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Foreshadowing the Effects of the First Three Weeks of the NFL

PIT 17 - CLE 29

Mitch Trubisky is looking less like a viable option at QB. The Browns coming off a meltdown loss to the lowly Jets last week almost allowed another comeback. Don't let the box score fool you. The game was much closer than the scores tells you. Jacoby Brissett is considered the placeholder till Deshaun Watson's week 11 return. But he played like a true starter. Amari Cooper at wide receiver feels more effective than when the Browns had the combo of Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. Nick Chubb and the Browns' offensive line looked amazing and can keep this team in most games. If Watson is the upgrade over Brissett he is thought to be the Browns could be scary come December, the same cannot be said of the Steelers.

NO 14 - CAR 22

The Saints have Alvin Kamara at RB and Michael Thomas at WR and still couldn't put any points on the board till the 4th quarter. Jameis Winston has five interceptions and three fumbles over the last two games where they scored 10 and 14 points respectively. The lost to teams that scored 20 and 22 points respectively. The defense is pulling their weight but cannot carry the team. If the offense and Winston specifically don't improve immediately this team will be below average the rest of the season and Winston will be a backup. As for the Panthers, it's becoming very clear why the Browns traded away Baker Mayfield as he has continued to do nothing to impress and options like Walker or Sam Darnold are looking like they could be better but it already feels like this team doesn't have what it takes this season at all despite having Christian McCaffrey.

HOU 20 - CHI 23

The Texans had 32 pass attempt and only four, that's right, four, rushing attempts in a game that wasn't a runaway. In a game they went into halftime with a lead. Fire your offensive play caller. No shock the Texans are winless. After the injury to David Montgomery Khalil Herbert and Justin Fields ran all over the Texans. Now if only Fields could throw too. You cannot have a completion percentage under 50% and have as many carries as completions to go with two interceptions and two fumbles. They beat a couple bad QB's and got stomped by Green Bay where Aaron Rodgers "owns them" anyways. They do play some weaker teams but also top notch ones. Chicago needs to get better at QB fast just to be the middle of the pack or teams will just stack the box and force a bad QB to throw to subpar receivers. The future is not bright for either team.

KC 17 - IND 20

The Chiefs run game outside of the QB was 16 carries for 23 total yards. The passing game is fine, Mahomes is Mahomes, not too much to worry about but Mahomes can't always throw 300+ yards and 5 TD's. I honestly don't know what to make of the Colts yet. They couldn't beat the Texans or the Jaguars but then beat the Chief. Matt Ryan has fumbled all three games for a combined seven times. He has taken a dozen sacks already this season. To go along with four interceptions. You have workhorse Jonathan Taylor in the backfield and Michael Pittman as a receiver. Matt Ryan isn't going to play at the same level of his MVP season. He can still be well above average or he could try to carry the game instead of managing it. They've already shown they can beat and also lose to anybody. Unless Ryan plays with more consistency the team is gonna have a roller coaster season.

BUF 19 - MIA 21

It is not easy to play on a hot very humid day in Florida. Global warming is the Dolphins' best weapon. The Bills didn't play terribly. For the most part QB Josh Allen played quite well. He had a few errant passes, some that were pretty bad but he mostly did his job. When you have Stefon Diggs your top two yardage receiving leaders shouldn't be both running backs. The running back situation in Buffalo is still a big question mark. There are enough capable guys and you have Josh Allen's feet, with a pass happy offense so I wouldn't worry. Chalk it up to a close game where you got beat by the heat. Twenty-two rush attempts, eight by the QB and Josh Allen throws 63 passes in a game they were never behind till the 4th quarter. I'd say they should run more but I think their system in place is just fine still. What to me feels like the story of the season is how well Miami is playing. Tua is playing the best he ever has and the speedy duo of Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill is scary. I would say you cannot double team them both but with the run game the way it is maybe you should double team both those receivers. It's looking like the best receiving tandem since Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs played together in Minnesota. The Dolphins still showed balance between rushing and receiving and hats off to a defense that spent a tremendous amount of time on the field. I still favor the Bills for the division but Miami very much looks like the real deal.

DET 24 - MIN 28

Detroit managed 35 and 36 points the first two weeks of the season. They only have one win on the season. Jared Goff is the QB. The Lions had one sack, managed one turnover on defense and are averaging allowing 31 points per game thus far this season. The defense doesn't seem capable of stopping the run or the pass and there's not enough on offense to inspire hope. Feels about right for the Lions who are going to struggle to keep pace with the Vikings and Packers in their division. The Vikings have played the Packers, Eagles and Lions thus far. They stomped the Packers, got stomped by the Eagles and then had a close game with the Lions who fought till the end. The Eagles are amazing right now and you should never count out Aaron Rodgers in GB. They seem to have all the pieces but every year it seems like they just fall short of Green Bay and not much changes in the offseason. They do have a win over the Packers already but I'm not sure if it'll be one of those they play well and end up with just seven to nine wins. The potential is there as always I just don't know if anything is different this year to make anyone believe they even have the potential to be a top five team.

