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NFL Power Rankings Week 2

Where do the Texans land after their loss to the Baltimore Ravens?

Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Thursday, September 7 answered great anticipation with controversy, Sunday, September 10 opened the floodgates to week 1 of the NFL season, and September 11 brought spectacular high-drama to the finale.

Week 1 of the 2023 season, for all of its blowouts, barn-burners, and nail-biters, was also home to the first Houston Texans loss of the year. The Texans opened the season with an admiral but ultimately fruitless effort against the Baltimore Ravens, losing 25-9. Rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud was put under pressure early, throwing 44 passes for 28 completions (63.6 COM %) for 242 yards and no touchdowns nor interceptions. A very commendable performance from Stroud in his first game as an NFL quarterback wasn’t quite enough to spurn a clicking Ravens team, but it enough to keep the game interesting far longer than many expected.

Houston Texans v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Elsewhere in the league, teams like the Cleveland Browns and Los Angeles Rams started the season by stunning their division rivals, NFC juggernauts Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers blew out their respective competition, and the Miami Dolphins won a track meet for the ages against the Los Angeles Chargers. After all this disjointed success in the league, where do the Texans end up on the power rankings?

Here’s where the Houston Texans are ranked entering Week 2 of the 2023 NFL Season:


31. Houston Texans (0-1)

C.J. Stroud made a respectable debut on Sunday, considering what he was up against. The Ravens’ rush was in his face most of the day, as he took five sacks and spun out of at least that many more. Stroud showed good athleticism and escapability, even if the offensive line’s performance makes you worry about Stroud getting hurt and, given the number of mistakes that unit made, wonder how productive he can be. Once Stroud settled in around the second quarter, there were some promising throws and plays — just not enough to compensate. The Texans need to insulate Stroud better, but I think I underestimated how important a guy like Robert Woods is going to be for the No. 2 overall pick this season. More than once on Sunday, the savvy Woods saved his QB’s bacon by coming back to the ball or catching a pass that could have been picked. All in all, a solid Game 1, but it also served as a reminder of how far this team still needs to go.

- Eric Edholm


31. Houston Texans (0-1)

Preseason ranking: 31

Best debut performance: DE Will Anderson Jr.

Week 1 stats: 6 tackles, sack, 2 QB hits

The 2023 No. 3 overall pick played at a high level in his debut, as his six pressures were tied for the most by a rookie in Week 1 since Nick Bosa and Josh Allen did it in 2019. Anderson also made an impact in the run game with six defensive stops. The Texans will look for more of the same from him the rest of this season.

- DJ Bien-Aime


31. Houston Texans (0-1)

Last week: loss at Baltimore, 25–9

Next week: vs. Indianapolis

God bless C.J. Stroud, who took a batted pass swatted into his arms and tried to carry it forward against a surging Baltimore defense. He’s tough enough for the job, that’s for sure. The rookie got put in some bad spots and was exposed a few times against all-out blitzes. What we saw on Sunday was what we spotted in the preseason a bit: Stroud isn’t letting it rip soon enough. While his snap-to-throw time was top 10 for the week, it was when the ball wasn’t immediately designed out of his hands that trouble arose.

- Conor Orr


31. Houston Texans (0-1)

Last Week: 30

Week 1 Result: Lost at Baltimore 25-9

It’s hardly surprising that C.J. Stroud lost his professional debut against a Baltimore Ravens team that is a perennial playoff contender on the road.

Stroud had an up-and-down first start. He went 28-of-44 for 242 yards, got sacked five times and lost fumble. However, he didn’t throw an interception, and he showed some rapport with both young wideout Nico Collins and veteran Robert Woods.

Stroud was the first to admit to reporters afterward that he has work to do as an NFL starter.

“I feel like, of course, it wasn’t what we wanted,” Stroud said. “I’ve got to be better overall, make more plays and protect the football. I’ve got to be better in the huddle and things like that. I had some positive things, but I’ve got to keep growing from here and keep getting better.”

“There’s really only so much Stroud can be expected to do,” Davenport said. “His wide receiver corps is arguably the weakest in the entire NFL, and opposing defenses are going to stack the box, put the clamps on running back Dameon Pierce and dare Stroud to beat them through the air.

“This year is going to be more about learning than winning, but that may be for the best. A second consecutive year with the second overall pick could get the Texans some wideout help next season in Stroud’s old Ohio State buddy, Marvin Harrison Jr.”

- Gary Davenport, Maurice Moton, Brent Sobleski

NFL: Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

After an inaugural power rankings week where Houston landed all over the place depending on what publication you read, every writer has now shown their hand and put the Texans squarely in the next-to-last position of #31 after their loss to the Ravens. A loss usually doesn’t help a team move up the rankings, but it’s disappointing to see the amount of apathetic pessimism held by the rankers after a loss. If they can maintain control of the game a little longer against the Indianapolis Colts next week, they should have a chance at netting the first victory of both C.J. Stroud and head coach DeMeco Ryans’ careers.

What do you think of the rankings? Are the Texans far to high after their loss, or is the media underrating their abilities? Let us know in the comments below!