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NFL power rankings roundup: Where are the Commanders ahead of Week 5?

The Washington Commanders are coming off their second consecutive loss after Sunday’s 34-31 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. As coaches and players pointed out, there are no moral victories in football, particularly in the NFL.

But Washington’s Week 4 loss in Philadelphia felt much different than the Week 3 blowout at the hands of the Buffalo Bills. Those positive feelings surround quarterback Sam Howell’s performance. After Howell was sacked nine times and turned the ball over four times, he was a completely different player against the Eagles.

Last week’s loss to the Bills dropped the Commanders in most NFL power rankings, but not as far as you might imagine. What happened after their Week 4 loss to the Eagles?

Here is a weekly look at the various NFL power rankings in our roundup.

NFL.com

<a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/32778" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Saahdiq Charles;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Saahdiq Charles</a> #77 of the Washington Commanders walks off the field with his head down after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

Ranking: No. 22

Last week: No. 22

The theme here should be resiliency. We saw Sam Howell take his lumps — big ones — in the nine-sack, four-pick outing in Week 3, but he came back on Sunday and was great, albeit in an overtime loss to the Eagles. Howell got the Commanders out to a strong start and then rallied them back with two clutch fourth-quarter TD drives. I’m just as hopeful that CB Emmanuel Forbes can have a similar rebirth, because Sunday was a rough one for the rookie. The Eagles went after Forbes right away and didn’t stop. Forbes allowed yards on nine catches, including the double-move 28-yard TD by A.J. Brown, per Next Gen Stats. Those were tough assignments, and I still believe in the intriguing first-round pick — and the overall fight of this team.

ESPN

A.J. Brown #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles makes a touchdown reception during the fourth quarter against the Washington Commanders. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
A.J. Brown #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles makes a touchdown reception during the fourth quarter against the Washington Commanders. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Ranking: No. 16

Last week: No. 17

Washington has allowed 11 pass plays of 25 yards or more, tying for second most in the NFL with Chicago. That’s the same number the Commanders allowed in the final eight games of 2022. They’ve already allowed five touchdowns on such plays, two less than all of last season. A lot of it is youth: Rookie corner Emmanuel Forbes has allowed several long pass plays and was involved in some fashion, whether in man or zone, in four 25-plus-yard gains vs. Philadelphia Sunday. Coaches want the aggressive Forbes to be more disciplined with his technique.

Yahoo Sports

<a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/32723" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Jalen;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Jalen</a> Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles and Sam Howell #14 of the Washington Commanders. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles and Sam Howell #14 of the Washington Commanders. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Ranking: No. 13

Last week: No. 16

Ron Rivera had to go for two when Washington scored on the final play of regulation. One play from the 2-yard line for the win is a lot better as a road underdog taking its chances in overtime. Rivera kicked the extra point and the Commanders predictably lost in overtime. But overall, it was impressive for Washington to play that well against Philadelphia. A Thursday game at Chicago should lead to a 3-2 record, which would be fine for this point of the season.

Pro Football Talk

Washington Commanders wide receiver <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/33971" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Jahan Dotson;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Jahan Dotson</a> (1) catches touchdown pass against Philadelphia Eagles cornerback <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/34383" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Josh Jobe;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Josh Jobe</a> (28) and safety <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/30998" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Terrell Edmunds;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Terrell Edmunds</a> (26). Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking: No. 20

Last week: No. 16

The NFC East is too tough to blow a chance to steal a road win against one of the other three teams in the division.

CBS Sports

Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell (14). Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell (14). Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking: No. 21

Last week: No. 15

The showed much better against the Eagles than they did the week before. That’s progress. Sam Howell was much better.

Bleacher Report

Washington Commanders quarterback Sam Howell (14) throws pass under pressure from Philadelphia Eagles linebacker <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/30126" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Haason Reddick;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Haason Reddick</a> (7). Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking: No. 15

Last week: No. 18

On one hand, after being embarrassed at home by the Buffalo Bills in Week 3, giving the Eagles all they could handle in Philadelphia was a step in the right direction for the Washington Commanders. Quarterback Sam Howell played his best game of the season, throwing for 290 yards and a touchdown.

But close doesn’t count in the NFL, and when the game ended the Commanders were on the short end of the scoreboard for a second straight time.

Now the Commanders enter what’s really something of a pivotal stretch in the schedule ahead of a Week 8 rematch with the Eagles—three games against the Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants.

There’s considerable pressure on the Commanders to win at least two of those games if they want to be considered a legitimate wild-card contender.

FOX Sports

Washington Commanders tight end <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/27648" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Logan Thomas;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Logan Thomas</a> (82) reacts after a catch and personal foul against the Philadelphia Eagles. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking: No. 17

Last week: No. 21

Yes, I’m bumping a team up after a loss. Why not? It’s not as if anyone below them is overly deserving. I’m still mad at Ron Rivera for kicking the extra point in Philly. Tired players are such a flimsy excuse — it’s one play! Disappointing as it was to play for overtime, this was a fun performance from Sam Howell and a nice response to getting bludgeoned by Buffalo the week before. If Howell can keep calm under pressure more often, the Commanders are a feisty team.

Sharp Football Analysis

Washington Commanders running back <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/34054" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Brian Robinson Jr;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Brian Robinson Jr</a>. (8) breaks the tackle attempt of Philadelphia Eagles safety <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/34376" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Reed Blankenship;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Reed Blankenship</a> (32). Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking: No. 26

Last week: No. 28

(The Eagles’ fan moves the Commanders up a whopping two positions after the Week 4 matchup.)

The Athletic

Washington Commanders running back <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/32736" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Antonio Gibson;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Antonio Gibson</a> (24) runs past Philadelphia Eagles linebacker <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/30170" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Zach Cunningham;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Zach Cunningham</a> (52). Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking: No. 21

Last week: No. 20

The Sam Howell roller coaster ride continued for the Commanders. The first-year starter is on pace to be sacked 102 times this season. David Carr holds the record for the most-sacked quarterback. He was taken down 76 times in 2002, and his career was never the same. Washington might want to think about protecting Howell some because he looked pretty good leading a game-tying, 64-yard drive in the final 1:36 Sunday.

Story originally appeared on Commanders Wire