The best part? We're treated to a series of bona fide "prove it" games -- contests that will test (and provide clarity on) numerous teams that have flashed contender potential in the early goings.
Here are nine such squads that can show they're for real in Week 3:
It's one of the most compelling games of the week. Arizona hosts San Francisco, and the Cardinals can prove they should be taken seriously as a division title contender with a win.
"We are well aware that is a very good football team coming in with a lot of weapons," said Stanton, who's on track to start a second consecutive game in place of the injured Carson Palmer. "They've been very successful ever since (Jim) Harbaugh has been there. Our plate is going to be full. But if you want to be where we want to be, we have to win these types of football games."
He's right. It's a "prove it" spot. And I think Stanton is an upgrade over Palmer. Arizona is primed to win this game and remain atop the NFC West at 3-0.
In August, I picked the Ravens to win the division, thinking they'd go 10-6. This is one of the games I had them losing.
Talking to Pettine on SiriusXM, the coach definitely understands the importance of Sunday's bout.
"We know this is a very good opponent coming to town," Pettine said. "It's a division game that makes it even more important. We are a little behind because they played last Thursday night (and) they have a little more rest. It's a big game for us. But guys still have to execute to our standards and we have to try to keep the opponent nameless and faceless."
Can you imagine how far a win over Baltimore would go in terms of building confidence in that Browns locker room?
Quite frankly, I don't even necessarily think Denver needs to win to prove a point, especially with the game taking place in Seattle. Peyton Manning and Co. just need to make sure this is actually a competitive contest.
Battista: End of an all-too-brief era?
Is it too much for me to ask that Philly play a complete game?
Jacksonville went up 17-0 on the Eagles before Philadelphia came back to win in Week 1. And while you credit the Eagles for another comeback win at Indy in Week 2, they got an assist from the refs. On the Andrew Luck pick deep in Philly territory with just over five minutes to go, Brandon Boykin mugged T.Y. Hilton. Somehow, no flag was thrown. Two plays later, on the ensuing Eagles drive, LaRon Landry was called for a horse-collar tackle. The call was horse-you know what.
Take that, haters.
Cutler took vicious hits, stood in the pocket and engineered a 21-point fourth quarter to capture a major win.
Chicago has another prime-time road game this week: Monday Night Football against the Jets. Gang Green boasts a solid defense that's highlighted by a great D-line. I predicted 10 wins -- and a playoff berth -- for the Bears in the preseason. A win here would go a long way in making that forecast come true.
Having said that ...
Yes, this is a "prove it" game for both teams.
The Jets almost beat the Packers on Sunday, but New York was doomed when offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's erroneous call for a timeout erased Geno Smith's would-be game-tying touchdown pass. Rex Ryan's poor control of his sideline -- and inclination to generally act like a defensive coordinator, not a head coach -- will ultimately doom him.
Schein: Buffalo bliss
"We are talking about a very, very productive quarterback who has done it for years, putting up big numbers," McCarthy said, referring to Matthew Stafford. "Their perimeter is extremely talented. The offensive line has three veterans inside who make that thing go. It's an explosive offense with big-play production with some of the best we've seen in the last couple of years."
Green Bay has to show it is up to the challenge.