By Matthew Zimmer
Thankfully, Week 3 of the NFL did not see the ridiculous number of injuries we saw in Week 2. Instead, we saw some incredibly fun games, some super duds and a tie (oof).
Obviously, we still have Monday Night Football (on our airwaves AM 750 tonight), which should be the best game of the week, Kansas City at Baltimore.
The Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, Buffalo Bills, Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears will be joined by either Baltimore or Kansas City as 3-0 teams after Monday night.
So far though, through Sunday, there are six unbeaten team. Each squad looks varied levels of good and bad.
Russell Wilson still looks like an early MVP frontrunner. He set an NFL record with 14 touchdowns through his first three games after he threw five more TDs against Dallas. The Seahawks defense needs to play better, but they did enough to win in the end.
Aaron Rodgers is playing pretty dang good himself. He outdueled Drew Brees in New Orleans on Sunday Night Football, and the Packers are rolling through three weeks.
The Bills nearly cost themselves the game when they blew a 28-3 lead to the LA Rams. However, Josh Allen saved the day with a last minute drive (aided by a defensive pass interference flag) to beat LA, 35-32. Buffalo is a good team, but they need to close teams out because better teams than LA will make them pay for giving up 29 straight points.
The same thing could be said about the Tennessee Titans. They trailed the Vikings 17-9 at halftime, but led 25-24 after the third quarter. Tennessee needs to play better overall, and can’t afford to play this poorly against a good team.
The Titans won’t be able to pull off this kind of comeback against a good team. They lead a very strange division; Indianapolis is inconsistent, Jacksonville can’t figure out if they’re good or just competitive and the Texans have played three (currently) undefeated teams (KC, Baltimore and Pittsburgh), so we don’t really know about them right now either.
Speaking of Pittsburgh, how good does it feel to have Big Ben back Steeler fan? Pretty damn good, I’m guessing. One concern is the Steelers have beaten two bad teams (Denver and the New York Giants) and one we don’t know about, Houston. Pittsburgh will play Tennessee in Week 4 and Baltimore in Week 7, so we’ll know more later.
Finally, the Chicago freakin’ Bears. How is this team 3-0? Well, they’ve beaten three bad teams (Detroit, the Giants, and Atlanta), and they needed two comebacks to even win those games.
Week 1, Chicago was down 23-6 in the fourth to the Lions and Mitchell Trubisky led a comeback miraculously to win, 27-23. In Week 2, the Bears had to hold on for dear life to beat New York, 17-13. Then on Sunday, Trubisky was benched, and Nick Foles saved the day. Foles took over in the third quarter and scored 20 points in the fourth quarter to beat the lowly Falcons.
Bears coach Matt Nagy named Foles the starter going forward and that makes me like the Bears more. Now, we have to really wait and see how good or how bad the Bears really are. The Mitch Trubisky era appears over (barring injuries) in Chicago.
There are a bunch of teams (eight) that are 2-1, including all three non-Seahawks teams in the NFC West.
The LA Rams nearly came back, as mentioned above, but they didn’t. So, are they a good team because they came back? Or a bad team because they were down 29 points to begin with? San Francisco is a huge question mark with Jimmy Garoppolo, whether he’s injured or playing, and they’ve beaten both New York teams, who are arguably the worst teams in the NFL. Arizona lost to Detroit. HOW DO YOU LOSE TO DETROIT? The Lions had lost their previous 11 games. This is a black eye on the Cardinals face.
Okay, NFC West aside, Tom Brady and his old team are both 2-1. Brady’s Buccaneers lost to New Orleans in Week 1 (the Saints only win in 2020), but they’ve bounced back to beat both Carolina and Denver by double digits. As for New England, Cam Newton is playing like 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton with double-digit victories over Miami and Las Vegas.
Speaking of the Raiders, they’re 2-1 but the hype train needs to pump the brakes. Las Vegas got clowned on Sunday, but they did look good against the Saints in Week 2 and held off Carolina in Week 1. So, the jury is still out for me on them.
How about Cleveland?! The Browns are above .500 for the first time since Week 15 of 2014! They may not be very good (as they’ve only beaten Washington and Cincinnati), but this was worth mentioning.
Indianapolis has two big margins of victory in schooling the Vikings (28-11) and the Jets (36-7), but they lost to Jacksonville so they might be a reincarnation of Philip Rivers former team, the LA/San Diego Chargers.
