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2015 NFL Power Rankings Roundup: Texans Ranked Among AFC Contenders

Yes, you read that right. The words "Texans" and "contenders" were used in the same sentence.

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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Texans are for real, folks. While some still question whether or not this team can make a deep playoff run (myself included), it is pretty clear that nobody wants to play this squad right now. The roster is finally healthy (sans Arian Foster), the defense is firing on all cylinders, and Brian Hoyer is having easily the best year of his career. A lot of us doubted that Bill O’Brien could turn around this formerly disastrous season, and yet here we are. What a difference a month makes, eh?



Last Week


SB Nation


13 (up 1)




17 (up 6)

J.J. Watt has 7.5 sacks and three multisack games during the Texans' four-game winning streak. He had 6.0 sacks and two multisack games the first seven games (2-5 record).


14 (up 3)

Houston goes as far as the defense takes it. That could mean the AFC South title or sixth seed. Who would've thought that, after allowing more than 500 yards to the dismal Dolphins, these Texans would go on to average a mere 250.5 yards allowed in the ensuing games? That's 35.3 yards per game fewer than the Broncos' top-ranked defense is giving up this season. So much for the game passing Romeo Crennel by ...

Bleacher Report


18 (up 2)

The Houston Texans have pushed enough tiebreaker buttons to hold a playoff spot for at least one week.

That is why it feels like they should be slotted a little higher, especially after four straight wins; though two came against the lowly Titans and Saints. But forgive me for not trusting Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer much.

It's simply hard to believe any team can stay in contention with Houston's quarterbacks who take more away from the offense than they bring. The Texans are averaging only 6.6 yards per attempt this season, which ranks tied for 30th. They're not a team built to come from behind or win with anything other than a defense-first the ocean.

Fox Sports


15 (up 6)

After a midseason slump, J.J. Watt has resumed his dominant ways. He added another two sacks in Week 12 as the Texans shut down Drew Brees. Over the past three games, the Texans have limited the Bengals, Jets and Saints to just 29 points.

USA Today


15 (up 4)

J.J. Watt appears on his way to a third defensive MVP award. Nobody's pulled off that trifecta except Lawrence Taylor.

Yahoo Sports


19 (up 7)

New Orleans had scored a touchdown in every game between Dec. 24, 2005 and Sunday. The Texans' defense is on fire right now.

CBS Sports (Prisco)


15 (up 3)

They've fixed the defense and they're suddenly a playoff contender. They face a tough two-game stretch at Buffalo and then home against New England.

Washington Post


10 (none)

Has talking about J.J. Watt’s dominance gotten old? Few seem to be mentioning it this season but he leads the league with his 13.5 sacks, two more than anyone else. The Texans have won four straight games. But suddenly the AFC South race is overflowing with competence, with the Colts also playing well.



15.1 (up 3.5)


The Texans have a massive game this weekend against the Buffalo Bills when it comes to wild card tie breakers. Win that, and this team’s odds at playing through January get a huge boost. Fingers crossed.

Texans vs Bills coverage