NFL Week 3: Top 10 Teams

by Wayne Root

10. Seattle Seahawks (1-1): The Seahawks are never not going to Seahawks. Disappointing that they couldn’t close it out after having a 14-point lead at home early in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks squandered a 24-9 lead to a Titans team that is allergic to covering wide receivers past 10 yards. That’s a loss that could haunt Seattle two months from now. That was a brutal home loss to the Titans as the defense just fell apart in the second half.

 9. Denver Broncos (2-0): Playing the Jags is basically a free win for a lot of teams. Through two games, Teddy Bridgewater is 54-for-70 for 592 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, and the Broncos are 2-0. That’s why Steady Teddy is under center and Drew Lock is holding a clipboard. Teddy Bridgewater has played well in winning two on the road. They now get the Jets at home in a game they should win to get to 3-0.

 8. Baltimore Ravens (1-1): The Ravens hung tough and John Harbaugh’s aggressiveness gave his team an edge to squeak out a very big victory. Jackson finally got the “can’t beat Mahomes” monkey off his back. Well done. Lamar Jackson rebounded after a disastrous start and finally got that win against Patrick Mahomes. Jackson and the Ravens’ running game bulldozed the Chiefs’ defense to keep them from falling into an 0-2 hole. Don’t complain if Jackson and Mahomes meet again in January. That was an impressive victory over the Chiefs, a team that had their number in recent years. The offense looked great, but the defense needs to be better.

 7. Cleveland Browns (1-1): Baker Mayfield failed to complete just two of his 21 attempts in Week 2. One was a pick, which caused him to unwisely put his body at risk. Will be worth monitoring if his shoulder injury impacts him moving forward. Baker Mayfield is 40-fo-49 so far on the season. If it walks like a franchise QB and talks like a franchise QB, it’s probably a franchise QB. They found a way against the Texans, but it was clunky at times. They were in a close game until Tyrod Taylor went out. Losing Jarvis Landry for a bit will hurt the offense.

 6. Arizona Cardinals (2-0): Kyler Murray is balling out right now. He’s helped the Cards reach 72 points in two games, which ranks only behind the Bucs. Murray is in the MVP conversation early on. Kyler Murray (400 passing yards, four total touchdowns) is an early-season MVP candidate. They are 2-0, but they looked bad on defense in beating Minnesota. The offense bailed them out in a big way. Along with a missed field goal. 

 5. Las Vegas Raiders (2-0): Beating Baltimore at home before going to get a two-possession win in Pittsburgh is pretty legit. With Miami up next, the Raiders have a real chance to make it three wins in a row to open up the season. Derek Carr and Jon Gruden are firing on all cylinders, and Gus Bradley’s defense has looked competent through two weeks. It’s the first time the Raiders have opened 2-0 with wins over teams that were playoff teams in the previous season during the Super Bowl era. Hard to imagine a better start for the Silver and Black.  At 2-0, they are one of the surprise teams of the NFL. Derek Carr for MVP? He's off to a fast start.

 4. San Francisco 49ers (2-0): The 49ers are 2-0 but they didn’t look overly impressive in their Week 2 win over the Eagles. Jimmy Garoppolo left a lot of plays on the field and Philly suffered from self-inflicted wounds. It’s going to be time to go to Trey Lance at some point. Through two weeks, the 49ers have played 2.5 good quarters against a bad Lions team and have otherwise looked mediocre at best. Still, they head back to the Bay at 2-0 and have a lot of room for growth. But the improvement has to come quick with the Packers and Seahawks on deck. The defense did some good things, but it will be really challenged this week against the Packers.

 3. Kansas City Chiefs (1-1): The Chiefs only lost by one point and they had a chance to win it at the end before a fumble cost them. They’ll be fine since they have Patrick Mahomes but the defense is an issue with 65 points allowed. Only four teams have surrendered more. Patrick Mahomes finally threw an interception and lost a game in September. So, he can bleed. The Chiefs’ defense has some real issues, especially in the red zone, that can plague them in postseason. The defense has to be better than what it showed against the Ravens in the second half. Even Patrick Mahomes can't rescue them from that all the time. Now they get Justin Herbert this week.

 2. Los Angeles Rams (2-0): So far, so good with Stafford ranking third in the league in passer rating at 127.0. The clear second team in the NFC behind the Bucs. The Rams have taken care of Andy Dalton and Carson Wentz to open the season. Want to prove you’re for real? Here comes Tom Brady and the Bucs in Week 3. They are 2-0 after beating the Colts on the road, but now face a huge home game with the Bucs. This will be the first major test for Matt Stafford as quarterback of the Rams.

 1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-0): With nine touchdowns through his first two games, more records are not impossible. His 113.3 passer rating is currently only behind his career high of 117.2 from 2007. Gronk catch. Gronk score. Gronk spike. Gronk party with Tom. Tale as old as time. Gronk was asked about watching game film and he said; “I have Brady watch it for me and then he tells me who to block”. Tom Brady is on pace for 76 touchdown passes, an outrageous number that he won't sniff. The Tampa Bay offense is special right now. Great game this week against the LA Rams. 
 
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Teams knocking at the Top 10 door. 
 
11. Dallas Cowboys 
12. Los Angeles Chargers 
13. Buffalo Bills
14. Pittsburgh Steelers 
15. Tennessee Titans

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