There are eight 1-2 teams in the NFL, and we’ll discuss the disastrous NFC East later. So, of the other six 2-1 teams we’ve got a lot of uncertainty.
The LA Chargers almost pulled off a comeback against Carolina, but both teams are now 1-2. Justin Herbert was good stats-wise (330 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), but clearly he’s still got learning to do. The Panthers are confusing, and should be better than 1-2, but they’ve struggled. Both teams could still be 8-8 or so, but they’re not as bad as 1-2 suggests.
Miami and Jacksonville are better than 1-2. Yes, I understand Miami was winless before they beat Jacksonville, but they lost to New England and Buffalo, two really good teams. The Jags may not be good, but they almost beat Tennessee in Week 2 so keep that in mind.
The Detroit Lions collapsed in the first two weeks against the Bears (still crazy) and the Packers, but they found a way to beat the Cardinals, who were 2-0. So, the Lions are weird.
New Orleans hasn’t been very good. They beat Tom Brady, which was kind of expected in Week 1, but they’ve played poorly two weeks in a row. Drew Brees is being questioned by everyone from fans and media, but the Saints aren’t questioning him yet. They lost to the Raiders, who might be good (who knows for sure), and the Packers, who look pretty good.
What the hell is going on with this division? I mean for goodness’ sake. The division is a combined 2-9-1, yikes. Dallas’ lone win came on the backs of the Atlanta Falcons ineptitude at winning games and Washington beat division rival Philadelphia… So, the NFC East could easily have ONE win between the three teams.
Dallas played really well against Seattle, that’s a positive sign for them. Washington has been crushed in their two games away from D.C. by 15 in Week 2 and 14 on Sunday. Philadelphia couldn’t even beat the Cincinnati Bengals, who are crazy young and inexperienced. As for the New York Giants, *sigh*… they’re not a good football team and without Saquon Barkley this team could go 0-16.
This division might produce a 7-9 “champion”.
There are seven teams still without a win. Injuries, bad football play and bad coaching have contributed to their winless records.
What did Houston do to the NFL Schedule-Makers? I mean, seriously… The Texans have played Kansas City, Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the first three weeks of the season. Deshaun Watson needs to learn to play without DeAndre Hopkins, but even with Nuke those first three games are brutal. Houston is better than their 0-3 record suggests, and when they get to play the other AFC South teams they’ll pick up some W’s.
Philadelphia and Cincinnati tied on Sunday, and neither team played well enough to “deserve” the win. These teams may be bad, but they’re not the worst.
Denver is injured, like really injured. Before the season, former Super Bowl MVP Von Miller tore his ACL. In Week 1, running back Philip Lindsay injured his toe, and he hasn’t played since. Then, Week 2 saw the Broncos lose starting QB Drew Lock for 2-6 weeks with a shoulder injury, WR Courtland Sutton tore his ACL and DL Dre’Mont Jones is out 4-6 weeks with a PCL (knee) strain. Finally, against Tampa DL Jurrell Casey tore his biceps so he’s out for the year. Denver might be bad, but honestly injuries have derailed any hopes they have of being better than okay.
The New York teams suck, plain and simple. Yes, the Jets are missing wide receivers left and right, but Adam Gase is not an NFL-caliber head coach. Yes, the Giants are without Saquon Barkley, but even his superhuman level running skills can’t make Daniel Jones pass better or help that defense give up fewer points. The Giants gave up 36 points to a NICK MULLENS led 49ers team.
Minnesota, Minnesota, Minnesota… shaking my head… The Vikings are bad. Kirk Cousins without Stefon Diggs has been forgettable. Cousins hasn’t thrown more than 259 yards in three games, including just 113 against Indy. He’s thrown at least one interception in each game and six total this year. Dalvin Cook is special, but he can’t fix everything alone.
Now, Atlanta. Falcons fans, look away. No team in the last 20 years had blown multiple 15-point fourth quarter leads in a SEASON, but the Falcons managed to do it in back-to-back games. Atlanta became the first team in NFL history to lose back-to-back weeks after leading both games in the fourth quarter by 15+ points. They might be better than the New York teams, but giving up leads like they have the last two weeks is unforgivable. I’m shocked Dan Quinn wasn’t fired while I wrote this article all morning.
If you read this far, first congratulations and thanks for making it all the way here. Enjoy MNF!
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