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What we're not overreacting to after Week 3

Half of the league is miserable every Tuesday. With so few regular-season games, every loss feels like another piece of evidence proving that your favorite team just isn't very good.

This column is here to tell you that the sky isn't necessarily falling. (Or that it's early to break out the champagne.) Here are the storylines we're not overreacting to after Week 3:

The loss of Anthony Spencer in Dallas: I was skeptical of Dallas' hiring of defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Through three games, it's hard to argue with owner Jerry Jones' decision. The Cowboys' defense can survive losing Spencer to season-ending knee surgery.

DeMarcus Ware is playing like his old self again. Jason Hatcher is playing like a man possessed. George Selvie has come out of nowhere to be a factor and the secondary looks improved. Perhaps Jay Ratliff can provide a midseason boost on the defensive line. This remains a strong group overall, and I didn't even mention Tony Romo's improved pass protection.

The 49ers' troubles: I wrote at length about everything wrong with San Francisco. This is a test of Jim Harbaugh's program, but they just need to steady the ship until reinforcements eventually arrive with Patrick Willis, Vernon Davis, Aldon Smith and Michael Crabtree.

Thursday night's game in St. Louis will change the course of the season for both NFC West teams. The loser will be playing catchup all year. Look for San Francisco to find a way to beat the Rams.

CHARGERS AT BRONCOS
Thursday, Dec. 12, 8 p.m. ET
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Miami's 3-0 start: I am the president of the Ryan Tannehill Fan Club and love the way he's playing. Miami's defense is much improved. But the Dolphins have been out-gained in all three games they have played this year. The last team to do that and go on a three-game winning streak was the 2012 Arizona Cardinals during their 4-0 start. There's no way that the Dolphins crater like the Cardinals, but their undefeated record is a little misleading.

New England's 3-0 start: Yes, the defense is vastly improved. No, it won't stay in the top-five of scoring defenses all season. After facing two rookie quarterbacks and Josh Freeman, the Patriots' defense starts the varsity portion of its schedule Sunday in Atlanta.

San Diego's heartbreak: Sure, the Chargers' blown leads could cost them come December. But that covers up the larger point that the Chargers look like a team that might actually matter in December. Philip Rivers is playing at a very high level.

The "Around The League Podcast" broke down every Week 3 game. Click here to listen and subscribe.

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