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Battle Red Blog’s Week 13 Power Rankings

Where do I rank the Texans going into December?

NFL: NOV 27 Texans at Dolphins Photo by John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Man, that game was UGLY.

Like, 35 net yards on offense in the first half ugly:

The game was practically over after that fumble-return-touchdown. The Houston Texans offensive line was barely able to keep a pulse for most of the first half and Kyle Allen was determined to be as useless with the football as possible, so a 30-point lead at halftime was more than enough for Miami to take their foot off the gas entering the second half.

Although, returning from what may be the worst first half in Houston football history, the Texans looked a little better on the defense:

After getting shoved around for most of the first half, the Texans’ defensive line was getting some real pressure on Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the third quarter. Defensive ends Mario Addison and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo were getting past their tackles and getting contact with Tua, while defensive tackles Maliek Collins and Roy Lopez continued to make occasional highlight plays to ensure a few three-and-outs during the second half. This is a minor bright spot on what is probably the lowest point for the Texans in recent history, but at least some of these spare parts they’ve picked up look okay…sometimes!!!

But, the offensive line and Kyle Allen made sure that the Texans still remained terrible for the rest of the game:

This sack in particular is more on rookie guard Kenyon Green failing to pick up the blitz, but Kyle Allen sure didn’t make his line’s job easy on Sunday.

As with every game this season, the Texans can only look good/better on certain elements of their team only if the rest of the entire team plays absolutely terrible. You gotta take the little bit of good with a heaping spoonful of bad every week with the Texans this year, and in this past loss to the Dolphins, I think we’ve had the worst spoonful of garbage thus far.