BAL 37 - NE 26

Lamar Jackson threw and ran well. Mark Andrews is still a top five tight end in the league. Almost 200 yards rushing as a team. This is the former MVP Lamar Jackson type of game plan and gameplay you hope for. Averaging 33 points a game, losing to a solid Dolphins team, handling the Patriots and manhandling the Jets. They are playing how they should be playing and winning how they should be winning. The division could still be tough but they are playing to their strengths. Mac Jones threw three interceptions and is now injured so they will be worse off at the position. Jones had a great rookie campaign but has turned the ball over six times in three games with a TD:INT ratio of 2:5. Buffalo was a very heavy favorite to win the division and with two games against them and already a loss to the Dolphins, having to play them again, it doesn't look good.

CIN 27 - NYJ 12

After a surprisingly rough start to the season with a couple losses a dominating defensive win over the Jets should kick last year's AFC champs back into gear. Joe Burrow had a good game and you have a great trio of receivers. Joe Mixon hasn't been able to run all season and that's a problem. Joe Burrow has already been sacked 15 times in just three games. They should be playoff contenders but if the offensive line doesn't change or improve greatly it is going to hold this team back. As for the Jets, how soon can Wilson come back and put Flacco back on the bench? That's the only thing that can give fans of the Jets any hope. They won't be in the playoffs for sure but getting a look at the sophomore season of your presumed QB of the future is still something to look forward to.

LV 22 - TEN 24

Las Vegas trades for Davante Adams, one of the best receivers in the league and he manages 36 yards in week 3 and 12 yards in week 2 after a monster season opener. He is still finding the end zone. The Raiders have been within one score every game. They have yet to score 24 points in a game and they are yet to allow fewer than 24 points in a game. Losing your first three games is when you go into panic mode. They don't seem that bad. The teams they've lost to are all solid and Derek Carr has been alright the last couple games. Not great, but far from awful. They feel like a middle of the pack team with a few great pieces that don't add up to enough. The Titans were a missed FG away from beating the Giants, they got rolled by the Bills and narrowly beat the Raiders. Tannehill is playing well enough, King Henry hasn't had the best numbers but I wouldn't bet against him, the big thing with the Titans is how much worse are they without A.J. Brown as the top wideout? I can't picture them being better this year. They still have a shot with their division being on the weaker side they just don't feel good enough to do anything more than maybe win the division and lose wild card or maybe divisional round of the playoffs. That's best case scenario. Division games against the Jags and Colts are going to mean an awful lot.

PHI 24 - WAS 8

Philly looks like the best team in the NFC. Jalen Hurts is playing decently, Miles Sanders is running decently, the combo of DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown is quite solid. There may not be a singular player that stands out on this roster but everyone is doing their job and doing it well enough this unit should easily win their division which is weak. They are the real deal this season. Each passing season the Eagles look smarter and smarter for ditching Carson Wentz. He had a great season during their Super Bowl run. He has not done much to inspire Washington thus far.

JAX 38 - LAC 10

Has Trevor Lawrence made the year two leap? It is definitely starting to look that way. Lawrence hasn't fumbled yet this season and has a 6:1 TD:INT ratio. The last couple games his average passer rating is 118.5. James Robinson is looking terrific in the run game. The defense holding Justin Herbert to 10 points a week after shutting out the Colts is quite impressive. Next week at Philadelphia will be a real challenge but a good metric if this team is for real or just streaking but there's a lot of reason to have optimism. Another year where the Chargers seem like they should be better than their record says. A three point loss to the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium is fine, losing to the Jags by four scores is cause for concern. If they can't handle the Texans in week four they should be in full panic mode. The Chargers should be better with the pieces they have at WR, RB and QB. They simply aren't.

LAR 20 - ARI 12

The Rams might not be as strong of a team as they were last year. They still need a WR2 or Cooper Kupp is going to be triple teamed the rest of the season. But that might not stop him. He is that good. They have all the pieces they need and Kupp is going to draw the defense no matter what, but they need someone to step up and fill that void OBJ left as a threat in the passing game in 1-on-1 coverage. As for the Cardinals, an overtime win against the Raiders and losses to the Chiefs and Rams isn't reason to freak out. This team could use a dominating performance to give them a morale boost. Not sure if they are good enough for such a performance. They are one of the few teams I don't think we are quite sure what we are going to get from them yet. But four field goals and zero touchdowns is rarely going to be enough. Twenty-one rushes to 58 pass attempts in a one score game. It seems a very common thread that teams completely abandon the run and have these extremely lopsided, pass heavy games that end up in a loss.

