AFC South power rankings to begin 2023: The division runs through the Jaguars

• The Jaguars are one of the hottest team in the NFL right now

• How does the rest of the division stack up against them?

A fan holds up a sign before the game of an NFL football regular season matchup AFC South division.
A fan holds up a sign before the game of an NFL football regular season matchup AFC South division. / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA
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No. 3 AFC South Power Ranking before Week 1 of the 2023 season: Houston Texans

The Houston Texans had a pretty good offseason. Besides hiring DeMeco Ryans as the head coach, they made several important acquisitions in free agency. They added Devin Singletary to their backfield. Alongside sophomore Dameon Pierce, Singletary gives the Texans a one-two punch at running back.

Although Houston moved on from the reliable Brandin Cooks, veteran Robert Woods joins a receiver corps that includes Nico Collins and John Metchie III, who missed his rookie season after dealing with a type of leukemia. On top of that, general manager Nick Caserio signed tight end Dalton Schultz to a one-year, prove-it deal. If he's as good as he was for the Dallas Cowboys as recently as 2021, the Texans' passing game could be in better shape than expected.

The biggest unknown when it comes to the Houston offense though is quarterback C.J. Stroud, the second overall pick in this year's draft. The former Ohio State Buckey has what it takes to become the face of the franchise but just like Anthony Richardson, he's a work in progress. One thing is sure though, he won't have a shortage of weapons in 2023.

Another thing working in Strouds' favor is that the Texans have a solid defense. Not only did they draft Will Anderson Jr. third overall but they also signed Pro Bowl linebacker Denzel Perryman and defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins. Although they have a few holes, they also have several promising players such as safety Jalen Pitre, cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. and nickel Travierre Thomas.

While the Texans may not be a realistic threat to the Jaguars in 2023, they are no longer in the cellar of the league after taking steps in the right direction these past few months.