It was not perfect for the Chiefs against New England, by any means, and it was something of an off night for quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Yet they still managed to beat an AFC playoff rival by 16 points. The fact that the defense can pick up the slack on such nights is a huge plus for the champs.
The Packers are rolling at 4-0 and might wish their bye had not arrived to halt their momentum. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is back to his elite best and feeling jam-packed full of confidence. And why not? The Packers have scored at least 30 points and not turned it over in four straight games.
The Ravens were not exactly dominant against the Washington Football Team last Sunday, but they didn’t need to be to move to 3-1. The Ravens will face bigger and tougher tests down the road and how they fare in those will determine if they can move back up these rankings.
The defense showed up a little more in Miami on Sunday, holding the Dolphins to five field goals and just one late touchdown. But the win to move to 4-0 also reminded me that Russell Wilson has multiple targets in the passing game with David Moore being the one to step up in Week 4.
What is so stunning is the level of accuracy on Josh Allen’s throws – that was the biggest knock on him coming out of college. His throw to John Brown down near the goal-line last week was inch perfect. The only worry for the undefeated Bills is that the defense has dropped off significantly from 2019.
The Steelers are coming off an enforced bye and there is not much new to report. Big Ben has made a good start in leading this team to 3-0 and the defense is arguably the best in the game right now.
The Titans are also coming off that enforced bye following the Covid-19 outbreak that will not see them back in their facility until Thursday at the earliest – and that is still very much up in the air. Let’s see how Mike Vrabel’s men deal with that major distraction as they face off against the Bills.
Each passing week has seen Tom Brady’s passer rating rise and the Bucs’ yardage totals increase. That’s impressive given that star receiver Chris Godwin has been in and out of the lineup. The Bucs had some defensive struggles against Justin Herbert, but I think this group is better than a year ago.
Not surprisingly, Bill Belichick came up with a good plan to handle Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. The problem was that his quarterback, Brian Hoyer, failed to read the script and hold up his end of the deal. With Cam back at the helm, this is a playoff team who could scare some teams in January.
A win is a win and 3-1 is not to be sniffed at, but that was a wholly uninspiring 17-9 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday. The Rams certainly played down to the level of their competition and it makes me think they are good enough to beat much of the league, but not the elite clubs at the top.
The Saints were a shaky 1-2 heading into Detroit and soon found themselves 14-0 down. So their response was commendable, scoring the next 35 points in a game they would win 35-29. Things might improve when Michael Thomas returns because there is currently an over-reliance on Alvin Kamara.
There is an old school/new school vibe to Cleveland’s offense that rushed for 307 yards against Dallas on Sunday. There are power runs and sheer physicality but then there are also end-arounds used by the likes of San Francisco and the Rams, as well as one wide receiver throwing to the other.
The Colts boast one of the best defenses in the NFL and that keeps them competitive week in and week out. But I think the physical limitations of Philip Rivers really show up in the red zone where Indy are kicking way more field goals from Rodrigo Blankenship than they would like.
The 49ers play Miami this weekend and if they can win that, they will be 3-2 and ready for some of their key injured stars to return. Nick Mullens failed on a national stage last week and this remains Jimmy Garoppolo’s offense. The WR pairing of Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk will be fun to watch.
The Cardinals have been a major disappointment in back to back losses to Detroit and Carolina. After two weeks of moving and protecting the football, the Cards took a major step backwards and reminded us that there are still many holes in this roster that need to be plugged in the coming years.
It’s only the power of Dallas’ offense that keeps them in this spot. If it were based on their defensive showings – which have been historically poor – the Cowboys would be down in the lower third of these rankings. Dak Prescott doesn’t deserve the shocking displays on the other side of the ball.
Give the ball to Dalvin Cook. Then give it to Dalvin Cook a little bit more. Oh, and then give it to him again. And only when you’re really bored with that should you look to go over the top of a defense cheating up to the line of scrimmage with passes to Adam Thielen and the emerging Justin Jefferson.
Allen Robinson was disgruntled and looking for a new contract earlier this season and the Bears should just go ahead and pay the man. The playmaking receiver was one of the few bright spots in Sunday’s loss to Indy where it looked like Nick Foles is little more than a bridge to Chicago’s next quarterback.
There were times when I was really impressed with Derek Carr during last week’s loss to Buffalo, particularly given how banged up the Raiders were at receiver. But there were also occasions where I felt he could have stood a lot stronger in the pocket and that has been duly noted by many others.
The Eagles are not going to be able to make it look pretty at the moment given that offensive line and receiver are two of the biggest injury-hit areas on the team. That makes life tough for quarterback Carson Wentz. But Philly’s defensive front is legit and they now lead the NFC East. That’s something.
The Chargers are the same old Chargers, losing close games week in and week out. But there is a bright future already on the field in rookie quarterback Justin Herbert and he is the reason Chargers fans should not worry about their record the rest of the way. It’s all about Herbert’s development.
Matt Rhule’s men are the biggest climbers this week after their well-deserved win over Arizona – their second victory in a row with Christian McCaffrey sidelined through injury. The Panthers are playing with tremendous spirit and Teddy Bridgewater appears to be getting better with each passing week.
The two Joes can lead this team for quite some time and already we are seeing Cincinnati play a much more competitive brand of football than they did a year ago. Burrow has topped 300 yards passing for three straight games and Mixon is one of the best backs in the game when used regularly.
Even after Bill O’Brien’s firing this week, it felt worrisome to put the Texans this far down the rankings. They are going to remain competitive each week and that will be down to just one man – quarterback Deshaun Watson. He is pure class and will stop this club from hitting rock bottom, even in a lost year.
The calls for Tua Tagovailoa have begun in Miami but I wouldn’t turn my back on Ryan Fitzpatrick just yet. It makes little sense to throw Tua into the line of fire when he is still working his way back to full fitness and he would be operating behind a line that is still very much a work in progress.
There is no way to sugar coat this anymore – the Lions blow way too many big leads and that, for me, has to come down to in-game coaching. Detroit led big against Chicago in Week 1, Green Bay in Week 2 and New Orleans in Week 4 and lost each of those games, the final two quite convincingly.
It was nice for the Broncos to get a win against the New York Jets last Thursday night and this injury-hit team is showing considerable fight under Vic Fangio. But they are too under-manned to make a serious impact and they’ll need to pick up wins against the weaker teams in the league to survive.
The Jaguars were a pleasant surprise as they beat Indianapolis in Week 1 and they raised some eyebrows playing Tennessee tough in Week 2. But the last two losses to Miami and Cincinnati have been sobering. The defense is not offering up much at all with just four sacks in four games to date.
The most positive thing I can say about the 0-4 Falcons is that they never blew a lead against Green Bay on Monday night. Now, that is solely down to the fact that Dan Quinn’s men trailed throughout the contest, but we have to dig very deep to find positives in Atlanta at the moment.
Don’t let the numbers fool you as Dwayne Haskins threw for 314 yards in Sunday’s loss, but he rarely offered up the kind of play that would excite a fan base. If such a fan base were in the stadium in the first place. He’s not terrible. I’m just not sure he does much to get the juices flowing, either.
That’s two straight games without an offensive touchdown and just nine points in each game from the Big Blue. If they cannot be bothered to get into the endzone, I’m not going to break my neck giving you a detailed analysis of this team. Let’s move on!
As if things were not bad enough for the Jets right now, they look ready to sit Sam Darnold in order to rest their quarterback’s injured shoulder. He’s the only guy on the team playing worth a damn at the moment. I cannot see Adam Gase seeing out October in charge of the worst team in the NFL.