AFC South: 2013 NFL Week 18 Power Rankings

Power Rankings: No. 29 Jaguars

December, 31, 2013
A weekly examination of the Jaguars' Power Ranking:

Preseason: 29 | Last Week: 29 | Power Ranking since 2002

The Jaguars' second-half surge -- and you can probably call a 4-4 record a surge when you consider how poorly the team played in the first half -- was good enough to have them finish No. 29 in the final Power Rankings.

The Jaguars (4-12) doubled their victory total from 2012. Considering the talent level on the roster, the way the season began (they lost their first eight games by double digits), and the injuries and suspensions, winning four games is a significant accomplishment. That those four victories came against teams that finished a combined 13-35 (Houston twice, Tennessee and Cleveland) doesn't mitigate the accomplishment.

The Jaguars finished ahead of No. 30 Oakland (4-12), No. 31 Washington (3-13) and No. 32 Houston (2-14).

Here's a breakdown of where the six voters ranked the Jaguars:

Ashley Fox, John Clayton and Dan Graziano had the Jaguars 29th.

Jamison Hensley and Mike Sando had them 28th.

Kevin Seifert had them 27th.

Power Rankings: No. 32 Houston Texans

December, 31, 2013
A weekly examination of the Houston Texans' Power Ranking:

Preseason: 7 | Last Week: 32 | Power Ranking since 2002

For this season's final Power Rankings, the voters kept the Texans at the bottom, unanimously.

Their preseason expectations were high not just from the inside (the players talked about wanting to win a Super Bowl), but also from the outside (the Texans entered the season ranked seventh). Many analysts weren't sure about the quarterback situation, but none predicted the dramatic turmoil the Texans experienced. Rather, more thought Matt Schaub would be fine, but couldn't do enough to lead the Texans to a championship.

The silver lining for the Texans is that they go into next season with the chance to change things around. They'll get exactly who they want in the first round of the draft and can direct their franchise with a head-coaching selection that should wrap up very soon.

Next season's preseason ranking probably won't have them last -- but it also won't come with this year's lofty expectations.
A weekly examination of the Titans' Power Ranking:

Preseason: 16 | Last Week: 21| Power Ranking since 2002

The Titans’ win over Houston didn’t gain Tennessee anything in the NFL Power Rankings. The Titans dropped one notch in the final balloting of the season and finish 22nd.

AFC South champion Indianapolis finished eighth, while the Jaguars are 29th and the Texans 32nd. Insider columnist Mike Sando had the high vote for Tennessee at 19th, and Giants writer Dan Graziano had the low vote at 23. I’m sure they’d both love to hear from you.

Here's our weekly update on where the Titans stand:

Power Ranking: No. 8 Indianapolis Colts

December, 31, 2013
A weekly examination of the Colts' Power Ranking:

Preseason: 10 | Last Week: 8 | Power Ranking since 2002

To no surprise, the Colts didn’t move up in this week’s Power Rankings after they easily closed out the regular season with a 30-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts opened the season No. 10 in the Power Rankings. A two-spot jump may not seem like much to some, but the Colts will take it when you consider that they lost five offensive starters, including receiver Reggie Wayne, by Week 7 of the season.

They still managed to go 6-3 and win the AFC South after they lost those players. You can’t really argue that the Colts deserved to finish the regular season ranked higher than any of the seven teams in front of them. The three AFC teams in front of Indianapolis -- Denver, New England and Cincinnati -- are the top three teams in the playoffs.

Here's the breakdown of how our panel saw the Colts:
  • Ashley Fox: 7
  • Mike Sando: 10
  • Kevin Seifert: 8
  • John Clayton: 8
  • Dan Graziano: 9
  • Jamison Hensley: 8