The football went up a notch this week. The Falcons looked dominant, the AFC West is loaded, the Pats are definitely better than the Saints and the Seahawks offense is brutal. It’s too early to draw large conclusions, but each game gave us something to take away. The early season is a learning process–for the teams and making picks. Here’s what we learned this week…
Texans 13, Bengals 9
Texans > Bengals > Thursday Night Football (yuck)
Panthers 9, Bills 3
Carolina’s defense can be great if it stays healthy, the offense is already banged up and may not be that great healthy.
Buccaneers 29, Bears 7
The Winston-Evans combo and an electric defense makes Tampa Bay very dangerous, while Mike Glennon makes the Bears very worthless.
Steelers 26, Vikings 9
Case Keenum is bad at football.
Cardinals 16, Colts 13
Both these teams are in trouble, but the Colts really found a way to lose this one.
Patriots 36, Saints 20
These teams are going opposite directions with aging quarterbacks, reminding us how the franchise as an organization makes such a huge difference (uh…Tom Brady helps too).
Ravens 24, Browns 10
These teams seem pretty set in their identity–the Ravens as a dominant defense and just enough offense and the Browns as improving, but not quite ready.
Chiefs 27, Eagles 20
Kansas City is overwhelmingly balanced and just good.
Titans 37, Jaguars 16
The Jaguars have to get a lead early and hang on and Tennessee needs to find ways to get their weapons going earlier.
Raiders 45, Jets 20
They Jets were more feisty than expected, but the Raiders offense is going to be hard to stop for anybody.
Dolphins 19, Chargers 17
The Chargers are so snake bit that even Jay Cutler is coming back against them.
Broncos 42, Cowboys 17
Trevor Siemian has been the biggest surprise in the NFL, but Denvers defense hasn’t slipped much at all without Wade Philips.
Seahawks 12, 49ers 9
The 49ers are terrible (except Carlos Hyde), which should terrify Seahawks fans.
Redskins 27, Rams 20
Neither of these teams wanted this game, but Washington may have found a better formula in leaning less on Cousins and more on the ground game.
Falcons 34, Packers 23
Green Bay was very banged up, but the Falcons continue to prove the doubters (me included) wrong.
Lions 24, Giants 10
We’ll learn more about the Lions next week against Atlanta, but we know the Giants offense is a mess.