Week 2 of the NFL season featured a number of excellent games, with the elite teams largely showing up and proving their mettle against lesser competition.
The Week 3 slate features a number of fascinating matchups, ones that will go a long way toward determining playoff position in each conference. Those results will dramatically affect each team's odds to win the Super Bowl.
As always, the goal for each of the 32 NFL teams remains the same: to hoist the Lombardi Trophy this February at MetLife Stadium.
Here are the updated Super Bowl odds for every team heading into Week 3, courtesy of Bovada.
If it wasn't apparent before Week 2's 19-9 loss in Oakland, it certainly is now: The Jacksonville Jaguars are the worst team in football, and it's not even close.
Jacksonville's offense has managed to score just 11 points in two weeks. Things don't get any easier in Week 3, as the team travels to Seattle to take on the Seahawks.
Yes, the same Seahawks team that just demolished the 49ers at home.
Vegas installed Seattle as 20-point favorites in the game, an unheard of number that speaks to Jacksonville's overall futility.
With starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert set to miss the game with his hand laceration, Chad Henne will get another opportunity to prove his mettle.
Best of luck with that, Chad.
Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen deserves a ton of credit. Despite his team's extremely low expectations entering the season, Oakland has exhibited a tremendous amount of moxie, nearly upsetting the Colts in Week 1 before smothering Jacksonville in Week 2.
Fans of the Silver and Black were likely thrilled to see running back Darren McFadden get going against the Jaguars, as he carried the ball 19 times for 129 yards. Quarterback Terrelle Pryor didn't dazzle like he did in Week 1, but he also didn't turn the ball over and led the team to victory.
Perhaps the biggest boon has been a pass rush that was thought to be toothless. Oakland sacked Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne five times, bringing its total through two games to nine, which is tied for the league lead.
But even with those positives, the Raiders are not a good football team. That fact will rear its ugly head this Monday night when the team travels to Denver to take on quarterback Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
This past Sunday, the Cleveland Browns were faced with a golden opportunity. The team held a six-point halftime lead on the road against the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens after a stellar opening stanza from its defense.
But as they've done so often since their return to the league in 1999, the Browns fell apart, failing to score a point in the final 30 minutes and falling by the score of 14-6, dropping the team's record to 0-2.
The run game once again failed to get on track, with starting back Trent Richardson only tallying 58 yards on the ground. And quarterback Brandon Weeden was largely ineffective before suffering a sprained right thumb that will keep him out of the team's Week 3 contest in Minnesota.
Brian Hoyer will start in his place, and don't overlook the significance of this move. There's a reason why the Browns chose Hoyer to start over presumed backup Jason Campbell, and it's because general manager Mike Lombardi has long been a Hoyer proponent. If Hoyer plays well, don't be surprised to see him keep the job over Weeden, whom the current front office has zero ties to.
Despite the 0-2 record, there are some positives for Cleveland. The defense has been terrific, and wide receiver Josh Gordon will return on Sunday after serving his two-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
But the Browns are still likely staring down the barrel of 0-3, and if that happens, their fans can forget about a surprise playoff run that some had bandied about in the preseason.
What's that smell emanating from the west coast of Florida?
It's the dumpster fire that is the 2013 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the inferno shows no signs of ceasing anytime soon.
The Bucs are an unmitigated disaster, having blown final-minute leads in each of their first two games, both gut-wrenching losses.
The defeats, coupled with a well-publicized rift between coach Greg Schiano and quarterback Josh Freeman, has increased speculation that Schiano could be on the hot seat. Freeman has been putrid through two games, completing less than 50 percent of his passes. As I've written in this space previously, don't be surprised if rookie quarterback Mike Glennon sees the field—and sooner rather than later.
In addition to all the coach/quarterback drama, star cornerback Darrelle Revis, the team's prized offseason acquisition, is reportedly unhappy. According to Dan Hanzus of NFL.com, he recently met with Schiano to "clear the air."
Revis, unhappy? You don't say! Every Jets fan reading this is likely nodding, having gone through the Revis drama already.
The Bucs next travel to Foxborough to take on coach Bill Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady and the 2-0 New England Patriots. After that game, their Super Bowl odds will likely be even less than the 150/1 they're at now.
Give the New York Jets credit. Despite possessing one of the worst 53-man rosters in football, they managed to defeat Tampa Bay in Week 1, and they nearly pulled off a huge upset at New England in Week 2, ultimately falling 13-10.
Rookie quarterback Geno Smith threw three interceptions in the fourth quarter of the loss against the Patriots, but he's acquitted himself nicely thus far through two games. Running back Chris Ivory has been a bright spot, and the offensive line has looked good. Smith's stats would look a lot better if his receivers, namely Stephen Hill and Clyde Gates, could actually catch the football, which seems to be a prerequisite skill to play wideout in the NFL.