Here’s my personal power rankings entering Week 14 of the NFL Season:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) (Last Week: 1) - Another sloppier-than-usual game for the NFC leaders, the Eagles are still clearly potent on offense but easier to score on as the final month of the regular season approaches.
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) (Last Week: 2) - Kansas City had a chance to leapfrog Philadelphia with a more dominant showing against the lowly Rams, but it seems like they were more than content to snooze their way to victory. They’ll still probably end up winning the Super Bowl, but they shouldn’t be struggling this much against a bad team.
  3. Dallas Cowboys (8-3) (Last Week: 4) - In what ended up being the most viewed regular season game in NFL history, the Cowboys defense locked down the Giants after a frisky first half and coasted to another big win.
  4. Buffalo Bills (8-3) (Last Week: 3) - For the third week in a row, the Bills gave up plenty of yards and points and demanded Josh Allen to make several fantastic plays in order to win. In what’s been a little of a statistical dip for him the past few weeks, this doesn’t feel like a good situation to be in entering December.
  5. Miami Dolphins (8-3) (Last Week: 6) - Scoring 30 in the first half is exceptional, even if it comes against the Texans.
  6. Minnesota Vikings (9-2) (Last Week: 8) - The Vikings get another big, dramatic victory on Thanksgiving thanks to Kirk Cousins and tight ends (huh???). The Patriots passing offense was able to eat up yards, but the Vikings’ red-zone defense and scoring have been able to make these close games frequently wind up as victories.
  7. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4) (Last Week: 11) - Just like last year, the Bengals passing offense and defense are getting hot at the best possible time. This year, however, their offensive-line is notably better, making the sky the limit - especially when Ja’Marr Chase returns.
  8. San Francisco 49ers (7-4) (Last Week: 10) - 13 points isn’t appealing, but having a defense that has held opponents to 0 points over the past 90+ minutes of football.
  9. Tennessee Titans (7-4) (Last Week: 7) - Scoring still isn’t easy for these Titans, and the Bengals appear to still have their number.
  10. Baltimore Ravens (7-4) (Last Week: 5) - Earlier this season, I mentioned how these close games the Ravens keep finding themselves in will keep catching up with them if they don’t figure out how to close, and that continues to be true. All of their losses have come in the final moments of the game.
  11. Seattle Seahawks (6-5) (Last Week: 9) - I won’t drop the Seahawks too much since the Raiders are clearly better than their record, but they still just lost to a 3-7 team at home.
  12. New England Patriots (6-5) (Last Week: 13) - Even though they lost, the Patriots get to enjoy a bit a boost up for nearly defeating the Vikings. The AFC East race is far from over.
  13. Washington Commanders (7-5) (Last Week: 15) - Another week, another win for the Commanders! Both of their lines are now controlling the football game, a nightmare for opposing teams entering the most important slate of the season.
  14. New York Giants (7-4) (Last Week: 12) - The Giants hype balloon deflated some more after another loss to the Cowboys. The Giants are now 1-3 in their last four games, their only victory coming against our Texans :(
  15. New York Jets (7-4) (Last Week: 16) - The Zach Wilson era may have just ended, but the Mike White era is just beginning.
  16. Los Angeles Chargers (6-5) (Last Week: 17) - The Chargers joined the Jaguars on Sunday in going for the win on a 2-point conversion attempt at the end of the fourth quarter. Just like the Jaguars, they were rewarded.
  17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6) (Last Week: 14) - The Buccaneers were primed for a late-season surge into the playoffs, but the Browns proved that this defense still has some holes. Can Tom Brady make up for them?
  18. Atlanta Falcons (5-7) (Last Week: 18) - Even though they were still able to run the ball well, the Falcons just couldn’t score on an increasingly stingy Commanders defense.
  19. Cleveland Browns (4-7) (Last Week: 21) - Jacoby Brissett beats former teammate Tom Brady in a surprising OT win over the Bucs. Now, after playing adequate for 11 games of the season, he gets to give up the job to accused rapist Deshaun Watson.
  20. Las Vegas Raiders (4-7) (Last Week: 27) - I had sunk the Raiders a few weeks ago, assuming any sort of late-season surge would be too little, too late. Now, with a victory against Seattle, their chances of a comeback are a little bit higher.
  21. Detroit Lions (4-7) (Last Week: 24) - After so many sad Thanksgiving losses, this game felt like Detroit’s destiny to win. But, after making so many great plays on offense to tie it up at the end, they just couldn’t beat Josh Allen.
  22. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7) (Last Week: 29) - What a big win for the Jacksonville Jaguars! Baltimore, like in many of their games, gave Jacksonville a chance to claw their way to victory in the fourth quarter, and Trevor Lawrence made sure they got there. Several fantastic throws to Zay Jones, Christian Kirk, and Marvin Jones highlights a fourth quarter come back for the ages in Jacksonville.
  23. Green Bay Packers (4-8) (Last Week: 19) - The Packers are getting more production out of Christian Watson each week, but now with an injured Aaron Rodgers, they’re in serious danger of capitulating in these final weeks of the season. Jordan Love, however, did look good in relief.
  24. New Orleans Saints (4-8) (Last Week: 20) - A lot of things haven’t gone right for New Orleans this year, but one of the base expectations was for Alvin Kamara and the rushing attack to be a reliable element of the offense. Even that has ceased to be true.
  25. Arizona Cardinals (4-8) (Last Week: 23) - It’s gonna be an ugly few episodes of Hard Knocks!
  26. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-7) (Last Week: 28) - Kenny Pickett and George Pickens continue to look great for the Steelers, and now that their offensive line is improving, they have a chance to go on win streak in December.
  27. Los Angeles Rams (3-8) (Last Week: 22) - This might be the ugliest Super Bowl hangover I’ve ever seen. Even Jalen Ramsey looks bad.
  28. Indianapolis Colts (4-7-1) (Last Week: 25) - Questionable clock management by Jeff Saturday and a few clutch plays from Steelers defensive end Alex Highsmith ensured another long offseason for Indianapolis.
  29. Carolina Panthers (4-8) (Last Week: 29) - And despite it all, Sam Darnold outplayed Russell Wilson and the Panthers are still in the division race entering December.
  30. Chicago Bears (3-9) (Last Week: 26) - When Justin Fields isn’t healthy, this Bears team has very little on offense to get consistent yardage.
  31. Denver Broncos (3-8) (Last Week: 30) - Denver has scored 16 points or less in nine of their 11 games in 2022. Their defense has done more than enough to win games, but the entire offense they have assembled is broken and putrid. In other years, This poor performance would earn Denver the title of “worst team in the NFL.” But, this isn’t most other years…
  32. Houston Texans (1-9-1) (Last Week: 32) - Since I began covering the Houston Texans for Battle Red Blog back in 2020, I have never seen a stretch this bad for the Houston Texans. Even throughout the dregs of 2021, there was enough on offense to make the Texans at least watchable in some games. This, especially considering this was supposed to be a year “building” upon the last, is the lowest point so far.
NFL: NOV 27 Texans at Dolphins Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Next week, the Houston Texans host the Cleveland Browns in the much anticipated and controversial return of accused rapist Deshaun Watson. Watson has yet to appear in any games this season thus far due a 11-game suspension he serving in response to 30 accusations of sexual misconduct made against him, all taking place while he was the starting quarterback for the Houston Texans in 2020 and early 2021.

At one point, Deshaun Watson represented the future for the Houston Texans franchise because of his athletic ability. But, in his return, now that the truth of who he really is and the harm he has caused has been revealed to the general public, he represents a past many fans have yet to reconcile with. On Sunday, many Texans fans will look upon him as a lost opportunity, a “bad story” that shouldn’t be remembered, or just another opposing quarterback. But, we all know that he is so much more than just that. He’s no longer a player within the universe of football that we can speculate and theorize on, but a real person that has repeatedly harmed and terrorized dozens of people directly, and stands to harm many more as we continue to forget his past with each passing day.

Even though he’ll be playing to beat his former team on Sunday, Deshaun Watson’s true goal is for us to forget. We, as spectators of the sport, cannot let that happen.