- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Washington Redskins enjoyed an overall dominant win over the Arizona Cardinals Week 1. Does that put them in the top half of the NFL, or even, perhaps, the top 10?

Washington was given some early respect from two sets of NFL power rankings. ESPN and USA Today pushed the Redskins up five spots and four spots, respectively, in their first updated rankings of the season.

ESPN started Washington out at No. 19 in the preseason. After Sunday’s 24-6 win over Arizona, the Redskins have moved into 14th.

“Alex Smith brushed off any concerns about the supporting cast around him after going from Kansas City to Washington,” ESPN ranker Doug Clawson wrote. “He completed 13 of 15 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns targeting his running backs and tight ends against the Cardinals. That’s his most yards targeting RBs and TEs since Week 16 in 2016.”

USA Today’s Nate Davis supplied an even rosier ranking. After starting the Redskins at No. 12 to begin the season, he’s moved them to eighth — ahead of the likes of the New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers and Carolina Panthers.

“Newbies Adrian Peterson, Alex Smith getting lots of pub. But don’t sleep on ascendant defense that took jackhammer to Arizona’s offense,” Davis wrote.

How much more room do the Redskins have to rise? They host the Indianapolis Colts for their home opener next Sunday with a chance to go 2-0, before running into some tougher opponents — the Packers, Saints and Panthers.

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