NFL Power Rankings 2012: Texans stay in Top 3

Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

A blowout loss to the Packers on national TV didn't squander all of the goodwill generated by Houston's fast start to the season, as the Texans are still considered among the NFL's elite.

If you want an idea at how impressive the Texans 5-0 start was to the national media, take a look at how far they (didn't) fall after their devastating 42-24 drubbing at the hands of the Packers on Sunday Night Football.

Over at the SB Nation mothership, Joel Thorman still has Houston at No. 3 in his NFL Power Rankings:

3. Houston Texans (LW: 1, 5-1): Sometimes you meet Aaron Rodgers at the exact wrong time and he throws six touchdowns on you.

But while Rodgers put up a vintage 2011 performance, the 3-3 Packers have not looked like that team for most of the year. Their line has been unable to protect their star QB or open up holes for their middling collection of RB's, resulting in a defense built to protect leads not getting a chance to play from ahead.

Sunday night was the Texans first game without star LB Brian Cushing, and if they can't do a better job of filling in for him, they may find themselves slipping further down the Power Rankings as the season continues.

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