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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 14 roundup for Washington in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 16

Player who must step up: QB Taylor Heinicke

He already has proved he belongs in the NFL, but questions remain about the level Heinicke can achieve. Even Washington views him as a high-quality backup or a low-end starter. Heinicke's future in the NFL is secure, but if he can lead Washington to a strong finish over the next five games -- say, a 4-1 mark -- it could elevate him in the eyes of others. He has been inconsistent, but he also has only started 13 games in the NFL. In the past four weeks, Heinicke owns the NFL's fifth best total QBR (65.4), and he has won over teammates. But he can win over many others with a big December. -- John Keim

NFL.com -- Rank: 17

Taylor Heinicke got away with some mistakes on Sunday, but he also made some key plays in another fourth-quarter comeback for the surging Football Team. A clutch field goal by Brian Johnson -- Washington's fourth kicker this season -- allowed the Football Team to escape with a 17-15 win in Vegas and stay in playoff position in the wide-open NFC. The real star of the game was the revitalized defense, which continues to thrive without several of its best players. Washington stifled a Raiders attack that missed injured tight end Darren Waller, and Derek Carr failed to punish Washington when presented with coverage breakdowns. The Football Team has some juice.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 15

Here comes the Football Team. They have won four straight to get back into the playoff mix. The defense has been much improved.

USA Today -- Rank: 15

Last year, they rode a late-season four-game winning streak to a division title. Could history be repeating itself? The scalding WFT now hits its crucial closing stretch, the final five games against NFC East foes.

The Athletic -- Rank: 17

Best-case scenario: Washington is the NFC's hottest team, riding a four-game win streak into Sunday's game against Dallas -- the first of two in 15 days vs. the Cowboys. With each successive win, Taylor Heinicke strengthens his argument that he deserves to be Ron Rivera's quarterback of the future. The former Old Dominion QB has a knack for eluding pass rushers and making plays, especially in the clutch. In a perfect world, Washington goes 4-1 the rest of the way to win the division, with Heinicke cementing the QB job and defensive end Montez Sweat returning from a jaw injury to bolster a defense that has found a winning formula without him.

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