The NFL will lift out Week 3 with five undefeated teams. Within the NFC, the Cardinals, Panthers, and Rams are all undefeated. The Raiders and Broncos are unbeaten in the AFC.
A correct originate might perchance possibly appear cherish every team might perchance possibly perchance form, but historically starting 3-0 bodes effectively for a teams lengthy-term potentialities in the season. Everywhere in the last five years a entire of 25 teams had been undefeated by the shut of Week 3, with 18 of them making the playoffs by 300 and sixty five days’s quit. Four of them went on to seem in the Great Bowl. Out of doors of a totally weird 2016, in which five teams started 3-0, but most attention-grabbing one made the playoffs, the pattern is fairly fixed that starting solid manner ending solid.
Statistically speaking we’re going to discover two of the final five undefeated teams fail to see the playoffs. Let’s ruin it down and try to determine who it can possibly perchance be.
Week 1: 27-13 grab over Giants
Week 2: 23-13 grab over Jaguars
Week 3: 26-0 grab over Jets
Why the Broncos are contenders
It’s refined to name Denver a “shock” to this point, because they’ve beaten wicked teams they wish to have beaten. Nonetheless, inner of the raw outcomes there are signs of a team trending upwards in a colossal scheme.
Teddy Bridgewater is cementing himself as the team’s answer at quarterback and extra importantly he’s now not making errors. That is allowing a team, who frankly don’t have fairly tons of explosiveness on offense, to grind out wins. It’s a case of an offense now not screwing issues up for the protection, which is where the Broncos have genuinely excelled. The team ranks in the quit 5 of each defensive statistical class, and leads the NFL in stopping drives, with opponents most attention-grabbing scoring on 10.3 p.c of their possessions.
If this holds the Broncos will be playoff sure in the AFC West, one thing that no-one predicted.
Why the Broncos are pretenders
With out quiz Denver has had the softest cupcake originate to the 2021 season. All three opponents describe just a few of the most dysfunctional teams in the league, and outside of the blowout grab of the Jets, it’s now not cherish these had been exceptionally convincing wins.
When the mud settles you’d like a element of explosiveness to take dangle of games in the NFL in opposition to elite teams, and to this point the Broncos haven’t shown it. This has been a relaxing originate to the season, however the lack of colossal performs will originate to rear their head when up in opposition to teams who received’t crumble in opposition to Denver’s protection
Week 1: 38-13 grab over Titans
Week 2: 34-33 grab over Vikings
Week 3: 31-19 grab over Jaguars
Why the Cardinals are contenders
The Arizona offensive principles are effectively acknowledged, with Kyler Murray being the correct quarterback to fortunately throw 50 times a sport when asked. Clearly there’s a ton of firepower on this offense, with the Cardinals averaging 34 parts a sport, but this season they’ve added a wrinkle with a solid protection.
Because it stands the team is allowing 5.4 yards-per-play steady by both phases, correct for 12th in the NFL. That isn’t wholly grand in isolation, however the team played two very solid offensive teams in the most foremost two weeks of the season. Pair that with an offense in the quit 10 in both passing and dashing, and you might perchance just have got a recipe for success.
Why the Cardinals are pretenders
I don’t blame you for being angry with this team after the most foremost two weeks when they caught it to 2 teams that have legit playoff resumes, but that sport in Week 3 in opposition to the hapless Jaguars became some distance too shut for comfort.
There’s additionally a being concerned pattern that the explosive pass drag we saw in Week 1 is slowing down, and generating some distance less stress than they did in opposition to Tennessee. The quiz is whether this team has sufficient gasoline for the lengthy haul, or how they’ll take care of adversity when it strikes.
Verdict: CONTENDER (with a microscopic bit trepidation)
Week 1: 19-14 over Jets
Week 2: 26-7 over Saints
Week 3: 24-9 over Texans
Why the Panthers are contenders
I don’t mediate any individual anticipated the team’s protection to be this correct, even the most die-intelligent Panthers followers. Yes the expertise became there in the front seven, but 2021 has been the 300 and sixty five days it’s all meshed together. Carolina’s protection is damn come impenetrable, allowing factual 3.8 yards-per-play, and a paltry 36 first downs over the three games.
