AFC power rankings: Chargers are better off than fans realize

Los Angeles Chargers v Minnesota Vikings
Los Angeles Chargers v Minnesota Vikings / Adam Bettcher/GettyImages
2 of 5

AFC Power Rankings Tier 4: Begging to upset the Jaguars

  • 13. Houston Texans (1-2 record, -10 point differential)

The Houston Texans may have drafted the best quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft. It is very early in that process but C.J. Stroud has enjoyed a great start to his NFL career. In fact, he and Justin Herbert have both started the season with over 900 passing yards and no interceptions. They are the 11th and 12th quarterbacks in NFL history to do that through the first three weeks of a season.

Houston proved in Week 3 that they are not a team that should be slept on in any given week. While they are not quite there yet to be a playoff hopeful, they definitely can play spoiler this season and build toward a promising 2024.

  • 12. Indianapolis Colts (2-1 record, +4 point differential)

Nobody expected the Indianapolis Colts to be 2-1 through three weeks of the season. If you had told Colts fans that Anthony Richardson wasn't even playing in Week 3 then they would have never guessed that the team would start 2-1.

While the Colts have a better record than a lot of the teams ranked ahead of them, we have to take talent and long-term prospects into consideration. Indianapolis likely won't be a playoff team despite the two fun wins to start the year. If they continue to prove themselves then they will move up the rankings but not all 2-1 teams are created equal (especially when the Ravens got robbed by the refs in Week 3).

  • 11. Tennessee Titans (1-2 record, -22 point differential)

The Titans did defeat the Chargers in Week 2, which seemingly should help their ranking and hurt the Chargers' ranking. But when we look at the entire picture of the AFC, it is hard to see the Titans stacking up in a similar tier as the Chargers and other AFC teams.

They have a worse record than the Colts but check in one spot higher simply because they have a better chance of actually making a playoff run. Indianapolis is a fun story and they have played great but they are at least a year away from making that kind of noise.

Tennessee has a win over the Chargers but that does not make them a better team in the grand scheme of the AFC. Hopefully, that head-to-head loss does not come back to bite the Chargers in a potential playoff situation.