NFL Cream Of The Crop – Week #4

Oh yeah, this is going to be a fun NFL season.

Forget the fact the replacement refs are borderline goofballs and we never know what we’ll get from game to game with these guys, but so far the saying, ‘On any given Sunday’ really holds true. For the second week in a row our top team tastes defeat, and I can’t even give my colleague Dave Gilbert any grief because I would have had the 49ers on top too.

In case you’re new to this series, each week Mr. Gilbert and myself will be taking alternating looks at the top 3 teams in the NFL with our Cream Of The Crop series and worst 3 teams in our Bottom Of The Barrel series.

As you can see, it’s my turn for the top 3, so here’s a recap on how Dave saw it last week.

1. San Francisco 49ers
2. Atlanta Falcons
3. Houston Texans

And here’s my Cream Of The Crop for week 4;

1. Atlanta Falcons

The 3-0 Falcons had an impressive win in week 3. Going across country and knocking off the San Diego Chargers 27-3 shows they have a complete team. Their talented offense was never in question, but their defense was thought to be suspect, but that all changed this week. Atlanta’s opportunistic defense already has 7 sacks, 7 interceptions, and 4 fumble recoveries through 3 games.

Heady QB Matt Ryan leads an explosive offense full of play makers, and with very winnable games on tap the next few weeks Atlanta may remain on top.

2. Houston Texans

The Denver Broncos tried to knock Texans QB Matt Schaub out of the game, but they only managed to knock off a small portion of his ear. Yeah, that really happened. The Texans are also undefeated in the young season, and they too look like they’ll be in it for the long haul. As usual their aggressive defense is solid, and the offense has really gelled the last couple games.

Their running game is scary good, with Arian Foster and Ben Tate running behind perhaps the best zone blocking offensive line in the NFL today. Also, the aforementioned Schaub just went for 4 passing touchdowns against the Broncos.

3. San Francisco 49ers

Surprised? So was I, but not because I left off the 3rd and final undefeated team remaining in the NFL, the Arizona Cardinals. I’m still not sold on them being Cream Of The Crop material, but I was real close to putting the Baltimore Ravens in this spot. I figure I’d give the 49ers the benefit of the doubt though after losing to the Vikings in Minnesota by a score of 24-13.

San Fran uncharacteristically gave up 146 yards rushing, including a TD and 33 yards by Vikings QB Christian Ponder. The 49ers had 3 turnovers, and they were never able to take the boisterous Minnesota crowd out of the game.

If they bounce back next week in N.Y. against the Jets, 49er fans will quickly forget about the week 3 loss. If they lose, not only will panic set in around the Bay area, but they’ll drop off our list too.

Be sure to check out Dave Gilbert’s take on the 3 worst teams in the National Football League in his Bottom Of The Barrel.