Well, it was another exciting week of football. Perhaps the biggest upset was the Arizona Cardinals beating the Patriots, but let’s not forget that the Saints lost again and are sitting at 0-2.
In a continuation of our weekly series, both myself and fellow We Got This Covered writer Lester Wiltfong will be breaking it down to let you know who is the cream of the crop and who finds themselves lingering at the bottom of the barrel.
Last week Lester had the top three teams ranked as follows:
1. New England Patriots
2. Baltimore Ravens
3. San Francisco 49ers
Let me tell you that this time round, only one of those teams makes the top three.
Here it goes…
1. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are 2-0 and those two victories came against tough teams in Green Bay and Detroit. To beat two NFC North teams back to back is by no means an easy feat and is the main reason they are the cream of the crop this week.
Quarterback Alex Smith has looked solid and has completed 70 per cent of his passes over those two games, as well as throwing four touchdowns and no interceptions. While sometimes seen as a ‘game manager’, he has the type of receivers that now allow him to throw some deeper balls, something he should continue to use this to his advantage.
Frank Gore has averaged 100 yards a game rushing, with an excellent 6.1 yards per carry. The defense is looking as good as it did last year too, keeping opponents in total rushing of just 127 yards across the first two games of the season.
Make no mistake, the 49ers are for real and are many people’s favorites to make the Super bowl. They face the Minnesota Vikings next week and barring any disasters, this should be another win for them. Look for this team to possibly be in the top three for weeks to come.
2. Atlanta Falcons
Another team with 2 victories this season, the Falcons recently overcame Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos and are looking like one of the NFL’s better outfits.
Quarterback Matt Ryan completed 24 out of 36 passes against Denver for 219 yards and two touchdowns. In Roddy White and Julio Jones, Ryan has two of the league’s better receivers to throw to. While they haven’t been outstanding in terms of rushing the ball, that hasn’t seem to have hindered them.
Their defense has allowed just two passing touchdowns over two games, but they will need to get better at limiting opponent’s gains on the ground. Next week they face the San Diego Chargers, who also have two wins. The Chargers look set to have star running back Ryan Matthews back from injury, so this will be a tough matchup for a soaring Falcons team.
3. Houston Texans
Like the top two this week, the Texans also have two wins, most recently defeating a lacklustre Jacksonville Jaguars. Granted, their week one victory was against a weak Dolphins team (who have since improved). Overall there is no doubting the fact that the Texans have a very good offense, coupled with an excellent defense.
In Arian Foster and Ben Tate, Houston probably have the best running back tandem in the NFL. This week alone, those two combined for 184 yards rushing and three touchdowns. They give the Texans an edge in the running game department against most opponents.
The Texans passing game hasn’t been firing on all cylinders so far, with star receiver Andre Johnson being the only WR to catch a touchdown this year. That will come as a disappointment, and will need to change as the Texans begin to face stiffer competition.
Next week they travel to Denver in a bid for 3-0. The Broncos are a better team than they were last year and with Peyton Manning at the helm, they could potentially trip the Texans up. Houston’s defense is eighth in the league in rushing yards allowed, and first in terms of passing yards allowed. If the Broncos can get their passing game going, they could very well feature in this top three each and every week.
Well, what do you think? Disagree with this week’s cream of the crop? Let us know. And don’t forget to check Lester’s post to find out which three teams are keeping each other company this week at the bottom of the barrel.
See you next week!