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2021 NFL Power Rankings - Week Sixteen

Where do the Texans land after their victory against the Jaguars?

NFL: DEC 19 Texans at Jaguars Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Another season, another win against a terrible Jaguars team embroiled in controversy. In fact, this year might be the most quintessential Jaguars team of them all: a head coach practically swimming in scandal, a dearth of talent of both sides of the ball (even after multiple first round picks and free agent signings), hot on the way to another first overall pick, and a “franchise” quarterback that is provoking more questions than answers. Even after all the breaks they’ve been given, the Jaguars still cannot get out of their own way, a sentiment Texans fans can relate to. But, at the end of the day, our third round quarterback played arguably better than their crown jewel of the rebuild, and that alone says more of the state of either franchise than I ever could.

With this victory and Detroit’s upset win against the NFC favorite Arizona Cardinals, this puts Jacksonville squarely in possession of the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Houston’s victory on Sunday ultimately might end up being more bitter than sweet if entails letting a division rival select a blue chip player over us, but with Jacksonville’s track record, we’ll probably be fine.

This week is not only exceptional for these movements at the top of the draft, however. This is also the first week in the 2021 NFL season to have multiple games delayed because of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. The Cleveland/Las Vegas matchup was pushed from Saturday to Monday, and both the Washington/Philadelphia and Seattle/Los Angeles Rams games have yet to be played. Managing COVID-19 outbreaks has continued to be a problem for all teams this year, with this past week being the most damaging as the omicron variant spreads throughout the country. Cleveland, one of the many teams still grasping for a playoff spot, just saw their chances go down the drain as what’s left of their team crumbled to the Raiders. In these final, pivotal weeks of the football season play out, it will be just as important to watch what is going on off the field as well as on the field.

Here’s where everyone is ranking the Texans after their season sweep of the Jaguars:

ESPN:

30. Houston Texans (3-11)

Previous ranking: 32

How hot is David Culley’s seat: 3. Warm seat

The Texans have just three wins this season — two against the lowly Jaguars — and likely won’t even get the No. 1 overall pick. Culley admitted during Monday’s news conference that general manager Nick Caserio instructed him to let the Patriots score as they approached the red zoneback in Week 5 to give Houston’s offense a chance to reply with more time on the clock instead of 15 seconds — which the Texans coach said he “didn’t compute.” If Caserio has that much say over in-game strategy, it’s fair to wonder if he thinks it’s worth having Culley stay on as head coach. Caserio might already have his mind made up regarding 2022, and it’s very possible that it doesn’t include Culley. — Sarah Barshop

PRO FOOTBALL TALK:

30. Texans (3-11, No. 31): They’re the team that couldn’t tank straight.

YAHOO! SPORTS:

31. Houston Texans (3-11): Houston has won eight consecutive games against the Jags. The last time the Texans lost to Jacksonville, Blake Bortles beat T.J. Yates.

Because of the two games scheduled for Tuesday, many media outlets have refrained from posting their power rankings. Don’t worry, though, I’ll swing on by to add the passing criticisms each outlet has on the Texans as they are posted.

Here’s my personal power rankings entering week sixteen:

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

Even though the Texans won today, all the terrible teams around them (besides the Jaguars, of course) have reason to be above them. Detroit just beat the best team in football, the Giants have had plenty more games where they were competitive, and the Jets just beat the Texans a few weeks ago. But we are 3-11, and you know what that means!

Besides the first few weeks of a new football season, these final weeks are the most exciting. The highest seeds seek to separate themselves from the pack, the fringe playoff teams go all out to try and secure the last few playoff spots, and all those left behind because of a couple pivotal losses in December will be left wondering what could have been. This is the time where all that is muddled becomes clear, the watershed moment of the season.

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