Coach Rex Ryan's defense has been terrific thus far, as the unit is ranked second overall behind Seattle. Overall, the Jets have been a pleasant surprise to start the 2013 campaign.
This week, the team hosts Buffalo in a battle of 1-1 AFC East teams with rookie starting quarterbacks. If the Jets can come out on top, there's a chance that they could end up making some noise in the AFC playoff picture.
That's not likely, but given the team's disastrous offseason and preseason, it'd be a major boon to Ryan and his players.
It's been a disappointing start to the 2013 season for the Minnesota Vikings, who are coming off a surprise postseason berth in 2012.
The team is now 0-2 following a last-minute, 31-30 loss at Chicago and faces a must-win contest this Sunday against Cleveland.
Quarterback Christian Ponder has yet to get going, having thrown only two touchdowns against four interceptions thus far. The lack of a viable passing game has led defenses to key on star running back Adrian Peterson, who only averaged 3.8 yards per carry against the Bears.
If the Vikings want to find themselves back in the NFC playoff picture, they must take care of business on Sunday against the Browns. If they lose and drop to 0-3, their chances of making a postseason run will be infinitesimal.
Despite their 1-1 record, the Tennessee Titans have been one of the most surprising teams in football thus far in the young season. They beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh and nearly took down the Texans in Houston.
Coach Mike Munchak's team is playing hard, and the defense in particular has exceeded expectations. If the Titans had managed to pull the upset this past Sunday in Houston, their Super Bowl odds would likely be higher.
The elephant in the room for an otherwise impressive opening two games has been the play of quarterback Jake Locker, who has only managed 273 passing yards. Locker must play better if Tennessee is to have any hope of contending for a postseason berth.
Complicating matters is the drama surrounding talented yet mercurial wide receiver Kenny Britt, who sounds like he wants out of the Music City after this season, per John Glennon and Jim Wyatt of USA Today.
This week, the Titans host San Diego in a matchup of two teams that have exceeded expectations thus far in the campaign. The winner will find itself at 2-1.
For quarterback Cam Newton, coach Ron Rivera and the Carolina Panthers, it's as if the nightmare will never end. The team lost yet another close game this past week, a 24-23 decision to the Bills in Buffalo.
Let's face facts: If the Panthers lose on Sunday to the New York Giants and fall to 0-3 heading into their Week 4 bye, the heat will intensify on Rivera, as will the calls for his job. It's already looking like new general manager Dave Gettleman made a mistake when he decided to retain Rivera following the team's 7-9 finish last year.
Newton is obviously safe as the starter, but his play must improve if Carolina is to contend for a playoff berth.
Panthers fans need to forget about the Super Bowl and the playoffs for now. It's still early, but it's not hyperbole to say that their season comes down to Sunday's game against the Giants.
Through two games, the coach Doug Marrone and quarterback EJ Manuel era in Buffalo has been a rousing success. The team followed a near upset of the Patriots in Week 1 with a heart-stopping, last-second victory over the Panthers in Week 2.
Manuel has been very impressive, showing command and poise that belies his neophyte status. Defensive end Mario Williams came on in the win against Carolina as well, tallying four-and-a-half sacks of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
This Sunday, the Bills play the Jets on the road at MetLife Stadium in the first start away from home for Manuel. If Buffalo can pull out the win, a playoff run wouldn't be totally out of the question.
This past Sunday, the Arizona Cardinals got the first win of the Bruce Arians era, downing the Lions 25-21.
Quarterback Carson Palmer has revived the team's previously moribund passing offense, and the defense held the Lions' high-powered passing game mostly in check. The Cardinals, thought to be one of the worst teams in the NFC, could easily be 2-0 if not for their season-opening collapse in St. Louis.
Next up for the Cardinals is a matchup against in New Orleans against the Saints, a game that few will expect Arizona to win. If the Cardinals do come out on top in an upset, their odds will certainly be better than 100/1 in a week's time.
Through two games, the Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves in an unfamiliar position: winless and miserable.
Coach Mike Tomlin's team has been awful thus far, following up a shock home defeat to Tennessee in Week 1 with a poor performance on Monday Night Football in Cincinnati in Week 2.
The offense has been stagnant, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and coordinator Todd Haley seemingly not on the same page. Pittsburgh, a team that has historically run the ball successfully and with authority, finds itself with a paltry 75 rushing yards in two games, second-worst in the league behind the Giants.
