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Washington Power Rankings: Ending on a High But Needing QB?

The soon-to-be-renamed franchise decides where to go and what to do with football’s most important position.

Despite missing the playoffs, the Washington Football Team ended its season on a positive note by beating NFC East division foe New York Giants 22-7 in a game that displayed a variety of offensive weapons. 

Wide receiver Terry McLaurin reached 1,000 yards, making him the first Washington player with back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons since Henry Ellard in the mid-1990s. Second-year running back Antonio Gibson, despite nagging injuries, also clinched his first 1,000-yard rushing season.

"The best thing about it, though, is the way the guys rallied around each other, came out and played for one another, and really helped to set the tempo and the tone going into the offseason and going into next season,” said coach Ron Rivera.

Around the NFL, the final week in the regular season proved to be another exciting dose of football with two fortunate teams - the Tennessee Titans and Green Bay Packers - earning a first-round bye by virtue of finishing as No. 1 in their respective conferences.

With its young talent, where does the Washington Football Team stack up in Sports Illustrated's Postseason Power Rankings? After Sunday's win, Washington finishes ... No. 25.

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Washington won the worst division in NFL history last season, so this is where a step back takes you. Having your starting quarterback go down in Week 1 is one way to derail a season, but that can’t be the only excuse here.

Despite the victory over the Giants being essentially meaningless, it did help lay a necessary foundation for Washington as it looks ahead to the 2022 NFL Draft and offseason. The future of quarterback Taylor Heinicke is being heavily scrutinized as Washington desperately needs an upgrade behind center.

After winning the division last season, Washington finished 7-10 for its fifth consecutive losing season. The franchise hasn't enjoyed a 10-win season since 2012.

Washington will have the 11th overall pick in the draft. Pittsburgh's Kenny Pickett (+900 odds to be selected No. 1) and Ole Miss' Matt Corral are the two current top quarterbacks in this class. Whether it’s via the draft, free agency or trade, finding a quarterback looks to be Rivera's top priority.

As the soon-to-be-renamed franchise decides where to go and what to do with football’s most important position, Washington hopes next season is a winning one.