These NFL teams are rolling, and the locomotive isn't stopping anytime soon.
The first three weeks have transpired smoothly for these three squads that enter Sunday at a combined 8-1. While the Indianapolis Colts have a loss to their tally, they're riding high after a demonstrative victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
With great results come greater expectations, creating a feat that a letdown is on the horizon. Nope, at least not this weekend. Nothing should stop these clubs from cruising to another victory on Sunday.
|Time (ET)||Away Team||Home Team||Prediction|
|8:25 p.m. (Thur.)||San Francisco 49ers||St. Louis Rams||49ers|
|1 p.m.||Baltimore Ravens||Buffalo Bills||Ravens|
|1 p.m.||Arizona Cardinals||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Buccaneers|
|1 p.m.||Pittsburgh Steelers||Minnesota Vikings (at Wembley Stadium, London)||Steelers|
|1 p.m.||New York Giants||Kansas City Chiefs||Chiefs|
|1 p.m.||Indianapolis Colts||Jacksonville Jaguars||Colts|
|1 p.m.||Seattle Seahawks||Houston Texans||Seahawks|
|1 p.m.||Cincinnati Bengals||Cleveland Browns||Bengals|
|1 p.m.||Chicago Bears||Detroit Lions||Bears|
|4:05 p.m.||New York Jets||Tennessee Titans||Titans|
|4:25 p.m.||Washington Redskins||Oakland Raiders||Redskins|
|4:25 p.m.||Philadelphia Eagles||Denver Broncos||Broncos|
|4:25 p.m.||Dallas Cowboys||San Diego Chargers||Cowboys|
|8:30 p.m.||New England Patriots||Atlanta Falcons||Patriots|
|8:40 p.m. (Monday)||Miami Dolphins||New Orleans Saints||Saints|
Kansas City Chiefs (vs. New York Giants)
Believe in the Chiefs yet?
They rattled a sizzling Michael Vick during the Thursday night display, holding him to 13 interceptions while picking him off twice in a 26-16 victory. At 3-0, the Chiefs show no signs of slowing down any time soon.
One of the NFL's finest defenses is witnessing another star blossom. Justin Houston recorded 4.5 sacks to increase his league-leading total to seven to give the Chiefs a deadly linebacker unit. They're all menacingly rubbing their fingertips Mr. Burns style before facing the Giants.
Offered no protection at all, Eli Manning was sacked six times in the first half of last week's 38-0 debacle against the Carolina Panthers. New York's minus-nine turnover differential also more than doubles that of the next-worst club (San Francisco at minus-four).
With Jason Pierre-Paul clearly not at full strength, the Giants have only recorded three sacks, so Alex Smith should have all day to pick apart a depleted secondary that has already surrendered seven passing touchdowns. The Chiefs will march to 4-0 while the G-Men plummet further at 0-4.
Prediction: Chiefs 31, Giants 17
Indianapolis Colts (at Jacksonville Jaguars)
This is half praise of the Colts' performance last Sunday and half just picking the team facing the Jaguars.
After losing to the Miami Dolphins in Week 2, all the concerns of the Colts regressing to the mean seemed to have bubbled to the surface. Andrew Luck is good, but he can't keep saving game after game late in the fourth quarter. Eventually they're going to drop some of those close calls.
Will the Indianapols Colts make the playoffs this year?
So despite San Francisco swallowing a tough defeat of its own the previous week, Indianapolis looked primed to slip to 1-2 and begin its trip back to normalcy.
Then the Colts pulled a dominant run game out of their backside to demolish the 49ers, 27-7.
Credit the Trent Richardson acquisition all you want, but he only rushed for 35 yards during his team debut. It was instead the man who was there all along, Ahmad Bradshaw, who led his team to victory with 95 rushing yards on 19 carries. Maybe they should have given Bradshaw the ball before trading a first-round pick for another running back.
While Jacksonville's defense isn't half bad, the atrocious offense has averaged 230.3 total yards and 9.3 points per game. Indianapolis will take care of business before entering a brutal patch in its schedule that sees Seattle and Denver come to town in October.
Prediction: Colts 23, Jaguars 10
Denver Broncos (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)
Peyton Manning. What else is there to say?
The washed-up, 37-year-old geezer who was supposed to have nothing left in the tank because he didn't carry everyone to fantasy championships last December is playing the best football anybody has ever played.
Through three incredible games, Manning has completed 73 percent of his passes for 1,143 yards, 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions. ESPN Stats & Info's Twitter account put that magnified touchdown total into perspective.
Peyton Manning has 12 TD passes this season. No other team has more than 12 TOTAL TD in 2013 #BookofManning— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 25, 2013
Manning is on pace to finish the season with 6,096 yards and 64 touchdowns, which is of course an unsustainable clip for any mortal. He has to slow down eventually, but the Eagles are not the team to stop him.
Philadelphia ranks 29th in passing yards allowed, and that's against Robert Griffin III in his first game back from a torn ACL, Philip Rivers and Alex Smith. Its shallow secondary won't keep up with Denver's multitude of top receivers.
Expect another eye-popping stat line from Manning and the Broncos this weekend.
Prediction: Broncos 40, Eagles 27