At this point, it appears that the Steelers are closer to the Browns than the Bengals, a fact which surely makes Terrible Towel-waving fans across the nation want to smash their keyboards.
If Pittsburgh can't pull it together and defeat the Bears this week at home on Sunday Night Football, it will sit at an unconscionable 0-3 and the season will surely be over.
The Washington Redskins followed up their Week 1 stinker against the Philadelphia Eagles with a horrendous display against the Green Bay Packers, losing 38-20 at Lambeau Field to fall to 0-2.
After the game, quarterback Robert Griffin III spoke about the need to become more of a vocal leader.
What the Redskins really need is a defense capable of stopping the run and forward pass, as they've been torched in the first two games of the season.
The Washington offense will be fine as Griffin rounds into form following his ACL injury in January. And remember, this is a team used to dealing with adversity; the Redskins started 4-6 last season before winning their last six games to claim the NFC East, so an 0-2 start shouldn't have anyone pushing the panic button just yet.
This week, the Redskins welcome the Lions to FedEx Field, and Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford and receiver Calvin Johnson are likely salivating at the prospect of going against the Redskins defense. It'll likely be up to Griffin and the Redskins offense to win the game and avoid an 0-3 start.
Despite losing on Sunday to the Falcons, St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher has to be happy with his team's performance through the first two games.
Quarterback Sam Bradford finally looks ready to break out, and the defense has flashed the ability to be an elite unit. The Rams will be a tough out throughout the season and should contend for a wild-card berth in the NFC.
On Sunday, the Rams travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys, and a win would make a statement that they're for real and ready for prime time.
The San Diego Chargers have been a pleasant surprise thus far this season, nearly pulling off an upset over the Texans in Week 1 before upsetting the Eagles in Week 2.
Coach Mike McCoy and quarterback Philip Rivers are definitely on the same page, with Rivers enjoying a career renaissance through the first two games of the campaign.
San Diego's 53-man roster isn't very good, but the team is playing with a ton of heart, and that's a credit to the efforts of McCoy.
The Chargers have a very real chance to move to 2-1 on Sunday when they play the Titans in Tennessee.
Quarterback Andrew Luck couldn't pull the rabbit out of his hat again this past Sunday, as a last-ditch comeback effort against the Miami Dolphins fell just short to drop the team's record to 1-1.
On a positive note, the Colts were able to work receiver T.Y. Hilton into the offense in successful fashion, as the second-year player caught six passes for 124 yards. Luck to Hilton should be an explosive combination for years to come.
This week, the Colts have the unenviable task of playing at the 49ers—just one week after San Francisco was humiliated on national television by the Seahawks.
That means Indianapolis is likely staring down the barrel of 1-2.
While the Detroit Lions' comeback effort against Arizona this past Sunday fell short, coach Jim Schwartz has to feel good about the way his charges have performed thus far on the campaign.
The team received a bit of good news regarding the injury status of running back Reggie Bush, as the knee injury he suffered against the Cardinals doesn't look like it'll keep him out for a significant period of time. It remains to be seen if he'll play this Sunday.
Either way, the Lions offense is poised for a big game when the team takes on the Redskins and their porous pass defense in Week 3. A win would put Detroit at 2-1 and leave the team feeling very good about its chances to contend for a wild-card berth.
The Giants have thus far been one of the league's biggest disappointments, falling to 0-2 with their 41-23 loss on Sunday to the Broncos.
Big Blue has turned the ball over a ridiculous 10 times in two games, including seven interceptions from quarterback Eli Manning. The team is dead last in the league in rushing, and the defense doesn't look capable of stopping a proficient offense.
Other than that, though, the team is great.
On Sunday, the Giants face a must-win game when they take on the Panthers in Carolina. Under coach Tom Coughlin, New York usually plays best with its back against the wall. If that theory is true, Big Blue will avoid an 0-3 start that will surely have them ticketed for a January trip to the golf course.
The Eagles came crashing down to Earth on Sunday, losing a 33-30 thriller at home to the Chargers.
The offense was once again explosive, with quarterback Michael Vick throwing for 428 yards and two touchdowns, but the defense was porous, allowing San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers to throw for 419 yards and three touchdowns.
No one has questioned the talent the Eagles possess on offense; it's always been about whether or not the defense, transitioning to a 3-4 under new coordinator Billy Davis, could make enough stops to keep the team in games. This past Sunday, the defense lost the game for coach Chip Kelly.
On Thursday night, the Eagles will face former coach Andy Reid and his new team, the Chiefs, in what's sure to be an emotional affair.
If the Eagles win, there will be no doubt that they can contend in a topsy-turvy NFC East.
