A weekly examination of the Texans' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 7 | Last week: 6 | ESPN.com Power Rankings since 2002
The Texans continue their climb up ESPN.com's Power Rankings after a 30-24 overtime win against the Tennessee Titans. Their rise speaks to the Titans' improvement, too. Beating a good team in overtime earns respect. Per ESPN Stats & Info, the Titans have the second-best turnover margin in the league.
Now the Texans trail only Seattle (No. 1), Denver (No. 2) and San Francisco (No. 3). Two of those teams will face the Texans in the next three weeks, giving Houston an opportunity to prove it belongs among the best teams in the NFL. If the Texans can come out of their next three games undefeated, I think it'd be hard for our pollsters to keep them out of the top spot. That will be a tough challenge, though, as the Texans will face Baltimore on the road before Seattle at home and San Francisco on the road. It could be a defining stretch of games.