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NFL Week 8 Power Rankings Index

Where is everyone ranking the Houston Texans after their loss to the Raiders?

Houston Texans v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Texans certainly haven’t had the easiest start of the season - going against 4 top-10 defenses in the first 5 weeks - but the Las Vegas Raiders were a chance to use a team with a bad defense to reinforce improvements made during the bye week, balance out the offense between Davis Mills’ arm and Dameon Pierce’s legs, and get some real momentum going. For 3 quarters, it looked like the stars might have aligned, and our wildest dreams about this quarterback and running back may just come true. But, in the single nightmare-quarter that seems to haunt the Texans every game, it all came crashing down.

Davis Mills spent most of this game keeping the offense on the field and in scoring position with great passes on 3rd down throughout the majority of the game. Multiple throws downfield, heavy use of Jordan Akins, and some pretty touchdown passes highlighted what appeared to be the game where he escaped the shadow of complete incompetence that had been hovering around him so far this season. But, like a ghost, his old habits came creeping back, and right in the middle of a Raiders’ surge.

The run defense, however, remained horrific through the bye week. Opposing teams have been more than willing to run the ball over the Texans, and they’ve yet to have a reason to stop. Josh Jacobs got 143 yards on 20 carries (7.2 AVG) and was able to just completely flip the game in the second half. What appeared to be a turning of the pages turned into a grinding, exhausting reflection of the Texans’ major weakness still unresolved.

NFL: Houston Texans at Las Vegas Raiders Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s where everyone is rankings the Houston Texans entering week 8:


32. Houston Texans (1-4-1)

Week 7 ranking: 30

The Texans’ rush defense is allowing 164 yards per game, and that ranks last in the NFL. It’s holding back the defense from being a great unit because their pass defense is forcing quarterbacks into a passer rating of 74, the seventh-lowest mark among defenses. The defense allowed Colts’ RB Jonathan Taylor to produce 161 yards in Week 1, the Bears to run for 281 yards in Week 3 and Raiders RB Josh Jacobs to total three touchdowns in Week 7. This is an area the Texans can improve. — DJ Bien-Aime


32. Houston Texans (1-4-1)

Previous rank: No. 31

Another week, another loss for the Texans, but head coach Lovie Smith can at least point to some positives on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Davis Millsenjoyed his best game of the season, going over 300 yards through the air with a pair of scoring tosses. His outing wasn’t perfect — a late pick-six sealed the game for the Raiders when Houston was still in striking distance — but Mills put the ball on his receivers throughout the day and improved his accuracy considerably (68 percent completion rate, about six percentage points higher than the mark he’d put together in the previous five games). It’s a start.


31. Texans (1-4-1; No. 30): Alas, there was no post-Easterby bump.


32. Texans (31): Little chance the league’s worst rushing defense (164.7 yards allowed per game) will improve with Tennessee, Philadelphia and the Giants up next.


32. Houston Texans (1-4-1, last week: 31)

Dameon Pierce is the lone highlight in Houston right now. The fourth-round rookie RB ranks fifth in yards after contact per attempt (3.96) and second in forced missed tackles (38), according to PFF. He is second behind Kenneth Walker III in Offensive Rookie of the Year odds (+300) and one of a select few pieces that should survive the next phase of the Texans’ rebuild.


31. Houston Texans (1-4-1)

Last week: loss at Las Vegas, 38–20

Next week: vs. Tennessee

Without a front seven in the AFC, the Texans regularly find themselves knocked around against the run and are even worse against the pass, which is a tough spot for Lovie Smith to be in, given that he’s made his reputation on pass defense. This isn’t a roster ready to compete yet, though we thought they’d have a little more fight in 2022.


28. Texans (1-4-1): They did show some life on offense against the Raiders. That’s a good sign, but the defense let them down.


32. Houston Texans (1-4-1)

Last Week: 31

Week 7 Result: Lost at Las Vegas 38-20

Let’s see. How can we put this without sounding mean?

The Houston Texans stink.

This isn’t news. The Texans entered the season amid nonexistent expectations. Houston probably possesses the most talent-deficient roster in the NFL, though there have been bright spots, such as rookie running back Dameon Pierce.

But seven weeks into the 2022 season, the Texans are 25th in total offense, 27th in scoring offense, 31st in total defense and 20th in scoring defense. Those aren’t the sort of numbers that will lead to many wins, and sure enough, Houston’s only victory of the year came against the Jaguars in Week 5.

The Texans at least managed a season-high 404 yards of offense Sunday, giving head coach Lovie Smith a glimpse of what the team could be.

“Offensively we saw signs of what we can be,” Smith told reporters. “Defensively we just didn’t play well enough, kind of simple as that. I thought first half-wise we were in pretty good shape, but second half we didn’t do what we needed to.”

As things stand right now, Houston would pick both second and fifth in the 2023 draft. And at this point, those draft slots should mean more to Texans fans than what’s happening on Sundays.

Stink for Stroud, or something to that effect.


32. Houston Texans (1-4-1, Last Week: 31)

At 1-4-1 the Texans should be one of the prime sellers before the trade deadline. The team has resisted trading receiver Brandin Cooks before, but it might be time to move him to one of the many receiver-needy teams around the league.

Back to the bottom, we go! Although, after a defense playing that bad against a 1-4 team, it’s hard to blame them. There are major weaknesses on both sides of the football that are prone to rear their heads at some point during a Texans game, and Houston’s offense relies heavily on complementary football. There are no easy victories for the Texans this year, and when you make as many mistakes as they do, it’s nearly impossible to win any close contests.

Next week, the Texans host the Tennessee Titans in their first matchup of the season, Tennessee, unlike Houston, has been able to rely on their defense to keep games close during their fits on offense, and - without turnovers - has been able to win them. If Davis Mills continues his journey up the mountain of mediocrity, he could treat us to a rematch of the high-scoring finale to the Texans’ 2021 season, but if not, Derrick Henry will give us nightmares we won’t soon awaken from. See you then!

NFL: Houston Texans at Las Vegas Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports