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Battle Red Blog Power Rankings: Week 11

Where do I rank the Texans after their loss to the Giants?

Houston Texans v New York Giants Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

Yuck! What a nasty loss to the Giants! Ew! Eugh! It smells like old carpet and rotting cheese!

I mean, the Houston Texans had 86 total net yards in the first half! In the entire first half, they had one possession gain more than 20 yards, and the overwhelming majority of those yards came from Dameon Pierce’s big 44-yard sprint.

Pierce has been a revelation, and appears to be such a good player that the Texans can already relax and enter the incoming offseason with an established rushing attack in place. But, he shouldn’t be the only Texans offensive player making plays on Sunday.

Instead of beginning 2023 having to rebuild from the very foundations - for the second time in three years - the Texans will instead have one element of a good offense secured.

On defense, this season has been at least a modest improvement from last year, but, crucially, has remained terrible against the run. Steven Nelson, Jalen Pitre, Derek Stingley, and now rookie linebacker Christian Harris are playing well enough against opposing quarterbacks, but the Texans were killed this year by the opposing rushing attack. Giving up a season average 5.2 yard per attempt is how close games are lost. Allowing teams like the Giants, Titans, Bears, and Broncos to keep controlling the game even when the Texans’ passing defense is keeping their quarterbacks under control is creating grounds for close games to never be won, which is exactly where the Texans are right now. After all the ups and downs last year, hoopla and speculation entering this year, free agent signings and splash picks in the draft, The Texans are landing in the same exact spot they were one year ago: at the bottom of the Power Rankings.

Here’s my rankings entering week 11 of the 2022 NFL season:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) (Last Week: 1) - Even though they lost and had handled shockingly well by Washington’s defense, I can’t justify dropping them below the #2 team just yet.
  2. Minnesota Vikings (8-1) (Last Week: 4) - In one of the greatest, wildest regular season games every played, the Vikings somehow emerge victorious to become an undisputed Super Bowl contender.
  3. Kansas City Chiefs (7-2) (Last Week: 2) - The Chiefs’ offense is looking more complete every week, and now with a game over the Bills, a first-round bye is just a few weeks away.
  4. Buffalo Bills (6-3) (Last Week: 3) - A losing streak for the Buffalo Bills? With Josh Allen making big mistakes? In 2022? It’s more likely that the Bills are just going through a funk with turnovers, but two losses against defenses they could be seeing again is worrisome.
  5. Baltimore Ravens (6-3) (Last Week: 5) - Bye week, so they get to stay put! The Ravens are in position to pull away with the division crown in the next three weeks, where they host the Panthers, visit the Jaguars, and then host the Broncos.
  6. Miami Dolphins (7-3) (Last Week: 8) - The three-headed monster of Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle still has yet to be tamed. But, now with a resurgent rushing attack, Miami is poised to make a postseason run for the first time this millennia.
  7. Tennessee Titans (6-3) (Last Week: 9) - Tennessee’s offense still isn’t great, but it’s much better with Ryan Tannehill back. The Titans, despite missing 7 starters on defense, still held the Broncos to 10 points.
  8. Dallas Cowboys (6-3) (Last Week: 7) - Dallas flew up to Green Bay to sink the Green Bay Packers’ season, but Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones just wouldn’t let it happen. While the Packers shouldn’t be underestimated, giving up 31 points to a 3-6 team was not expected from this vaunted Cowboys defense.
  9. Seattle Seahawks (6-4) (Last Week: 6) - While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were certainly a worse team just a few weeks ago, they’ve gotten so much healthier and better since that this game ended up being fairly evenly matched. Unfortunately, Seattle’s luck had ran out in Germany.
  10. New York Giants (7-2) (Last Week: 10) - This time last year, the New York Giants and Houston Texans were trading places at the bottom of my power rankings. How quickly things change…sometimes…
  11. New York Jets (6-3) (Last Week: 11) - Bye week, so they get to stay put! Next up is huge division game against the Patriots. If the Jets’ defense can come up big once again and beat the Patriots, they’ll have a real shot at winning the AFC East.
  12. San Francisco 49ers (5-4) (Last Week: 12) - It just felt inevitable that the 49ers were going to find some steam in the second half of the season and roll over games like this. In the second half of this game, they did just that and gave up 0 points, allowing Jimmy Garoppolo and his pile of good running backs to manage their way to victory.
  13. Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) (Last Week: 13) - Bye week, so they get to stay put! The Bengals’ offense is picking up speed again, even without Ja’Marr Chase. If Joe Mixon and the Cincinnati offensive line continue to chew up yards, they can get right back to where they left off during their win streak last year.
  14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5) (Last Week: 16) - It hasn’t been pretty, but the Buccaneers are back at .500 and back to their old ways! Even the defense was starting to decline through October, but in Germany, they looked fantastic.
  15. New England Patriots (5-4) (Last Week: 15) - Bye week, so they get to stay put! Hosting the Jets next week, the Patriots have a chance to really push ahead in the playoff race with another victory. They’ll need it, too: After the Jets, the Patriots visit the Vikings and then visit the Bills.
  16. Los Angeles Chargers (5-4) (Last Week: 14) - You hope that the magnificence of Justin Herbert can get the Chargers past stingy opponents like these 49ers, but this season, the Chargers appear to be demanding too much out of him.
  17. Washington Commanders (5-5) (Last Week: 21) - Woooo! It’s party time, baby! A massive win on the road against the undefeated Eagles throw Washington right back into the wildcard race and with all the momentum they’ll need to make a real run for it. The Taylor Heinickessaince continues…
  18. Green Bay Packers (4-6) (Last Week: 26) - Looks like I sunk them too soon last week!
  19. Atlanta Falcons (4-6) (Last Week: 17) - The Falcons were in a real position on Thursday night to take a big step towards becoming a playoff team, or even a division winner, but now it all relies on their ability to contain Justin Fields on Sunday and then the Henickessaince the week after.
  20. Arizona Cardinals (4-6) (Last Week: 25) - I sunk the Cardinals too soon, as well! They absolutely needed to win against a weakened and dysfunctional Rams team to even consider themselves worthy of the postseason, and Colt McCoy (and A. J. Green!) gave them just that.
  21. Los Angeles Rams (3-6) (Last Week: 18) - The Rams? 3-6? How is this possible? It started with tons of injuries to the offensive line, continued with bad quarterback play and a nonexistent rushing attack, and threatens to end their season in the next 2 games (@Saints, vs. Chiefs) if they don’t figure it out.
  22. Cleveland Browns (3-6) (Last Week: 20) - The Browns have set themselves apart this year but miraculously losing so many games that it already almost feels like their season is over. With 5 games left against opponents at .500 or higher, it likely already is.
  23. New Orleans Saints (3-7) (Last Week: 19) - Andy Dalton was able to keep the Saints ship afloat for a few weeks, but after being reminded of his old habits via an old foe, he collapsed back into turnovers.
  24. Chicago Bears (3-7) (Last Week: 23) - Justin Fields has been one of the most dynamic, electrifying athletes I’ve ever seen play quarterback. His speed and awareness lays the groundwork for any play design to be a massive success. And to think this whole revelation is coming during a losing streak!
  25. Indianapolis Colts (4-5-1) (Last Week: 28) - Of course they would win. Of course after making the most ridiculous, stubborn hire in recent NFL history, the Colts would win their game.
  26. Denver Broncos (3-6) (Last Week: 22) - Some team has to start sinking, and this time, it’s the Broncos. The issues that predated the season have stuck around and stunk some more as the Broncos squander a great defense yet again.
  27. Detroit Lions (3-6) (Last Week: 27) - A huge comeback win for the Detroit Lions to save their season! The Lions have been very bad and inconsistent all year (especially on defense), and it felt like another game was going to get away from them on Sunday when Justin Fields started going crazy in the third quarter. But, a penalty drive, a pick six, and then a 91-yard drive capped off a Lions comeback that even Fields couldn’t outrun.
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-6) (Last Week: 30) - For Mike Tomlin to avoid his first losing season, he’ll need to put together a 2019-style win streak. Is it possible? Well, with five of their final eight games pinning them up against sub-.500 teams, there’s certainly a chance!
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-7) (Last Week: 29) - This season has been a big bummer for Jaguars fans, but at least Travis Etienne and Trevor Lawrence are looking much better.
  30. Las Vegas Raiders (2-7) (Last Week: 24) - The Raiders were unfortunately the disaster story for the 2022 NFL season. This team had Super Bowl aspirations entering this season the star power and stability at quarterback to really make it happen. Instead, it’s been a nearly constant downward spiral since the regular season began.
  31. Carolina Panthers (3-7) (Last Week: 32) - Well, at least they got to have their revenge against the Falcons quickly. Now, with Baker Mayfield stepping in for an injured P.J. Walker, things could get interesting against the old divisional opponent Ravens. Baker has been absolutely terrible this season, but he’s has good games against the Ravens, before…so maybe he’ll play well? Maybe?
  32. Houston Texans (1-7-1) (Last Week: 31) - Here we are, baby! We made it to the very bottom, again! Started from the bottom, now we’re still here!
Syndication: The Record Chris Pedota, / USA TODAY NETWORK

Next week, the Texans play host to the spicy hot Washington Commanders, who I’m sure are looking at the Texans as a mouth-watering opportunity to get back to a winning record. This game, like last week’s game, will likely come down to the trenches. If Washington is able to do what they did to Philadelphia to the Texans, this game will be over fast. But, Taylor Heinicke always throws up interceptions or intercept-able passes, so the Texans will have a chance to rack up cheap points. If they Texans can get enough pressure on the line to slow down the run-game, they’ll have a chance.

Follow me on Twitter: @FizzyJoe