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2016 NFL Power Rankings Roundup (Week 3): Texans Ascend To Elite Status

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With a very realistic shot at starting the 2016 season at 3-0, the Texans are trending up sharply before their Thursday night showdown with the Patriots.

Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

I expected a surge for the Texans in the power rankings after their stomping of the Chiefs last Sunday, but I never could have anticipated just how big that surge would ended up being. After lurking as a fringe top ten team for the first two weeks of the season, Houston is now squarely positioned among the league’s elite ball clubs with an average ranking of seventh overall. If they beat the Patriots on Thursday night, we might start to see them get some top five, or even top three, rankings in Week Four.

Website

Rank

Last Week

Comments

SB Nation

8

15

N/A

ESPN

6

7

The unbeaten Texans have some nice assets on offense, but the defense is fueling the start, allowing 26 points in two games (second fewest in franchise history). The Texans may be lucking out with the Patriots' QB situation entering Week 3.

NFL.com

6

11

Not to be all hot dogs and apple pie here, but the start of the 2016 campaign has gone about as well as a random Saturday night at Gilley's in 1980. Sorry -- dated reference there. Google it, kids. Quality defense and rookies contributing from Day 1 will never go out of style. Through two games, the Texans have allowed all of 26 points, while rookie Will Fuller has notched a pair of 100-yard games. Oh, almost forgot: Houston has twice the amount of wins as the rest of the AFC South combined.

Bleacher Report

9

12

J.J. Watt is back, you guys. The future Hall of Famer recaptured his usual, quarterback-wrecking form against playoff nemesis Kansas City. It just makes Houston's defense that much scarier. Remember: These guys can throw Whitney Mercilus (and wow, was he special Sunday) and Jadeveon Clowney at you. Now, they can deploy John Simon and Benardrick McKinney in passing situations, too. They keep coming and from every angle. Brock Osweiler can commit a few mistakes or throw a few bad balls. This defense always has his back.

Fox Sports

8

12

The Texans remained undefeated on Sunday by beating the inept offense of the Chiefs, and they did so with yet another balanced attack. It’s clear they’ve committed to involving running back Lamar Miller – something the Dolphins inexplicably never did – which will only help Brock Osweiler and the passing game. In the weak AFC South, the Texans are clear favorites.

USA Today

6

13

A very good defense, and while I’m not completely sold on Brock Osweiler yet (you need to court me, Osweiler), this is a team that should be in the playoff picture. It also helps that their division is a walking nightmare.

Yahoo Sports

7

8

The Texans haven’t allowed a touchdown for six straight quarters. Their defense is nasty. But if they want to be known as more than the best team in a bad division, they have to beat the New England Patriots with Jacoby Brissett starting on Thursday night. A loss there, no matter how good the Patriots are at coaching up whoever is starting for them, would show the Texans are still a ways off from being a contender.

CBS Sports (Prisco)

6

13

They won both home games, but now comes the real test, on the road against the Patriots. We will know a lot more about them by Friday morning.

AVERAGE

7.0

11.1

N/A

Your thoughts on the Texans' current place in these fictional rankings?

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