The NFL's Sudden Surprise: Predictions for the Remaining 3-0 Teams This Season
If you thought seeing Donovan McNabb in Washington Redskins burgundy was odd entering the 2010 NFL season, it is more than likely that you were blown out of the water at the sight of the 3-0 Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears this season.
Just like every fan these days, I too like to lay out my predictions for the upcoming year. However, although the Steelers, Chiefs, and Bears weren't the bottom dwellers in terms of favoritism, not many people had picked them to be undefeated at this point in time.
But here we stand three weeks in, and three of the league's most questionable teams are shining right now above what looked to be sure Super Bowl favorites a month ago.
Of course, it could be said that it is only early days in the season, yet at the same time, a worthy question could be put forward as to how these teams will fare as the season draws on.
So which of these NFL standouts is destined to go all the way? And better yet, which teams are set to collapse and become the ultimate fluke of the 2010 season? It's an arguable call to make, but here's a look at some predictions for all three teams.
Kansas City Chiefs
From the back pages of the league to the very front, the Kansas City Chiefs have left very little to the imagination this season, managing to put all of their issues behind them, and dominate their way to an undefeated record.
As it stands, this is very promising for Kansas City. It seems like forever since the Chiefs have started this well, and for once Arrowhead Stadium is pumping for all the right reasons.
However, as much as the Chiefs are enjoying their new status, one opinion has lingered with the team throughout the past two weeks, and that opinion is one of the team being nothing but a mere fluke.
So what's the answer to this opinion?
Well, chances are the Chiefs are going to lose some games in the future, but at the same time, you don't roll over San Diego and San Francisco with a bit of luck.
More importantly, the Chiefs' play on the field has also been up to par. For a struggling team to rank 11th in points scored, and first against the run in the league is far from just impressive, considering how poor this team's defense looked a season ago prior to the NFL Draft.
Going forward, it's a tough task to predict how the Chiefs will fare. They do have many key games ahead, and as we all know, San Diego are known for looking utterly hopeless in the beginning, only to strive forward and clinch the playoffs with ease.
Games of note include at Indianapolis, at Houston, at Denver and vs. Arizona, all of which occur within the next six weeks.
Quarterback Matt Cassel has 494 yards and four touchdowns on the year, and if he can find rookie tight end Tony Moeaki like he did against San Francisco last week, the Chiefs can really make a statement in the league.
Final Prediction: Wild-card Berth
Give Chicago credit, the Bears have really covered up any issues the team has right now, with great quarterback play, and more importantly a 3-0 record.
In the past three weeks Chicago have managed to knock off three of the league's tougher teams. Dallas was no easy task, and even though the Lions are winless, their determination right now says a lot in regards to their character.
However, aside from the Bears' first two wins, their victory over division rival Green Bay was perhaps the sweetest. From the beginning, it looked to be yet another classic Bears vs. Packers fairytale that sees Jay Cutler collapse early, yet somehow the team managed to capitalize on Green Bay's almost humorous mistakes, and kick a last-second field goal to win the game.
So what has gotten it done on the field for the Monsters of the Midway?
Easy...hard work. Jay Cutler is now close to the 1000 yard mark with 870 yards and 6 touchdowns on the year, and Chicago's 11th rank passing yard offense has been the standout this season.
With this in mind though, let's not forget Matt Forte's efforts, considering that he has developed into such a sturdy rusher and receiver in such little time.
As for the big games that await Chicago, the likes of division rivalries will always be a test. Aside from those tough games though, the Bears meet Miami, Philadelphia, New England, and the New York Jets, all in the near future.
Some may say Jay Cutler only plays well when winning, and Steve Young's theory is very much true. At the same time, the Bears also have a lot of questions to answer, and may be far from the best team in the NFC, despite how pretty their record looks.
Still, 3-0 counts for something, and Chicago's future depends on Jay Cutler's shoulders.
Final Prediction: Second seed in the NFC North
Maybe it's just me, but don't the Steelers have that old-school winning feel about them once again this year? The team is playing well, the wins are piling up, and as we all know, when victory is seen in Pittsburgh it is often hard to stop the freight train.
For all of the Steelers' worrying, the very best outcome has been achieved. Even without Ben Roethlisberger the Pittsburgh offense has looked scary good, and you only have to look at Rashard Mendenhall's 143-yard and 1-touchdown effort against Tampa Bay last week to realize that.
But as exciting as Pittsburgh offensive game has been, their defense appears to be back to it's very best.
Yes, Troy Polamalu is healthy again, something the Steelers weren't accustomed to last season, but considering the team ranks third overall in rush yards, the modern-day Steel Curtain is starting to form.
Like already mentioned, this Steelers team is dangerous when the ball starts rolling. Ben Roethlisberger returns in two weeks, and although we know what we are getting from No. 7, it will be interesting to see how impressive Pittsburgh looks when their main man is back in town.
Unfortunately for the Steelers, the schedule isn't too kind to them in the coming months, seeing as though the Baltimore Ravens arrive at Heinz Field this week, followed by games at Miami, New Orleans, and Cincinnati in following weeks.
It's fair to say the Steelers are the best-looking undefeated team, if not the best-looking AFC team right now. Houston and Indianapolis, of course, make their own cases heard, but their record says very differently.
Final Prediction: Win AFC North
It's unlikely all three of these teams will stay unbeaten much longer, but what a story it has been.
On one hand you have the Cinderella story in the Kansas City Chiefs, while on the other you have the Chicago Bears return to the top, and the typical Steelers way of winning.
Stay tuned for a show; every one of these teams has knocked the socks off the NFL world in the past three weeks, and they can continue to do so if all things go to plan.
They say what goes up must come down, and that may be the case for all of these teams. Chances are though, at least one will continue their dominance in weeks ahead.
Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters. Ryan is also a contributing writer for Detroit Lions Talk, Gack Sports and Generation Y Sports. Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.
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