NFL Week 3: What We Learned
Week 3 of the NFL season left more questions than answers.
What's wrong with the Packers, 49ers, Steelers and Falcons? ... All four of these teams were considered Super Bowl contenders before the season started, and at least right now, they look like pretenders. The Niners and Packers can't seem to stop anyone on defense, the Falcons' offense hasn't been that impressive, and quite frankly, the Steelers looked old. My guess is that three out of the four will be fine, but the question is which team will be left behind?
Have NFL Defenses Figured out RGIII and Colin Kaepernick? ... It sure looks that way. Robert Griffin III -- and now it must be asked: since when did name suffixes like Jr, Sr, II, and III become part of the last name? Since marketers took over sports? -- looks like a shadow of his former self, and so does Kaepernick. Now, we may be able to chalk up RGIII's troubles to his injury last year, and at times yesterday, he looked like the dude Subway hired, but what's the deal with Kaepernick? It's one thing to look average against one of the best defenses in the league last week against the Seahawks, it's another to look bad against the Colts, whose defense usually is average at best. Maybe Kaepernick and his teammates just had a hangover from last week, but they'd better get over it soon.
How 'bout dem Cowboys, Browns and Dolphins ... Who would have thought these three teams would be leading or co-leading their divisions at this point? The biggest surprise may be the Dolphins, who looked terrible in the pre-season but seem like world beaters in the first three weeks of the season. They're tied with the Patriots atop the AFC East and have actually looked better than the Pats. The Cowboys, at least for this weekend, have found their running game. Many say if the 'Boys keep running the football the way they did yesterday, they should win their division. But these are the Cowboys; nothing is ever that simple with them. And I guess the big trade with the Browns was an energizer because they looked really good against the Vikings.
Chip Kelly's offense can't help his defense ... For all the hoopla over Chip Kelly's offense, his defense hasn't lived up to expectations. Like the Packers' and 49ers' defenses, they can't stop anyone. If anyone remembers those Oregon teams Kelly coached, not being able to stop power teams like Auburn and Stanford was the main reason they never won a national championship. They could outscore almost anyone, but the fact remains that when they faced a team with a good defense, they were at least slowed down. When it came right down to it, Oregon's defense didn't make the big plays to help them win and that may be the case with the Eagles defense.
Let's not forget about the Jets, Bengals and Colts ... All three teams are 2-1 and playing well, but no one wants to give them credit. The Jets almost beat the Patriots in Week 1, and while we expected them to have a major collapse, so far it hasn't happened. In fact, barring surprise snaps, they've actually played well under Geno Smith. The Bengals should be 3-0. They've played well, and although their schedule looks weaker now than in the beginning of the season, 2-1 is still 2-1. Cincinnati still has a better record than the Steelers, Packers, Falcons, and 49ers. And their comeback against one of the best teams in the league, the Packers, shocked everyone. These are not your father's Bengals.The Bengals and Jets may fall back to the pack eventually, but the Colts look strong. We knew what Andrew Luck could do by himself, but look what he can do when they have a strong running game and a defense that plays well. Watch out for the Colts; they're a dangerous team again.
Tune in next week to find out if the Steelers, Redskins, Vikings, and Giants actually win a game, if the Pack can bounce back, and if the undefeated teams remain that way.