Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season is officially in the books. Sixteen teams logged wins. Sixteen others fell short. But what did we learn about each of the 32 after another week of action? We're so glad you asked. As Week 4 draws near, here's a look at one thing we took away from each team thanks to the latest weekend of football:
After trading Julio Jones this offseason, new coach Arthur Smith apparently decided that Cordarrelle Patterson is the offensive centerpiece. He's getting touches all over the place for maybe one of the worst teams in the NFL.
While Lamar Jackson can never be counted out, their passing offense remains a roller coaster. Jackson deserves some blame, but so do his drop-happy receivers, who nearly cost Baltimore a layup against Detroit.
Despite an uneven start to the season, there's no present reason to worry about Josh Allen. Against Washington's supposedly stingy defense, he lit it up through the air.
For all the promise shown by Sam Darnold and a young defense, they're going to need to learn to win without Christian McCaffrey. Not just because the star back is hurt now, but because his track record indicates he might get hurt again.
Justin Fields is not enough. To save their flailing offense, that is. Matt Nagy just can't get this thing right, and it doesn't help he's still deploying a subpar unit in the trenches.
Even after slipping up against the Bears, they're gonna be competitive all year. They licked their chops against the Steelers' line and then did their job, with Joe Burrow rebounding on the other side.
After three weeks, they're the class of the AFC North. That can change, of course! But right now, they're balanced across the board, whereas the Ravens and Bengals are uneven and the Steelers look diminished.
They are definitely the NFC East favorites. Their home opener against the Eagles couldn't have gone much better, and Dak Prescott still looks silky smooth coming off the injuries.
This could sound like a slight, but it's not: You can count on them to beat the bad teams. Look, Teddy Bridgewater is still hot, and the defense did fine without Bradley Chubb, but they've owned an easy schedule to start.
Not that anyone really thought otherwise, but this isn't their year. Justin Tucker hitting a 66-yard walk-off field goal to send you to 0-3 despite hard-fought efforts to open the season? Check back in 2022. In all seriousness, they've been competitive from the jump.
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Aaron Rodgers isn't just fine; he's back in the MVP conversation. Yes, we're going there. The guy has looked darn close to 2020 form the past two weeks in prime time, and suddenly Green Bay is back as the clear NFC North favorite.
Davis Mills actually looked decent in his first career start at QB, all things considered, but this staff doesn't seem equipped to handle his emergency role filling in for Tyrod Taylor. Instead of letting him show off his arm in Week 3, they kept feeding their uninspiring running back rotation against the Panthers' brick-wall defense.
If it wasn't clear already, Frank Reich's entire offense is a mess. Injuries are to blame, but there are so many other factors here. Three games in, and the Carson Wentz gamble has paid zero dividends, for a variety of reasons.
Trevor Lawrence still isn't seeing the game at NFL speed. And he can't be fully faulted for that, but it's a reality, as the seven picks through three games confirms.
Don't mistake this for hyperbolic criticism, because he remains the NFL's top talent at the position, but Patrick Mahomes might need to cut back on the freestyling. He's thrown some foolish balls while trying to be acrobatic in two straight weeks.
They've still got to prove themselves late in the year, but right now, they might be the toughest team in the NFL. Seriously. From Derek Carr to the receiving corps to the defense, they've bent but never broken this year.
Good news for Justin Herbert, as has been evident in their games: Mike Williams is fully alive out wide. Talk about a killer stretch to open the year in what figures to be a dangerous offense all year.
We already knew after two games Matthew Stafford was bound to enter awards talk playing under Sean McVay, but Week 3 had a surprise revelation: DeSean Jackson is still an elite weapon, giving L.A. yet another toy to deploy.
It was overlooked because of their 0-2 start, but Kirk Cousins is absolutely dealing. The Vikings have been dangerous through the air all year, in large part because of Cousins' touch and turnover-free play.
He's still on the right trajectory, but Mac Jones can't force deep shots. The Pats seemed to make a concerted effort to hit downfield throws against the Saints, but in the process saw Jones' accuracy plummet and run game abandoned.
Jameis Winston was back on the right track, but the biggest takeaway probably lies on the other side of the ball, where the defense looks like a real strength. They were active, confident and around the ball against New England.
Saquon Barkley's involvement doesn't change the fact that their offense remains one of the NFL's worst. They legitimately face a potential 0-10 start, and that is not a joke.
Speaking of bad offenses, this staff rivals the Giants for the worst in the game. Where is the innovation to help offset a porous O-line or to, you know, relieve the pressure on the rookie QB you drafted to replace the other QB ruined in this city?
Despite a flashy Week 1 and competitive Week 2, the jury is still out on their QB-HC duo. Both Jalen Hurts and Nick Sirianni struggled mightily to start Week 3's blowout prime-time loss to Dallas.
Ben Roethlisberger looks older by the week, and if that doesn't change soon, they might be the worst team in the division. Easy to say after the loss to Cincy, perhaps, but what are they offering besides Najee Harris and a few standout defenders?
Despite the on-paper success -- a perfect record and perfectly passable numbers -- Jimmy Garoppolo is slowly threatening to force Kyle Shanahan's hand at QB. He's missing way too many routine plays, and Trey Lance can expand their offense.
As long as Russell Wilson is on the field, they're going to be competitive, but the defense is a real issue, from front to back. Either they're gonna put even more pressure on Wilson to score, or they need to seek outside solutions.
They need the run game. Not always, but sometimes. Just look at what happened against the Rams, with Tom Brady passing aplenty but struggling to match L.A.'s pace with the Rams keying in on Tampa Bay's one-dimensional attack.
Derrick Henry can carry their offense far, but they need more from their wide receivers. A.J. Brown is banged up now, but between he and Julio Jones, Tennessee deserves more bang for its buck out wide.
Washington Football Team
Their vaunted defensive front might be overrated. Not because it's bad, but because it's sorely lacked production during a 1-2 start. If they're gonna win games with backup-caliber QBs, they're gonna need much more in the trenches.
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