On the flip aspect you might perchance possibly perchance possibly just have got Sam Darnold, who is playing the best soccer of his career in his unusual dwelling and straight discovering a rapport with top receiver D.J. Moore. Darnold is much from taking on games himself, but he’s doing plenty below heart and when that’s supported by the protection you might perchance possibly perchance possibly just have got a recipe for success.
Why the Panthers are pretenders
Extra special cherish the Broncos, factor in at who they’ve played. That Week 2 grab over the Saints goes a lengthy scheme to rising a assertion, but that became additionally an injure-ravaged Fresh Orleans team the Panthers confronted.
The protection has been completely out of the ordinary, but it’s unrealistic to mediate this will possibly perchance just reduction — in particular in opposition to just a few of the offenses the Panthers are going by coming up. It’s been a hell of a originate for a team many anticipated to switch 5-12 on the season, but with key accidents to Christian McCaffery and Jaycee Horn it’s rising closer to the purpose where the clock strikes nighttime on this Cinderella sage.
Why the Raiders are contenders
Boasting the best offense in the NFL, Las Vegas is averaging 471 yards-per-sport on the relieve of Derek Carr, who has gone plump Great Saiyan on the season. Carr has already thrown for 1,200 yards this season, and we factual accomplished Week 3. That’s a breakneck tempo to retain, but he’s playing genuinely sizable soccer and keeping the Raiders competitive, even when their protection falters. Of direction, it helps must you might perchance possibly perchance possibly just have got as many athletic receivers as Vegas does, every of whom is able to ruin colossal good points on the tumble of a hat.
As time goes on the Steelers factor in worse, but beating the Ravens in Week 1 stays a giant assertion sport — and that slim grab over the Dolphins is historically a residing where the Raiders would tumble into a entice sport, but they averted it this time.
Why the Raiders are pretenders
Defensively the team is mediocre. Factual now that’s k for the reason that offense has been so correct, but it’s referring to to discover the team in the midst of the pack in pass protection, and backside third in drag protection.
That’s inserting scheme too unprecedented stress on Derek Carr and company, and will be one thing to seem at. Restful, I mediate there’s a spark to this team and to boot they’re sizzling on the just time. I’m purchasing in.
Week 1: 34-14 over Bears
Week 2: 27-24 over Colts
Week 3: 34-24 over Buccaneers
Why the Rams are contenders
The Rams took their already stellar playmaking protection and added Matthew Stafford to the varied aspect of the ball. It’s that straightforward. We talked in regards to the importance of explosiveness earlier with the Broncos, and that’s what Stafford is providing in spades over Jared Goff.
Probabilities are you’ll possibly perchance possibly argue that two of the teams they’ve played to this point have fallen off, but these are unruffled three wins over playoff teams a 300 and sixty five days in the past, including an anchoring grab over the Great Bowl champs that exhibits this season isn’t a flash in the pan.
The Rams are playing in a extremely tricky division, but just now they’re the class of the NFC West and compare favorably when it’s time for divisional games.
Why the Rams are pretenders
I don’t have a extremely correct answer right here. Whereas you’re going to nitpick you might perchance point out Stafford’s originate and have doubts whether he can retain his tempo, but there’s so unprecedented wiggle room right here that he can tumble off a microscopic bit and the Rams will unruffled be serious threats per week.
Can any of these teams lunge the entire scheme?
Statistically speaking there’s a 16 p.c likelihood indisputably the kind of teams will get the Great Bowl. If I needed to build money on it there’s most attention-grabbing one answer: The Los Angeles Rams.
This team isn’t some distance removed from making the colossal sport already, doing it in 2019 and I mediate there’s sufficient expertise to get the job carried out. It’s awful making a proclamation cherish that, but to this point the Rams are price it. They’re merely effect, a extremely, very correct soccer team.