The theme of this week's Sports Illustrated NFL Power Rankings: "Trust.'' And given all we know about the Houston Texans' ups and downs, you can only imagine where that lands your favorite team.
Would you imagine as high as No. 19?!
From the MMQB gang:
This time, one common theme was trust. The old adage is that teams are what their record says they are, but of course that’s not always exactly the case—especially in a season that has put teams in as many trying situations as this one has. We’ve seen teams at their best and their worst (like in any season), but this year we’ve also seen them when they’ve lost players suddenly and unexpectedly from their lineup, lost coaches, lost entire weeks of practice, had their schedules yanked around and more.
So as I sized up the 32 teams, I tried to cut through some of the noise and think more simply about which teams I trust to show up in a given week, or—for the playoff teams—in a big game come January.
Obviously, the Texans are not exactly lined up to play "in a big game come January.'' Yet they fare well in this ranking, their 4-7 record representing a "surge'' of sorts.
The Texans are making their slow recovery after just a ridiculous schedule to open the season, and I am thankful for reminders of how incredible Deshaun Watson is. This is a point countless other people have made already, but it bears repeating: He’s the best selling point any team has in trying to hire the top coaching candidate this offseason.
We have indeed made that point ...
But we would make another: SI's rankings were determined before Tuesday's news that the Texans will go forward, against the Colts this week and beyond, without their best receiver and their best cornerback.
Meaning it's still a matter of trust.