NFL Power Rankings: Houston Texans Rule NFL; NFC West Rises

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Sep 20, 2012



The Houston Texans ended the 2011 season No. 1 across the board in our Quality Stats Power Rankings.

It was a remarkable feat of statistical derring-do considering they played their final six games with rookie quarterback T.J. Yates at quarterback.

That across-the-board statistical excellence last year is the biggest reason we’re riding the 2012 Houston Texans party train all the way to New Orleans and back for the parade through town in February.

It didn’t take long for the Texans to re-establish that statistical dominance: two weeks into the season, and they are right where they left off in 2011: atop our Quality Stats Power Rankings.

You can see the entire list here each week from No. 1 to No. 32 (Tennessee), along with all our Quality Stats.

Our Quality Stats Power Rankings have a strange habit of identifying Super Bowl contenders. And Houston was statistically destined to win the Super Bowl last year before Matt Schaub went down after 10 games.

Here’s the Top 10 after Week 2. Houston’s no surprise. But there are certainly a few on the list.

1. Houston (2-0) – Houston ranks in the Top 3 in an incredible 11 of 19 different Quality Stats (see the Houston-Denver game chart here).  

2. Atlanta (2-0) – Matt Ryan leads the NFL in Real Quarterback Rating (116.1), with six total TDs and zero turnovers.

3. San Diego (2-0) – The Atlanta-San Diego game is the heavyweight statistical showdown of Week 3.  

4. Baltimore (1-1) – The Ravens were No. 1 after Week 1 and still living on the statistical laurels of their dominant win over the Bengals. They fell apart in the second half vs. the Eagles.

5. St. Louis (1-1) – It’s amazing what a good coach can do in such a short time. Sam Bradford is a surprising No. 4 in Real Quarterback Rating. The Rams ended No. 31 in both the 2011 year-end Real QB Rating and our year-end Quality Stats Power Rankings.

6. San Francisco (2-0) – A prime position considering the 49ers faced two tough opponents so far. This well-oiled victory machine will climb higher as the schedule gets easier.

7. New England (1-1) – The long-time masters of situational football are not getting it done in 2012: No. 11 in Bendability and No. 20 in Scoreability.  

8. Green Bay (1-1) – The Packers are the week’s hottest team, leaping 11 spots after embarrassing the Bears on Thursday night.

9. Arizona (2-0) – The NFC West has been the 90-pound weakling of NFL divisions since the realignment of 2002. The entire foursome went years barely beating any opponent with a winning record. Right now it boasts three of the top nine in our Quality Stats Power Rankings.

10. Philadelphia (2-0) – Philly’s 35.1 Defensive Passer Rating puts the Eagles on an early (very early) pace for one of the best performances since World War II and best in the Live Ball Era (since 1978).


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