Big Ben Friday Special: What to Make of Fast/Slow NFL Starts

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Hello? Fine, I’ll do it. After three weeks of football, the picture is getting a little clearer. But it’s not that clear. Some teams have benefited from an easy schedule and might not be legit. And some of the slow starters can still get back in it. I’m here to help separate the weeds from the flowers.

Lisfranc? Lis-fabulous.

We all know the Chiefs and Patriots are the class of the AFC, and probably the league. The Dolphins, Jets, Bengals, and Redskins are going nowhere fast. But there’s a lot of confusion in between.

Pump the Brakes

Buffalo Bills. The 3-0 record comes at the expense of the Jets, the pre Danny Dimes (shove it Ward) Giants, and the Bengals. I don’t think Belichick is quaking in his evil overlord cape just yet. They have a good defense, but need a few more weapons on offense.

Can this man get the Panthers back in the race?

New Orleans Saints. Sure, they had a nice win in Seattle without Brees, but they needed a defensive TD and a punt return TD. Bridgewater had only 177 yards passing and more than half of that yardage came on check downs to Kamara. With a fairly tough schedule on tap in their 5 games before their Week 9 bye, staying in contention ain’t gonna be Breesy.

Believe the Hype

Dallas Cowboys. I hate to include them here and I know their three opponents so far have one win, but this team looks different. They have tons of weapons on offense and Dak might have turned the corner. We’ll know more after Sunday night’s game against the Saints.

He’s back…

San Francisco 49ers. They have also beat up on some crappy teams, but their defense looks good and they can run the ball. If Jimmy G can shake off the rust, they can make some noise.

Don’t Bury ‘Em Yet

LA Chargers: Phillip Rivers always seems to play just well enough to lose, but they have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. And with their next three games against winless teams, and with Gordon back in the fold, they will get into the wildcard hunt.

Carolina Panthers: Cam’s injury cost them two games but this is a team with a lot of strengths. There aren’t many gimme putts on the schedule, but this is a solid team. If Cam’s foot keeps him out, Allen can hold the fort.

I’m glad we sorted that out. Come back tomorrow for J-Blabbs. Follow us on Twitter at @BenWhit8, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

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About the Author ()

Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.

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