirk Cousins. He’s laughing all the way to the bank.

  51. officialgame says: Jul 14, 2017 8:22 AM

    Wow, insane, crazy they are ranked that high.

  52. boysroll says: Jul 14, 2017 8:51 AM

    you are being to kind….surprised they are not 32..lol.

    HOW BOUT THOSE COWBOYS!!!!

  53. sceaglesfan says: Jul 14, 2017 9:55 AM

    I am an Eagles fan and this ranking is too low. Cousins is playing for them this year (unless they pull of a last minute trade) and that alone gets them into the top 20. As far as their future, who knows but putting this team behind the Goff led Rams-no way

  54. kdalexander703 says: Jul 14, 2017 9:56 AM

    I feel like Rodney Dangerfield in Caddy Shack. “I don’t get no respect!”

    And by “I”, I mean the Redskins. At least they used the name though #silverlinings #blessed

  55. boss81hogg says: Jul 14, 2017 10:41 AM

    Bias toward team name led to this ranking. No other explanation.

  56. cheetasnevaprospa says: Jul 14, 2017 10:51 AM

    Bias? If anything, the DC team should be ranked lower. Gruden is a poor coach, the D is nonexistent, and the offense is very inconsistent.

  57. kcbosch says: Jul 14, 2017 11:32 AM

    Thanks Josh for using the Redskins proper name. 25 is way too low and I think by the end of this season when they are deep in the playoffs even Mr F will reconsider his silly stance on the name.
    The Redskins were only a marginal better defense from winning the division last year and they have made some good moves in that direction.
    HTTR
    Redskins, Redskins!

  58. bencoates57 says: Jul 14, 2017 12:15 PM

    Whew! My Patriots are safe for another day.

  59. woodbridgekid73 says: Jul 14, 2017 12:25 PM

    In 2015 Mike Florio predicted that they would finish last in the league and they ended up winning the NFC East.

  60. blah773 says: Jul 14, 2017 1:28 PM

    posts re: placing the redskins too low? this is the redskins we’re talking about – a mediocre qb, a middling owner, and off-the-field distractions all season/every season. the shoe fits.

  61. nomar8477 says: Jul 14, 2017 1:37 PM

    They do 1 a day. So looks like Ill have to wait about 25 days till I read up on the Patriots scouting report

  62. aj66shanghai says: Jul 14, 2017 1:49 PM

    They’ll face the Seahawks, Raiders, Chiefs, Broncos, Cardinals and Chargers, with tough enough games with the Rams and Saints. Not to mention 2 games each against Giants and Cowboys, playoff teams from last year.

    This ranking will reflect where they sit at season’s end

  63. PFT loves the Steelers says: Jul 15, 2017 11:30 AM

    nhpats says:
    Jul 13, 2017 3:34 PM
    The Redskins have to be better than the Bills, Bengals, Chargers, and Vikings at a minimum….
    ——————

    Whoa now. Better than the Bengals? Lol no. The Bengals had a rash of injuries and were working in a slew of new coaches. The injuries are healed up, and the coaches have a year of experience under their belt. If you expect 6-9-1 again, prepare to be surprised. That team is too loaded with talent to go down like that.

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