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2021 NFL Power Rankings: Washington Football Team

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Washington Football Team rank in terms of average, best and worst:

Below you will find a Week 1 roundup for Washington in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 20

Person on the hot seat: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

He's the clear starter ahead of Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen, but Fitzpatrick -- with his ninth franchise -- remains a quarterback with much to prove. Washington harbors playoff aspirations, and Fitzpatrick has never led a team to the postseason in 16 years. Fitzpatrick is on a one-year contract, so if it doesn't work out, he'll be gone -- but if it does, Washington can re-sign him, draft a quarterback to groom and be set for 2022 and beyond. Fitzpatrick has impressed new teammates with his knowledge and communication skills, and the receivers like that he'll be aggressive. Turnovers have been his nemesis, but if he limits them, he'll jump off the hot seat -- until next year. -- John Keim

NFL.com -- Rank: 20

Washington gave Curtis Samuel the bag in free agency to be a do-everything menace on offense. Unfortunately for the Football Team, Samuel's been a consistent force on the DNP list in 2021. A groin injury kept the dynamic wide receiver out of preseason action and team drills throughout training camp, and coach Ron Rivera has been cryptic about Samuel's status for Week 1 against the Chargers, although the WR's participation in Monday's practice was an encouraging sign. "It'll be all or nothing," Rivera said last week. "He'll either be ready, which is great, or if he's not ready, great." This is an annoying answer, Riverboat.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 13

The defense will be nasty, maybe even the best in the NFL. So the big question is whether Ryan Fitzpatrick can be good enough on offense. I think he can be.

USA Today -- Rank: 19

Hard not to be excited about the reigning NFC East champs. Equally hard to divine how they avoid a one step forward, two steps back fate given the short-term approach applied to the quarterback position.

The Athletic -- Rank: 19

Why they're ranked here: It's hard to know how to balance the two extremes of this team. Washington's defense is outstanding and has a chance to be the best in the league. But the offense was among the worst in the league a year ago and now turns the keys over to Ryan Fitzpatrick.

One big question: How far can Fitzpatrick take the offense? Washington's defense should be so good that even marginal improvements from the offense could lead to a better record for Ron Rivera's squad. Antonio Gibson and Terry McLaurin are good pieces and if Fitzpatrick plays as he did in Miami a year ago, Washington could surprise people.

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