Forget about Ronnie Brown and his fantasy day from heaven. Where the heck did all those plays come from? The Miami Dolphins pulled plays out of a college spread offense, and brought some life to their attack in a complete dismantling of the New England defense. If nothing else was accomplished in week three, Miami, at the very worst, exposed the Patriots as a very beatable team.
What else do we know about the AFC East that we’re either not quite ready for or don’t want to admit to? First, Brett Favre and the Jets are not on the same page, and it’s becoming a real possibility that they never will be. Second, the Buffalo Bills need to be taken into serious consideration as a division title contender. Lastly, not a whole lot separates the Patriots from the other teams in their division. The last two weeks have shown that.
Look at the other side of the league, and you find the NFC East with the most disgusting display of talent and good coaching you might ever find compiled in one division. But that’s where I stop myself and say: “It’s only week three, man”.
While the Redskins’ offense has come to life, it doesn’t have the power to stay above water against the other three strong teams in the division. We could seriously be looking at three playoff teams out of this division. Believe that.
But enough of me wasting your time with thoughts and predictions in paragraph form. Here are your top 32 teams (guess who’s 32), and a very good reason why they’re there, or where you can expect them to be headed. SPOILER: The Miami Dolphins have not jumped 10 spots. Enjoy.
|1 (1)||3-0||This just in: When you win a game by more than 10 points and your star receiver has almost nothing to do with it, you’re pretty good.|
|2 (6)||3-0||The Bengals put up a fight, but great teams don’t just blow teams away. They find ways to win, no matter what. The Giants are showing everyone a repeat is possible.|
|3 (2)||2-1||What a beat down. The Patriots didn’t just lose, they got embarrassed. Matt Cassel has failed to lead his team to more than 20 points in three straight games. This is a problem, folks.|
|4 (8)||3-0||Two close victories in two weeks would lead some to think this team is lucky. That, or they’re getting really good at winning. If it hasn’t been said already, then here it is: Jay Cutler is becoming something special.|
|5 (7)||2-1||After getting torched by Dallas, the defense stepped up and completely shut down Pittsburgh’s offense. This team is solid on both sides of the ball. Let’s just hope Brian Westbrook’s injury doesn’t hold him back.|
|6 (3)||1-2||It’s difficult to win when you allow a team to run all over you. It’s even harder when your offense has the ball for four minutes in the second half. Ouch.|
|7 (5)||2-1||Can you say conservative? In games one and two, Mike McCarthy almost lost his team both games by not sticking with what was working. Now they’re without Al Harris, for likely the entire season. With Atari Bigby already on the shelf, it’s starting to get ugly in Green Bay on the injury report.|
|8 (4)||2-1||That’s two straight games of 10 or less points. They need to start opening things up a bit. With that said, they were facing Philadelphia, which happens to be a pretty darn good team.|
|9 (9)||1-2||Their defense answered the call that they weren’t any good without Merriman. What a performance. Believe it or not, this team still has the recipe for a Super Bowl contender.|
|10 (16)||3-0||It’s official, Trent Edwards is a solid quarterback, and the Bills are a good football team. You’re looking at the frontrunner in the AFC East.|
|11 (10)||2-1||They started the season hot, but a loss next week to the Jets could send them right back to the land of mediocrity. It’s time for this team to step up.|
|12 (13)||3-0||Kerry Collins is getting the offense by, Chris Johnson and Lendale White are helping out, and the defense is flat out dominating. It doesn’t hurt when the three teams you beat are a combined 1-7. Don’t go predicting them to win it all, just yet.|
|13 (11)||2-1||They ran into a Minnesota team that was desperate, so there’s no reason for panic. Having Steve Smith back will really help this team.|
|14 (14)||1-2||It’s pretty hard to lose when your ground game can’t be stopped. If the offensive line woes are even partially fixed, this team could be headed back among the elite in no time.|
|15 (12)||1-2||As long as Reggie Bush keeps playing this well and the offense puts up points, does it even matter if they actually win? A short interview with Sean Payton would say yes.|
|16 (15)||1-2||Sure, it was the Rams, but they had to start somewhere. The upside here is that they didn’t just win, they became the third straight team to thoroughly dismantle St. Louis.|
|17 (19)||1-2||True, the Chargers had to win, but if the Jets didn’t notice, the Bills are 3-0. Yes, the Bills. Brett Favre and those receivers need to get on the same page, pronto.|
|18 (18)||1-2||Gus Frerotte to the rescue…wait, what?|
|19 (17)||1-2||So when do we make the switch back to Rex Grossman? I thought Kyle Orton was the quarterback who didn’t turn the ball over.|
|20 (20)||2-1||Who am I to say Brian Griese can’t still play and win games? Two consecutive wins and a 400-yard outing tell me he’s doing mighty fine.|
|21 (22)||2-1||Is that progression we’re seeing out of Jason Campbell? Boy, it’s nice to see someone finally getting the goods out of Santana Moss.|
|22 (24)||2-1||If Mike Martz can keep this awesome balanced attack thing going, the Niners’ just might have something here.|
|23 (26)||2-0||If they didn’t have a rookie quarterback starting, I’d say they have a real shot at the division, and a realistic shot at a Super Bowl run. But, they do have a rookie quarterback starting.|
|24 (23)||0-2||It’s too early to give up on this team. They’ve faced two stellar defenses to open the season, and would have faced three had their game against Baltimore not been cancelled. But no one in the NFL is going to feel sorry for them. They’ve got to start winning, fast.|
|25 (21)||0-3||Don’t get me wrong, Derek Anderson is not playing well, but it’d be a shame to blame it all on him. A few drops here or there-I’m okay with that. But Braylon Edwards inability to catch key passes (or any) is crippling this team.|
|26 (25)||0-3||As the field goal went through the uprights in overtime, Carson Palmer’s face said it all. Only three games into the season, and it’s over for Cincinnati.|
|27 (29)||2-1||It’s very possible this whole “good game, bad game” stuff from Matt Ryan will be a trend. That’s okay. I’m sure 8-8 sounds pretty good to Atlanta fans right now.|
|28 (31)||1-2||If this were the Surprise of the Century Rankings, Miami is number one. Who saw this coming and didn’t have the guts to say it out loud?|
|29 (27)||0-3||Is it safe to say Matt Millen could be out of a job fairly soon?|
|30 (30)||1-2||Wow, way to cough up a game. In the NFL, wins are hard to come by. They really blew it for Lane Kiffin. Or did they? This guessing game has got to stop.|
|31 (28)||0-3||Way for Larry Johnson to have a great bounce-back game and silence his critics. Can’t really say the same for Tyler Thigpen…|
|32 (32)||0-3||This team is like “The Love Guru” with Michael Meyers. It’s not funny anymore. It’s just sad. Seriously, don’t watch that movie. Or the Rams.|