Each week, we preview teams that are moving up and moving down in our weekly Football Relativity comparison. We’ll analyze all 32 teams on Tuesday.
Rise – Washington Redskins – The Redskins went on the road and used a dominating defensive performance to claim a 17-14 victory over the Bears. Washington isn’t putting up a ton of points, but Donovan McNabb seems to make one good throw a game. Meanwhile, the defense is doing a good job of holding scores down to keep the team in the game. In this one, DeAngelo Hall deserves a major tip of the hat for intercepting four Jay Cutler passes, returning one of them for a 92-yard touchdown that ended up being the difference in the game. Washington isn’t an elite team, but it’s good enough to compete every week, and it won’t be a surprise for the Redskins to contend for a winning season and a wild-card berth throughout the season.
Sink – San Francisco 49ers – It’s over, 49ers fans. Your team isn’t an NFC West contender – it’s an also-ran. A 23-20 loss to the previously winless Panthers cements the fact that it’s not going to be the Niners year. Instead, upstarts Seattle and St. Louis will fight to get to 8-8 before defending champ Arizona does. Now Mike Singletary must stabilize things lest he lose his job.
Float – Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens ended up in a dogfight against the winless Bills, but they recovered from an early two-touchdown lead and a blown 10-point fourth-quarter advantage to eke out a 37-34 overtime victory. It wasn’t impressive, but the way the Ravens threw the ball to come back was impressive, and ultimately they got the win. Not every W is pretty, and the Ravens will take this one despite the lack of aesthetics.