What a difference a week makes. The NFL season is a roller coaster ride of emotions. One week you’re on top, the next week you’re on bottom.
The New York Giants were on top of the world after a 2-0 start. Their defense was dominant, and the offense was potent; however, after a loss to the previously 0-2 Washington Redskins, the Giants are licking their wounds.
The Buffalo Bills were an abysmal 0-2 with a ton of scrutiny surrounding head coach Rex Ryan but rallied to beat the brakes off of an Arizona Cardinals team who many think is a legitimate Super Bowl contender.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were 2-0 after dominating their opponents with an electric passing attack and better-than-average defensive play. Yet, they got curb stomped by the Philadelphia Eagles, who were also undefeated but on the backs of beating the winless Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears.
While some happenings may have changed our impressions of certain teams or players, other performances further engrained our thoughts and beliefs.
Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz continues his onslaught on the NFL. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott continues to prove every NFL team wrong for letting him fall to the fourth round. And the Minnesota Vikings’ defense continues to dominate opposing foes no matter how talented they appear to be.
Will these trends continue? Or will they just be blips on the radar? We delve into it all in the Week 3 edition of “Impressed, Depressed and Dismissed.”
IMPRESSED: Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz
It’s been hard to keep Prescott and Wentz from this slot during the first two weeks of the NFL season, but they’re impossible to ignore this week.
The Eagles signal caller sliced and diced his way through a good Steelers defense, and he looked incredible doing it. Wentz was able to utilize fantastic pocket mobility and incredible accuracy to hit receivers all day. Furthermore, his intelligence really stands out as he is routinely making checks at the line of scrimmage and reading defenses to perfection.
In Dallas, Prescott has been almost as good. He is a bit better runner than Wentz, and he has made the Cowboys forget about their backup quarterback woes from a year ago. Prescott’s poise in the pocket and awareness of the bodies around is what really stands out from his performances.
Most importantly, both quarterbacks have done an incredible job of not making big mistakes. Neither has turned the ball over yet this season, which is fantastic for any quarterback, let alone a couple of rookies.
DEPRESSED: Jacksonville Jaguars
During the offseason, the Jacksonville Jaguars were a trending pick to be a surprise playoff team out of the AFC. They appeared to strengthen their team with the additions of Kelvin Beachum, Malik Jackson, Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack. Blake Bortles was supposed to take the next step, and this was finally the year that head coach Gus Bradley would break through in Jacksonville.
Well, that was fun while it lasted right?
While Ramsey has played well at cornerback and Jackson has acquitted himself well on the interior defensive line; Beachum is dealing with a concussion, Jack barely sniffs the field despite being the most gifted linebacker on the roster and Bortles is playing extremely poor.
Unfortunately for Bradley, this could be signaling the end of his run in Jacksonville as the front office has likely run out of excuses for keeping him around. Unless things turn around, and they don’t look they will, Bradley will likely be gone at season’s end.
DISMISSED: Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals Week 3 troubles
The Steelers and Cardinals were embarrassed by their respective opponents in Week 3; however, don’t expect it to continue, as both teams are serious Super Bowl contenders.
The Steelers just happened to lay an egg versus a hungry Eagles team. With Le’Veon Bell returning and the continued acclimation of Markus Wheaton, the Steelers should return to their Week 1 and 2 form in short order.
The Cardinals fell victim to the cross-country road trip and early game trap that gobbles up almost every west-coast team. At 1-2, the Cardinals need to get things right in a hurry, but it isn’t time to hit the panic button yet. They have very winnable games in the next three before taking on the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 23.
While each performed poorly in Week 3, expect them to return to form and make their way to the playoffs once again. Making Week 3’s debacle a distant afterthought.