Power Rankings: No. 26 Houston Texans

A weekly examination of the Houston Texans' ESPN.com Power Ranking.

Preseason: 7 | Last week: 22 | ESPN.com Power Rankings since 2002

Though the Houston Texans see reasons for optimism after Sunday's 17-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, ESPN.com's experts will let them prove it first. The Texans fell to No. 26 in this week's Power Rankings. They are just below the Pittsburgh Steelers and one spot above the St. Louis Rams, who beat the Texans by 25 points two weeks ago.

The Texans' rankings ranged from 20 to 28. The Chiefs are ranked first and the Indianapolis Colts are second after a win over the Denver Broncos, who are now ranked third. This week's rankings illustrate how difficult Houston's schedule is this year and how difficult it already has been.

They've already played two of the teams ranked in the top five -- the Chiefs and No. 4 Seahawks. The San Francisco 49ers, to whom the Texans lost three weeks ago, are ranked sixth. Coming up immediately after this week's bye, they'll play the Colts.