- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 20, 2018

After Week 11, the Washington Redskins are still one of eight teams in the NFL leading its division. But first place in the NFC East doesn’t carry much weight with many of the sports sites that put together power rankings. 

Most rankings have the Redskins behind not only every other division leader, but trailing most second-place — and some third-place — teams as well.

Few are as skeptical of the Redskins, however, as Sports Illustrated. That site ranks the 6-4 Jay Gruden squad at No. 19 — lower, in the SI hierarchy, than the two teams Washington leads in the NFC East, the 5-5 Dallas Cowboys and the third-place 4-6 Philadelphia Eagles.  

More typical are the rankings at SB Nation, ESPN, Sporting News and USA Today, which have the Redskins at Nos. 11, 14, 11 and 12, respectively.

The loss of starting quarterback Alex Smith to a season-ending broken leg on Sunday likely figures heavily into some of the more pessimistic assessments, but the Redskins will have an opportunity to prove doubters wrong on Thursday when the team travels to Dallas for a Thanksgiving Day showdown with those resurgent Cowboys.

The Cowboys were ranked No. 16 at SB Nation, ESPN and USA Today and No. 12 at Sporting News. Dallas is fresh off a road victory over the Atlanta Falcons in which Ezekiel Elliott had 201 total yards from scrimmage.

The top three spots shuffled after the nail-biting Chiefs-Rams game on Monday Night Football. In a game that saw six lead changes, the Rams pulled out a 54-51 victory after a game-sealing interception by Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner. The game was the highest-scoring game in Monday Night Football history.

The Rams and Chiefs both occupy two of the top three spots in nearly every power rankings list. Sports Illustrated, SB Nation, ESPN, Sporting News and USA Today have the Rams ranked second and the Chiefs third, after having the Chiefs second and the Rams third last week.

But the scoring machine known as the New Orleans Saints — they scored over 45 points for the third straight game with an impressive steamrolling of the sinking Eagles — remains almost everyone’s pick for No. 1.


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