The Miami Dolphins couldn't have drawn up a better start to their season: two road games, two impressive victories.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill led Miami to an upset victory over the Colts in Indianapolis, moving the team to 2-0. Receiver Mike Wallace broke through with a touchdown and 115 yards receiving, and the defense mostly held Colts quarterback Andrew Luck in check.
Miami finds itself tied with New England for first place atop the AFC East, and if the team can beat the Falcons on Sunday in South Beach, don't be shocked when people proclaim the Dolphins as the team to beat in the division.
The Kansas City Chiefs have already equaled their win total from all of 2012, beating the Cowboys this past Sunday to move to 2-0.
The new era ushered into Kansas City by coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith has been a smashing success, and the Arrowhead faithful showered the team with adulation on Sunday. The Chiefs are once again relevant, and that's great news for the NFL. The league is more interesting when the Chiefs are good.
This Thursday night, Reid returns to Philadelphia, where he served as head coach for 14 seasons, in what's sure to be an emotional matchup against the Eagles.
Win or lose on Thursday, the Chiefs have shown that they're capable of making noise in the AFC playoff picture. Don't be shocked if they're in the thick of the hunt for a wild-card berth come December.
The Dallas Cowboys nearly moved to 2-0 with a win at Arrowhead Stadium over the Chiefs, but the team fell 17-16, and its record now sits at 1-1.
Receiver Dez Bryant was an absolute beast, catching nine passes for 141 yards and a touchdown. He did have a critical drop midway through the fourth quarter on a perfectly thrown ball by quarterback Tony Romo, but anyone who blames Bryant for the loss should have his head examined. He was the best player on the field for either team.
Through two games, the Cowboys have shown that they'll be able to contend in a wide-open NFC East. They host the Rams on Sunday, and we should have a better read on both teams following the contest.
This past Sunday, the defending Super Bowl champions broke into the win column with a 14-6 home victory over the Browns. It was a much better effort from their defense after Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning dropped seven touchdowns and 49 points on them in Week 1. The unit sacked Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden five times.
Quarterback Joe Flacco played an efficient game just hours after his wife gave birth to the couple's second child, and rookie receiver Marlon Brown caught a touchdown pass.
Next up for the Ravens is a home date with the Houston Texans. It's a compelling early-season matchup that should give us an indication as to how good each presumed playoff contender actually is.
It's been a very successful start to the coach Marc Trestman era in Chicago, as the Chicago Bears won another thriller this past Sunday to improve to 2-0, beating the Vikings 31-30 on a late touchdown pass from quarterback Jay Cutler to tight end Martellus Bennett.
Cutler has been superb in the first two games. Yes, he's thrown three interceptions, but the bottom line is he's led Chicago to two fourth-quarter comeback victories. Trestman has gotten the job done thus far as it concerns his mercurial quarterback.
This week, the Bears travel to the Steel City for a Sunday Night Football matchup with the Steelers. Chicago is the better team; it should find itself at 3-0 after the game and in excellent position to potentially qualify for the postseason.
After losing their season opener in Chicago, the Cincinnati Bengals had a satisfying Week 2 result, bludgeoning the Steelers on Monday Night Football and winning 20-10.
There is no questioning the elite status of the Bengals defense, and the offense is stacked with playmakers. Rookie running back Giovani Bernard sparkled in the win over Pittsburgh, scoring twice, and receiver A.J. Green is one of the most explosive weapons in all of football.
The issue for Cincinnati is the play of quarterback Andy Dalton. By no means is Dalton a bad player, but he needs to elevate his game if the Bengals are to make a serious run at the Super Bowl.
On Sunday, the Bengals host the Packers, and Dalton can make a statement with a big game against the Green Bay defense.
The Atlanta Falcons bounced back nicely from their season-opening defeat in New Orleans by downing the Rams at the Georgia Dome, 31-24, improving their record to 1-1.
But Atlanta suffered a number of injuries in the game that will hamper its quest to win a second consecutive NFC South title. Defensive end Kroy Biermann was lost for the season, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon won't return until at least Week 11 after being placed on IR (with designation to return) and running back Steven Jackson could reportedly miss two to four weeks with a thigh injury, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Still, the Falcons have enough talent on their roster to weather the storm. As long as quarterback Matt Ryan is healthy, they will contend for a playoff berth in the NFC.
This Sunday, the team faces a stiff test when it travels to Miami to play the 2-0 Dolphins. A win would put Atlanta at 2-1 and leave the team feeling very good about itself at this early juncture in the season.
The New Orleans Saints won a thriller on Sunday at Tampa Bay, with quarterback Drew Brees leading the team on a last-minute drive to kick the game-winning field goal, improving its record to 2-0. Both wins have come against NFC South opposition.
