AFC Power Rankings: Patriots lead the way into Week 5

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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4 has come and gone. The landscape of the NFL is continuing to come into focus. Because this is a New England Patriots site, instead of power ranking all 32 NFL teams, we are going to focus on the AFC. After all, that is the field of teams that the Pats must navigate through over the course of October, November, December and January to reach the Super Bowl.

<p>The Texans aren’t just the worst team in the AFC right now; now that the Bears have won a game, the Texans are the lowest rung on the NFL power ladder. The flip-flopping quarterback situation between Ryan Mallett and Brian Hoyer isn’t doing the team any favors. It’s a wonder that DeAndre Hopkins is putting up the kind of production he did on Sunday: nine catches for 157 yards.</p> <p>J.J. Watt called his team’s Week 4 performance “pitiful”, and he hit the nail on the head. Giving up 42 points without firing back at all is worthy of that adjective.</p> <p>Consecutive games against divisional rivals (Indy next week, then at Jacksonville) offer a route out of the basement for the Texans. The way they played on Sunday, however, won’t be enough to defeat those teams.</p>. AFC South. 1-3. Houston Texans. 16. player. 10

Next: 15. Miami Dolphins