1.) NY Giants (3-0) [no change]
Eli Manning is playing mistake-free football, and the defense stepped up huge against Tampa.
2.) Baltimore (3-0) [+1]
The defense clamped down, and the offense remained as potent as it showed in the last two weeks.
3.) NY Jets (3-0) [+1]
They came out with a win when most expected them to lose. If they needed a confidence boost, they just got it.
4.) New Orleans (3-0) [+1]
Going into Buffalo proved tougher than expected; offense wasn't a problem though, thanks to Pierre Thomas running it in the 2nd half.
5.) Minnesota (3-0) [+1]
Miracle play or not (I go with not; how many times has Favre made that throw?), Minnesota is deservedly 3-0.
6.) Indianapolis (3-0) [+1]
Two road games in a row? No problem. Peyton Manning and the offense shined as usual, and the pass rush was effective.
7.) Denver (3-0) [+1]
The biggest surprise at 3-0? I guess McDaniels knew what he was doing when he hired Mike Nolan.
8.) New England (2-1)
The Patriots rebounded by beating up on the Falcons.
9.) Philadelphia (2-1)
The Eagles crushed KC; Kevin Kolb proved to be a better-than-usual backup.
10.) Green Bay (2-1)
Aaron Rodgers passed and ran for TD's against St. Louis. Tougher opponent on hand this week, though.
A Look at Week 3:
Games were a bit more predictable in Week 3, but there were plenty of surprises nonetheless. I expected the Colts to win, but I didn't expect five TD's from Peyton Manning, or that moribund drive to end the game. Solid play around the league from the elite QB's and RB's produced a lot of scoring. Most winners had over 30 points, with notable under-30 winners the Lions, Cowboys, and Saints. The Lions won for the first time since 2007, but I don't attribute much to that. They were due, and they pulled it off against a weak opponent. The Redskins, on the other hand, look like they're in a world of trouble (as usual). Another surprise was Jacksonville's road win in Houston. After looking terrible last week against Arizona (at home, no less), they went on the road, turned Maurice Jones-Drew loose, and watched as he decimated the Texans' pathetic excuse for a defense. They hardly even needed the passing game.
A further recap of Week 3's best.
Atlanta (2) @ New England (unranked):
Whoops. I was wrong about this one; the Patriots defense stepped up, stopping the Falcons offense cold. Not only that, they exposed what might be a season-long weakness for the Falcons, the defensive line. Fred Taylor ran for 105 yards and a TD against that line, without standout DT Peria Jerry. This could continue as long as Jerry's out. We'll see how Matt Ryan overcomes this.
Tennessee (unranked) @ NY Jets (4):
The Jets had more trouble with Tennessee than I thought they would. At least I got this one right, though. People may look at this as a defensive team, but Mark Sanchez has plenty to do with their success.
NY Giants (1) @ Tampa Bay (unranked):
Indianapolis (7) @ Arizona (10):
Two potent offenses came in, but only one actually showed up. Indy's pass rush harassed Kurt Warner practically all night, forcing him to dink-and-dunk rather than throw it down the field to Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is still healthy (thank goodness), but he hasn't had a good game all season. On the other side, nothing affects Peyton Manning. He lost Marvin Harrison, Tony Dungy, and Anthony Gonzalez? No problem. He'll just hand it off to Joseph Addai or Donald Brown, and when that gets tiresome he'll throw it to Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, or new weapon-in-training Pierre Garcon. No problem.
San Francisco (9) @ Minnesota (6):
Not quite as much defense as I expected, nor as much RB chaos. Gore went out injured, and Adrian Peterson wasn't as effective as usual. At least it wasn't as bad as the last time he faced the 49ers.
The best games coming up next week.
NY Giants (1) @ Kansas City (unranked):
Baltimore (2) @ New England (8):
Defense, defense, defense...oh, wait. It's more like, Joe Flacco vs. Tom Brady in 12 rounds. Last team to get the ball wins.
NY Jets (3) @ New Orleans (4):
The best defense vs. the best offense.
Dallas (unranked) @ Denver (7):
A "surprise" 3-0 takes on a team that should be 3-0. Will Dallas get buried by Elvis Dumervil and the rest of the Denver defense?
Green Bay (10) @ Minnesota (5):
Monday Night showdown for the ages, and the reason Brett Favre came out of retirement to begin with.