1. Miami Dolphins
We should have known that a team would actually be able to score at home after averaging 30 points and 462.5 yards of offense per game on the road. Still, 70 points? 726 yards, too? Just think of what the Dolphins could have accomplished if Jaylen Waddle had been present. It now appears downright heroic how New England held Miami to 389 yards and 24 points in Week 2. Of course, De’Von Achane was hardly visible to the Pats in that game. On Sunday, the rookie back jumped into a prominent position and took off. More speed is exactly what this offense needs. The five fastest individual speeds on a single play this season have been recorded by Dolphins players, with Tyreek Hill accounting for three of them, Achane for one, and Raheem Mostert for the other.
2. S.F. 49ers
The Giants reportedly entered Thursday’s game with the intention of blitzing Brock Purdy to death, and they undoubtedly succeeded in doing that. Early on, Purdy struggled, but as the defense closed in quickly, he became much more confident and made several huge throws outside the numbers. Any team trying to play the Niners with a similar defensive strategy runs the risk of getting destroyed. All of it happened quickly and without Brandon Aiyuk, who was injured. With the exception of 2020, this team currently seems to be on the same trajectory as it was in three of the previous four seasons. The upcoming portion of the schedule—which features the unexpectedly fired-up Cardinals and the revitalized Browns—is more intriguing than it first appeared, but three of the following five games are played at home before the Week 9 bye. Free NFL picks commented that “Everything is fine”.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
After losing in Week 1 and winning in Week 2 by a meat grinder, the Chiefs needed a performance like the one they had on Sunday, when they easily defeated the weak Bears. The run game looked better than it had since the Super Bowl, and Patrick Mahomes distributed the ball like candy. The defense, too! The Chiefs have given up four touchdowns so far this season, including one pick-six in Week 1 and one late-game score on Sunday. Even though Andy Reid believes the officials need to tone it down a bit on his new right tackle, you’d like to see the receivers continue to perform well. Additionally, Jawaan Taylor’s struggles are worrisome. However, this football team is still fairly complete and capable of clearing the clock almost any given week.
4. Philadelphia Eagles
In the closing seconds of Philadelphia’s victory on Monday Night Football, Joe Buck said something I really like: “The Eagles have shown a lot of what they can do, but not all of it.” That, in my opinion, sums up Philadelphia’s previous two games: The offensive improvements were evident, but even after two robust, successful games, more could still be done. If there was ever a concern there, it was addressed against the Buccaneers, and A.J. Brown excelled in a prominent role. However, the Eagles’ ineffectiveness in the red zone introduced a new wrinkle; you’d really like to see Nick Sirianni use a little more imagination there rather than having them try to force their way into the end zone. Overall though, they’re starting to take shape.
5. Buffalo Bills
The Bills put on a really impressive statement performance, dominating previously unbeaten Washington for four quarters, even though it seemed to get lost in the Sunday shuffle (possibly because people hadn’t respected what the Commanders accomplished earlier this season). The Commanders’ offensive line was outmatched by Buffalo’s defensive line, which applied pressure to nearly two-thirds of the pass plays without a blitz. As a result of the Bills’ offensive line’s dominance, Josh Allen primarily had clean pockets. However, Allen’s ability to take slides and better protect the ball as a scrambler may have been the most significant improvement. The Bills are very difficult to defeat if they play this well in all three phases. Week 1 seems like a long time ago.