NFL Instant Reactions: Week 3 Edition


Now that week three of the NFL is all but wrapped up, it’s time to take a look at which teams impressed, or flopped. Much like last week’s article, I have separated the teams into four different categories: True Contenders, Playoff Bound Material, Mediocre at Best, and Dead in the Water.

True Contenders: Atlanta Falcons, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles.

We had a lot of fluctuation in this category, mostly due to a handful of 2-0 teams failing in their week three tests against “inferior” opponents. The teams that impressed the most this week were the last two undefeated teams: The Atlanta Falcons (3-0) and Kansas City Chiefs (3-0).  The way these two teams played, it wouldn’t be hard to see them meeting for the title in February.  The Patriots (2-1) also regained my faith in them this week by holding off the pesky Houston Texans. Other teams on the move upwards were the Eagles (2-1) and Titans (2-1).  A couple of teams (Ravens, Steelers, Broncos) were bumped down a rung due to ugly performances/losses this week.

Playoff Bound Material: Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Washington Redskins.

These aforementioned franchises are solid, but still have a few major flaws to address as the season chugs along. Whether or not they can move into the “true contender” category remains to be seen, but we simply haven’t seen enough from these squads to really rely on them week in and week out. A couple of teams to watch on the way up are: The Minnesota Vikings (2-1), Green Bay Packers (2-1), Houston Texans (1-2), and the Jacksonville Jaguars (2-1).  The Jaguars had the most impressive victory of the weekend by dismantling the Baltimore Ravens 44-7 in London. By knocking off one of the “true contenders” last week, the Jaguars have me believing they may actually smell the playoffs this season.

Mediocre at Best: Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears.

Remember what I said last week about the Seattle Seahawks (1-2)? They put up more of a fight against the Titans (2-1) this week, but a loss is a loss.  Seattle is going through some major growing pains this season, and the answers aren’t being found anytime soon. The Saints (1-2) might not be dead yet after a glorious upset over their division rival, the Carolina Panthers (2-1).  Additionally, Chicago (1-2) looked impressive by knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1) at home. Miami (1-1) looked the worst of this bunch by losing badly to the tanking Jets (1-2) in New York.

Dead in the Water: Cleveland Browns, NY Jets, NY Giants, Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers, San Francisco 49ers.

These teams have a lot in common: They stink! Between these teams listed here, they have a combined win total of three. Based on this week’s performances, these coaches may want to take the long road around the owner’s box to avoid the uncomfortable questions that comes with starting the season the way these teams have. Let’s just say, you’re going to want to see your favorite team have one of these squads on your schedule this season.

Be sure to check back next week to see the movement in these categories, which teams should start to be taken seriously, and the others we wish would just get off our TV screens for good.

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