The Power Rankings return! Run! Hide! Brace yourself for the torrential downpour of lists, numbers, and blurbs!
We love rankings things. Since David Letterman popularized a ranking of ten things, we haven’t been able to stop ourselves from putting everything on a list. Everything has to be recorded from best to worst, which is especially exciting when it comes to NFL teams. Half of the excitement is the speculation, and with so much to speculate on for any given team, the NFL Power Rankings quickly became one of personal favorite nonsensical thought exercises during the season.
So, what do you do when a supposed bottom five team ties with a supposed top ten team? It’s not a pure, cut and dry upset that you can use to justify flinging both teams towards the middle, but a more murky, neutral result that doesn’t earn the Texans a chance to vault up the rankings, nor the Colts to droop too far from playoff contention (at least in my opinion).
Here’s where everyone is rankings the Houston Texans after their tie against the Colts:
30. Houston Texans (0-0-1)
Preseason ranking: 31
Rookie who stood out: CB Derek Stingley Jr.
Stingley allowed only two catches on five targets and finished with a pass breakup on Colts wideout Alec Pierce in the end zone to prevent a touchdown. Colts QB Matt Ryan’s expected completion percentage when targeting Stingley was 57%, but he completed only 40% of his passes according to NFL Next Gen Stats. Stingley’s technique and ball skills were sound throughout the day. — DJ Bien-Aime
28. Houston Texans (0-0-1)
Previous rank: No. 27
Lovie Smith won’t say it, but when he sends the punt unit on the field on 4th-and-3 at midfield with less than one minute to play in overtime, he’s telling the world, “I don’t think my offense is good enough.” Settling for a tie when you have a chance to score a major Week 1 upset is a disappointing way for your new head coach to announce his arrival, but it’s not like Smith was without justification. The Davis Mills-led offense produced just 12 yards in the fourth quarter, allowing the Colts to erase a 20-3 deficit. “When you get a lead like that, good things had to happen on both sides of the football and special teams,” Smith said. “So that’s what we’ll build on.” Ugh.
PRO FOOTBALL TALK:
29. Texans (0-0-1; No. 32): They haven’t had to finish out many games in recent years, and it showed.
30. Texans (32): Amassed tackles is hardly indicative of great defense. But LB Kamu Grugier-Hill and S Jonathan Owens combined for 33 in a non-losing effort – definitely indicative of a tough day’s work.
31. Houston Texans (last week:32)
Record: 0-0-1 | Make Playoffs: +1600
Week 1 Result: Tied the Colts, 20-20
We’ll give the Texans credit for the grittiness and spunk they showed in building a 20-3 lead over the heavily favored Colts. But this isn’t a good team, and TBH we’re still not over Lovie Smith’s decision to punt to preserve a tie in overtime rather than risk losing.
27. Houston Texans (0-0-1)
Last week: Tie vs. Indianapolis, 20–20
Next week: at Denver
This is the closest replica of a Bill Belichick team we’ve seen. It’s a completely churn-able, non-definable entity full of random talent that happens to be expertly deployed. The Texans aren’t going to make the playoffs, but they’re finally worth watching.
29. Texans (0-0-1)
They got a tie against the Colts, but that had to feel like a loss after they blew a 17-point lead. There were some good things, but that had to sting. The decision in overtime to punt is rightfully one that has to be questioned.
30. Houston Texans (0-0-1)
Last Week: 29
Week 1 Result: Tied vs. Indianapolis 20-20, OT
Despite being a touchdown underdog at home against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1, the Houston Texans avoided a loss on Sunday.
But in frittering away a 20-3 lead, the Texans also avoided a win.
Based on the stats alone, it’s difficult to see how the Texans managed even a tie. They allowed more than 500 yards of offense and couldn’t manage 300 themselves. The Colts had 13 more first downs than the Texans and almost a 2-to-1 advantage in time of possession.
On some level, the game was a microcosm for what we can probably expect from the Texans this season. Quarterback Davis Mills was OK, throwing two touchdown passes without an interception and posting a passer rating north of 90. But he wasn’t great, throwing for a relatively modest 240 yards. Houston’s defense played well for three quarters, only to allow 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.
The Texans have some fight in them. But their lack of talent is going to lead to a lack of wins.
29. Houston Texans (0-0-1, LW: 31)
I know it’s the popular thing to rip Lovie Smith for admitting it was OK to play for a tie by punting on fourth down in overtime, but for a young team that needs some confidence, a loss after leading 20-3 on opening day would have been awful. Half-wins aren’t what anyone ultimately wants, but it’s still not the worst outcome.
The blurb horde is certainly got a little bit of everything from the Texans in week one, performing at first well beyond the expectations of the majority of analysts, then succumbing to the dogma of the general sports world into the second half. Just like the Texans, we collectively got the chance to see what it feels like to be simultaneously wrong and right. Very poetic of the Texans to flip the mirror back on us with their performance.