What's been most impressive for the Saints thus far has been the play of their defense, as coordinator Rob Ryan has done a fantastic job. The Saints have only allowed 31 points in two games, this following a 2012 season that saw them possess statistically the worst defense in the history of the NFL.
Coach Sean Payton and company host the Cardinals on Sunday, and a win would move the Saints to 3-0 and put them in excellent position to compete for a playoff spot in the NFC.
The Texans have been searching for a capable No. 2 receiver to pair with star Andre Johnson for years, and it looks as if they've finally found their man in rookie DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins was the star of Houston's 30-24 overtime win against Tennessee that improved the team's record to 2-0. He caught seven passes for 117 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
It was another comeback victory for the Texans, and while they're surely happy to have won both games, it has to be slightly disconcerting for coach Gary Kubiak that his team couldn't put away two lesser teams (San Diego and Tennessee) earlier in the contests.
This Sunday, the Texans travel to Baltimore for a titanic early-season matchup with the Ravens. A win would move Houston to 3-0 and keep its Super Bowl odds very high.
After a tough season-opening loss in San Francisco, the Packers got back on track in a major way this past Sunday, destroying the Redskins 38-20 behind a ridiculous 480 passing yards from quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Running back James Starks played very well in relief of a concussed Eddie Lacy, rushing for 132 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. He became Green Bay's first 100-yard rusher in 45 games.
On Sunday, Rodgers and the Packers travel to the Queen City to battle the Bengals in a delicious matchup of high-powered offense (Green Bay) against stout defense (Cincinnati).
The winner of that contest will find itself with very good Super Bowl odds in next week's column.
Despite their 2-0 record, the Patriots have not looked like the elite team we've become accustomed to seeing. In fact, the argument could easily be constructed that if New England had played two playoff-caliber squads instead of the Bills and Jets, they'd currently be sitting at 0-2.
But you can only beat who's on your schedule, and the Patriots have done just that, albeit in unimpressive fashion.
In last Thursday night's 13-10 win over the Jets, quarterback Tom Brady might have set the record for most audible curses caught on camera. His frustration with his young receivers was palpable, as they dropped pass after pass.
Still, the Patriots will likely find themselves at 3-0 after Sunday, when they host the free-falling Buccaneers.
Last December 23, the San Francisco 49ers traveled to Seattle on Sunday Night Football and found themselves on the wrong end of a 42-13 whitewashing.
This past Sunday night, history repeated itself, with San Francisco turning in a grotesque effort at CenturyLink Field and getting crushed 29-3.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick had the worst game of his young career, completing just 13 of his 28 passes for 127 yards, zero touchdowns and three interceptions.
But even with the loss, Kaepernick and the 49ers will be just fine. They remain one of the best teams in the NFL, and they'll get their chance at revenge when they host Seattle in Week 14.
This week, the 49ers welcome Indianapolis to Candlestick Park, and they'll be looking to bounce back in a major way.
That's very, very bad news for the Colts.
The Seattle Seahawks laid their claim to "best team in the NFC" with their 29-3 home demolition of the 49ers, the reigning NFC champions. It was an absolute whitewashing that wasn't even as close as the score indicated.
Seattle is now 2-0 and will surely move to 3-0 after the Jaguars are peeled off the CenturyLink Field with a spatula this Sunday.
The scariest part for the teams that would challenge Seattle's NFC supremacy? Quarterback Russell Wilson has yet to truly get going on the campaign. He's thrown for 462 yards and two touchdowns, but the prevailing sense is that his best is yet to come.
That's a terrifying notion for the rest of the NFC.
The Denver Broncos followed up their Week 1 offensive blitzkrieg against the Ravens with an absolute evisceration of the Giants in Week 2's "Manning Bowl," with older brother Peyton out-dueling little brother Eli in a 41-23 Denver victory.
Through two games, the Broncos look like the clear-cut favorite to win the AFC. Manning has been sensational, playing at a cosmic level and making it look easy. He's the early front-runner for NFL MVP, and his magnificence has made many forget about the suspension of linebacker Von Miller, the team's best pass-rusher.
But the team isn't without concern, as a significant injury as hit the team. Left tackle Ryan Clady will miss the rest of the season after being placed on IR with a Lisfranc injury. Clady's importance to the team cannot be overstated; he is one of the best left tackles in the league and protected Manning's blind side in superb fashion.
Even without Clady, expect more Broncos dominance this Monday night when the team hosts Oakland. It should be yet another aerial assault conducted by the legendary Manning that results in a Denver triumph, moving the team to 3-0 and keeping it as one of the primary favorites to win Super Bowl XLVIII.