Three weeks have gone by and I will take a stab and nailing down who I think is the NFL’s top football teams. There have been many surprises so far this year, with the Colts starting out terribly, and the Patriots losing horribly to Miami. Could this be a sign that there is a shift in dynasties soon to occur? One can only wonder…
1. Dallas Cowboys (3-0): I simply must put them up here, they are undefeated, and have beaten legitimate contenders in the Eagles and Packers. Neither games were blowouts by any means, but it is enough to earn them top ranking for this week.
2. New York Giants (3-0): The G-men barely crack the mark for 2nd, because they have had easy matchups the last two weeks in the Rams and Bengals. Struggling against Cincinnati almost made me drop them a spot, but they pulled through. After a bye week they face an injury filled team (Seahawks) and then two more walks in the park against Cleveland and San Francisco.
3. Denver Broncos (3-0): How good has Jay Cutler been looking this season? He is really stepping up his games and has a great group of receivers to throw to with Brandon Marshall, Tony Scheffler and the rookie Eddie Royal. The Broncos have plenty of weapons and know how to score, plus they have beaten the Chargers and Saints, two teams who I expect to be playoff teams.
4a. Tennessee Titans (3-0): This defense is looking to be extremely talented this year as long as they can stay away from injuries. In their first 3 games, they are only allowing 9.7 points per game. Granted two games were against the Bengals and Texans, but holding a solid Jacksonville team to 10 points is something to brag about. The running back tandem of LenDale White Chris Johnson is looking extremely impressive to go along with a great defense led by interceptions leader Cortland Finnegan.
4b. Buffalo Bills (3-0): I just was unable to choose between these two teams as they have both looked impressive in the first 3 weeks of the season. Trent Edwards has really stepped up his game and makes the Raiders question their decision of drafting JaMarcus Russell. Marshawn Lynch is holding down the running game while the defense has been holding their own against a few tough offenses.
6. Green Bay Packers (2-1): If cornerback Al Harris was not injured last week, the Packers would probably be at number 4 right now. However, the loss of their All Pro corner will leave a huge hole in the secondary of this impressive defense. Aaron Rodgers was also brought down to earth against the Cowboys but is still making the front office look good for ditching Favre. They lead the NFC North by beating their rival Vikings in week 1 and knocking down the Lions in Week 2. This is still looking to be a promising season for the Pack, as long as Rodgers keeps up his production.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (2-1): Two reasons why the Eagles are up here: the reincarnation of the 2004 Donovan McNabb, and the fact that they stayed with Dallas until the end in Week 2. Two reasons why they might not be here next week: An injury to the dynamic Brian Westbrook, and the fact that McNabb gets injured every year, it is only a matter of time. Showing they can play tough against a few of the best in the league (Cowboys, Steelers), proves the Eagles earned this spot.
8. San Diego Chargers (1-2): I know what you are thinking, how can I place a 1-2 team ahead of many teams with a better record, but let’s get serious, the chargers lost two games by a total of 3 points, one on a last second play, and another on a controversial call on the officials. Philip Rivers has stepped it up and LT scored twice against the Jets last week. Rivers was able to move down the field at will against the Jets, and with great patience. Point out that the Chargers will play the Raiders and the Dolphins in the next two weeks and San Diego fans should be licking their chops.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1): The Steelers are on thin ice at number 9. They have not really proven anything by stomping on the Texans and pulling off a small victory against the Browns. The Steelers were beat physically by the Eagles on Sunday, and if Big Ben continues to get hit that much (8 sacks), he will not be around much of the season. Roethisberger came out of the game with a sore hand to go along with a bum shoulder, and with running back Willie Parker is out for Monday’s game. This is not looking promising.
10. Minnesota Vikings (1-2): It was really tough to put this team at number 10, but they have had one of the tougher schedules in the NFL so far this year. New starter Gus Frerotte gave the Vikings passing game some life that was absent under Tavaris Jackson. Both the offensive and defensive lines dominate the games they play, so it is up to the secondary and wide receivers to step up and help them out. It doesn’t hurt to have Offensive Rookie of the Year Adrian Peterson in the rushing game either. There are many other teams that compete for my number 10 spot, but the Vikings need to prove they should be ranked this high, or they will slide down in a heartbeat.