NFL Power Rankings: Looking at Teams Simply Stuck in the Mud

Ryan Phillips@@RumorsandRantsContributor IIINovember 28, 2011

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of  the San Diego Chargers looks on from the sidelines after having to kick the ball to the Denver Broncos during their NFL Game on November 27, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Broncos won 16-13 in overtime. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

What can be said about the San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins that hasn't already been said 1,000 times? Both teams opened the season strong, on top of their respective divisions and looked like playoff contenders.

Then the bottom fell out on each franchise and things have just continued to get uglier ever since.

The Chargers started the season 4-1 and, while they weren't overly impressive in any of those four wins, they still claimed a spot atop the AFC West. Since that time, San Diego has dropped six consecutive games, including a 16-13 overtime loss at home to the Broncos on Sunday. A 4-7 record is simply unacceptable for a team that was picked by many to be headed to the Super Bowl.

Quarterback Philip Rivers has had an awful season, largely thanks to a depleted offensive line that has leaked like a sieve. Rivers has been running for his life for weeks now, and if you've ever seen the guy run, it's not a pretty sight. 

The Chargers have the talent necessary to win in the NFL, but poor coaching and injuries to key players (Marcus McNeill, Luis Castillo, Kris Dielman, Malcom Floyd, etc.) have left them in a horrible position. Head coach Norv Turner is likely headed out the door after the season, and general manager A.J. Smith will likely not be far behind him. 

While the Chargers have talent and have disappointed, the Redskins have turned into the bad team everyone thought they were before the season. 

Washington is now 4-7 after beating Seattle 23-17 on Sunday, but prior to that win, the 'Skins had lost six straight and seven of eight. 

The problem for Washington has been the quarterback position, where Rex Grossman and John Beck have combined to throw just 12 touchdowns against 18 interceptions and have posted a (combined) passer rating of just 73.1.

Until the Redskins solve their quarterback problem, it won't matter that their offense has potential playmakers in tight end Fred Davis and running back Roy Helu. Things won't get better until Washington finds someone to get those guys the ball.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 13*
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Baltimore Ravens
3. San Francisco 49ers
4. New Orleans Saints 
5. New England Patriots
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
7. Houston Texans
8. Dallas Cowboys
9. Oakland Raiders
10. Cincinnati Bengals
11. Atlanta Falcons
12. Chicago Bears
13. Detroit Lions
14. New York Jets
15. New York Giants
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 
17. Miami Dolphins
18. Denver Broncos
19. Seattle Seahawks
20. Buffalo Bills
21. Tennessee Titans
22. Kansas City Chiefs
23. Arizona Cardinals
24. San Diego Chargers
25. Philadelphia Eagles
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
27. Minnesota Vikings
28. Washington Redskins
29. Carolina Panthers
30. Cleveland Browns
31. St. Louis Rams
32. Indianapolis Colts

*Subject to change pending outcome of Monday night's Saints-Giants contest