WASHINGTON, D.C., September 25, 2013 — After a couple weeks of guessing when teams would regress, it is time to acknowledge the teams who improved and the teams that are just bad. Here are five things learned from Week 3 of the NFL season.
The Colts are not who we thought they were
By all accounts, this was the year the Colts were supposed to regress. They got lucky last year, won a bunch of close games and had more motivation than anyone else in the league; none of which is sustainable. Andrew Luck, however, just does not want to let that happen.
All but the most delirious of Colts fans had the Week 3 trip to San Francisco chalked up as a loss at the beginning of the season, but the Colts did not just win, they stomped Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick, holding them to a measly seven points.
The Colts might not have the same record they did last year, but they are definitely a better team, one nobody wants to see on their schedule come January.
The Bears are who we thought they were
Marc Trestman has helped Jay Cutler make better decisions in his first three games as head coach, but that has not necessarily lead to a more explosive offense.
Fortunately for the Bears, the defense is playing so well that it does not even matter yet.
Through three weeks, the Bears’ defense has scored as many touchdowns as both the Jaguars and the Buccaneers offenses. Devin Hester and the special teams unit are still so terrifying that opposing teams would rather squib kick and give up field position around the 30-yard line than give Hester a chance to break a big one.
The Bears’ offense is improving, but at a slow pace. If they can get their offense to be a little more reliable, the Bears could be one of the three best teams in the league.
Carson Palmer may not be good enough for Arizona
Bringing in Carson Palmer was supposed to help the abysmal Arizona offense catch up to their defense, but it has not worked out the way they planned.
Arizona is 25th in the league in points per game, weighing in under 19, and that is just not good enough in today’s NFL. The problem is compounded when you realize that the defense is yet to hold anyone to under 21 points.
Unless Carson Palmer can improve his play substantially, the Cardinals will not be close to beating the better teams of the NFC.
The Chiefs’ defense is phenomenal
The Kansas City Chiefs’ offense is good, they have not turned the ball over yet, but the defense is what stands out on this team.
Linebacker Justin Houston, 7.5 sacks through three games, is going to be mentioned alongside Von Miller, Aldon Smith and JJ Watt after this season as the premier defenders of this league. The defensive line, led by standout sophomore Dontari Poe, is disrupting pass plays as well as anyone ever has, and the entire secondary is playing well.
You want to see a team that could stop the Peyton Manning Train in 2013? Look no further than Kansas City, as this defense can stop anything.
The Jets have hope
The Jets are a bad team, but they are not hopeless.
Sitting at 2-1, the Jets have eked out a couple of close wins with rookie quarterback Geno Smith playing decent football, something that could not be said about the Jets’ old quarterback, Mark Sanchez.
If nothing else, this season is about seeing where New York is as a franchise in the eyes of the fans, and Geno Smith’s strong play (aside from the devastating fourth quarter against New England) means that the Jets might be able to use their future high draft picks on a strong supporting squad instead of reentering the nonstop search for the franchise quarterback.
To contact Nick Goralka, see above to send him an e-mail containing a question, comment, or scathing insult. His work appears in Alley-oops for Touchdowns! at the Washington Times Online.
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