NFL Week Three Takeaways
What we’ve learned after a third slate of games
Week three of the NFL season is in the books. It was an action-packed day of games, so let’s not waste any time. Below are my three biggest storylines after this past Sunday.
Chicago’s offense is in trouble
It’s tough to watch the Chicago Bears play football, especially on offense. Chicago currently sits with a record of 1–2 on the season, and things don’t look like they’ll improve any time soon. The Bears are coming off a 26–6 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Now losses will certainly happen to good teams like Cleveland. The problem is and has been this entire season, Chicago’s offense.
With Andy Dalton out, the Bears sent out rookie Justin Fields to make his first start. The result? Miserable at best. Chicago as a team, finished with 47 total yards on offense. They also finished with a whopping one passing yard. Fields did technically have 68 passing yards, but yardage taken on sacks decreases the team total.
I also am not putting a ton of blame on Fields either. Obviously, you would like to see your QB throw for more than 68 yards in a game. However, you also would like to see your QB have time to throw, and not take nine sacks over the course of one game. That is what Fields had to endure. The rookie was simply given no chance behind a terrible Bears offensive line.
This also isn’t a one-game thing. Chicago’s offense on the season ranks in the bottom-three in total yards per game (fewest), passing yards per game (fewest), and points per game (fewest). They’ve allowed 15 sacks while scoring just four touchdowns in three games. Simply put it’s been a mess.
Now they do get to face a Lions team next week that is currently allowing the most points per game, so maybe they can find an offensive rhythm. But as of right now, it’s not a stretch to say Chicago has the worst offense in the NFL.
The Rams look like the team to beat
Admittingly, I have never been the biggest Matthew Stafford fan. I always thought people would overvalue his stats and talent level. Yes, he did play for a below-average franchise in Detroit, but he did also have one of the best receivers in Calvin Johnson while he was there. Basically, I thought he should have at least made the postseason more with good offensive weapons, instead of racking up garbage time passing yards.
So when the trade was made sending Stafford to LA, you could probably guess I wasn’t too optimistic. Well, it’s looking like I was wrong.
Stafford instead has led the Rams to a 3–0 record and is currently in the MVP discussion. He’s thrown for 942 yards, nine touchdowns, and just one interception. Meanwhile, LA has defeated the Bears, Colts, and defending champion Buccaneers.
So far, the Rams look like the team to beat. They’re balanced on both sides of the ball, ranking in the top-ten in points per game (third-most) and points allowed per game (ninth-fewest). They rank eighth in the league in turnover differential (+2), along with being one of only five remain undefeated teams.
The Matthew Stafford trade is currently looking like a great deal. No team wants to face the Rams right now, and I don’t blame them.
Buffalo isn’t sweating their week one loss
If there was any concern for Buffalo following their week one loss to Pittsburgh, there’s certainly none now. The Bills have put any worries to rest following back-to-back blowout victories. Buffalo defeated Miami 35–0 in week two, then followed it up with a 43–21 victory over Washington on Sunday.
Josh Allen was spectacular against Washington, finishing with 358 passing yards, no interceptions, and five total touchdowns (four passing, one rushing). The Bills offense has bounced back nicely following week one, as they currently are averaging the fourth-most points per game.
But it’s not just Allen and the offense (even though the former Wyoming QB has been producing at a high level once again). Buffalo’s defense has also been a force this year. The Bills rank in the top ten in total yards allowed per game (fourth-fewest), passing yards allowed per game (fourth-fewest), rushing yards allowed per game (seventh-fewest), and points allowed per game (fourth-fewest). Buffalo also has the fourth-most takeaways this season with six.
This team should easily repeat as AFC East champions, along with being a factor in this year’s postseason.