No. 1 Post-Week 3 AFC South Power Ranking: Houston Texans
The Texans had been in a state of disarray for a handful of years. They attempted a rebuild at the same time as the Jaguars did in 2021. By the end of the season, both clubs had given the boot to their head coaches, Dave Culley and Urban Meyer, respectively. The Texans then hired Lovie Smith and fired him after one season on the job while Doug Pederson took Jacksonville to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
Confident the third time is the charm, Houston brought in DeMeco Ryans in the offseason and so far, it looks like they got it right. Having team executive of football operations Jack Easterby out of the picture has also helped. Without Easterby meddling in personnel decisions, general manager Nick Caserio has been able to work his magic.
One of the biggest decisions Caserio made in the offseason was drafting quarterback C.J. Stroud second overall and then trading up to select defensive end Will Anderson Jr. one pick later. Both rookies had a huge role in the win over the Jaguars in Week 3. The former is at a record-setting pace three weeks into the season while the latter has quickly become a mainstay of their defense.
Now, the Texans still have a long way to go. Before Week 3, they were 0-2, so it's fair to say they have their work cut out and will need to keep playing before they're considered a legitimate contender. That might as well be until next year but they took a step in the right direction by beating the Jags as a visitor. It will be interesting to see if they can build momentum in the upcoming weeks.