Well, the referees are back in full effect and the season is heading onto its second quarter. We have already seen some crazy upsets and some teams are playing better football than we expected, while others are playing much worse. So who are this week’s cream of the crop?
Last week, my fellow We Got This Covered writer, Lester Wiltfong had them ranked as follows:
1. Atlanta Falcons
2. Houston Texans
3. San Francisco 49ers
Let’s see if anyone has dropped out of that list, or maybe another team has found themselves moving into this week’s top three.
Here we go with my NFL cream of the crop heading into week five.
1. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are holding onto the top spot for the second week in a row. This past Sunday they came out on top in a close game against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers to take their record to 4-0 for the year.
Quarterback Matt Ryan is playing very well and is leading the NFL with a passer rating of 112.1. Surprisingly, their running game has not been great though. They are 17th in the NFL in rushing yards, and hope to see more production out of Michael Turner as they move forward.
They have one of the best receiving corps in the league with wide receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, and veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez still playing at a high enough level.
Next week sees them travel to Washington in a game that they should be favorites in. Robert Griffin has looked good but Washington’s defense won’t be able to handle the Falcon’s firepower.
Playing as they are right now, look for Atlanta to become mainstays in this top three.
2. Arizona Cardinals
Last week, Lester was close to putting them into the top three, but didn’t quite believe they were ready for the big time. Well, even though they only beat Miami this week, who are improving but aren’t one of the better NFL teams, the Cardinals make it into the cream of the crop this time around.
Their defense is outstanding. They are fifth in the league with 61 points allowed over four games and have some of the best defensive players in the NFL.
Quarterback Kevin Kolb, who looked so bad in preseason has had a pretty stellar year so far, throwing seven touchdowns and just two interceptions, racking up a 62.6 per cent completion percentage.
Like the Falcons, they have yet to suffer a loss this season, beating the Seahawks, Patriots, Eagles and the Dolphins. Yes, the wins against Seattle and New England were close, but a win is a win, and week after week Arizona seem to find a way to do just that.
They make the trip to St. Louis next week, and although it could be a tough one, I can see them being 5-0 when that match draws to a close.
Their schedule undoubtedly gets tougher sown the stretch, so it remains to be seen whether they can keep up their good form, but for now they are one of the best teams in the NFL. Fact.
3. Houston Texans
Moving down one spot this week to make way for the Cardinals, the Texans are playing really good football which sees them sitting at 4-0 after beating the Tennessee Titans this past Sunday.
Only the Patriots have averaged more points per game than the Texans, and quarterback Matt Schaub is putting together a nice campaign, throwing seven touchdowns and currently possessing a 105.3 passer rating. Running back Arian Foster remains one of the NFL’s elite, rushing a league leading 103 times for 380 yards. And while his rushing average is not great at 3.7 yards per carry, he has found the end zone four times, which puts him in a three-way tie for first place.
Defensively the Texans are good, and are second in the league with just 273 yards allowed per game, and first with an average of just 14 points given up each game. It makes them a tough team to score points against, which makes them favourites in a lot of games.
After facing a lacklustre New York Jets team next week, they begin to face some stiffer opposition, starting with the Green Bay Packers, followed by the Baltimore Ravens.
But for the moment, they are most definitely deserving of their place in the top three.
Make sure you check out Lester Witfong’s post this week to find out which teams have sunk to the bottom of the barrel. Until next time, enjoy the games!