ATL 27 - SEA 23

Patterson in the run game and TE Kyle Pitts in the passing game are nice pieces. I just don't think we can expect too much from a team with Marcus Mariota at QB. He's been a backup for years since losing the starting job and bouncing around a few teams. Three TD passes in three games to go along with three INT's and three fumbles lost. You turn the ball over twice a game it makes things pretty difficult for your team. If Mariota can clean up the turnovers they could hang around most games. But the division looks paved for Tampa Bay to just take it with ease. Atlanta's defense is allowing too many points to feel like they won't be an afterthought in five or six weeks. Geno Smith isn't even playing poorly but even with Lockett and Metcalf it's hard to have faith in the passing game. The offense is averaging fewer than 16 points per game. Geno's stats in limited action the past few years as Russel Wilson's backup are actually pretty solid. It would seem a vast improvement since the days as starter for the Jets. It just feels like if Russel Wilson couldn't do it with this squad, what chance does Geno have?

GB 14 - TB 12

Rodgers came out of the gate on fire playing near perfect football the first couple drives both ending in touchdowns. The rest of the game for Green Bay's offense would be an INT, a fumble and a whopping seven punts. The touchdown drives had 12 and 13 plays. Every other drive less one had six plays or fewer. The Packers need to keep drives alive. The defense did keep the Buccaneers in check. Tampa managed just two field goals till the very end of the game. Taking a delay of game on an obvious 2-pt conversion is unacceptable, especially when the previous play was arguably a delay of game and the touchdown shouldn't have even counted. These are inexcusable mistakes from Brady's veteran presence. The Bucs have yet to break 20 points on offense and Brady has zero multiple touchdown games. Their defense is allowing an average of just nine points. They will be fine but I expect a bit more from the offense.

SF 10 - DEN 11

I truly thought Jimmy Garoppolo would be an instant upgrade over Trey Lance. He didn't quite look it versus Denver. A couple turnovers, not much in the passing game and a safety. Jeff Wilson is looking good in the run game, and Aiyuk accompanied by the return of George Kittle to the lineup should help not make this team all about Deebo Samuel. Seven punts and 10 points isn't going to cut it. San Francisco needs to be able to keep the offense on the field. Of course do something with those possessions that end up on the their team's scoreboard. The past several years Denver has thought they were a quarterback way from being Super Bowl contenders. It was true when Peyton Manning came to town. One would think Russel Wilson would be enough. They are tied with the Chiefs for the division lead. The Broncos have yet to break 20 points in a game this season. But so have their opponents. Wilson seems as though he no longer is any threat to run. Averaging just over 200 yards passing the past couple games and only one TD, the Broncos just need more from Russ.

DAL 23 - NYG 16

The injury to Dak Prescott early in the season looked like it could have kept him out for months with not a lot of trust in backup Cooper Rush. Not only is Prescott set to return earlier than originally expected but Rush has filled in quite admirably in his stead. Micah Parsons on defense is playing phenomenal and they have been able to constantly generate pressure on the QB this season. The defense has also held the Bucs and Bengals to under 20 points. The offense could definitely score more but with Lamb and the RB duo of Pollard and Zeke the points should come. Can the Cowboys keep pace with the Eagles to contend for the division?

Who is the better running back on the Dallas Cowboys this season?

  • Tony Pollard

  • Ezekiel Elliot

The Giants defense is allowing just under 20 points per game this season. All games have been decided by one score. Don't let the 2-1 record fool you the Giants aren't playing well enough in a lot of facets of the game. Saquon Barkley has looked great this season thus far and Graham Gano has been solid in the kicking game. But the offensive line that every year is supposed to be fixed looks awful, forcing Daniel Jones to be under constant pressure. There aren't many great receiving options presenting themselves thus far this season as the receivers aren't generating enough separation. Saquon cannot carry the team alone. The offense is just a running tandem of Barkley and Daniel Jones. The pass defense continues to give up chunk plays. The up and down of the schedule could keep this team floating around .500 but ending the season with a couple games vs the Eagles and one against the Vikings is likely to do them in. With upcoming games against Green Bay, Baltimore and the surging Jaguars this team could fall behind sooner than later. But they feel destined to fall behind in the division and conference.

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