If we had to give week three in the NFL a title, it would have to be “The Week of Upsets”. We should know by now that on any given Sunday, anyone can win in the NFL, but it’s still surprising when almost every game ends in an upset. Only three teams came out of week three unbeaten, but are they really teams bettors can rely on for sure-things later this year?
If there’s any team if the NFL that we can call consistent, it’s the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons earned another decisive win against a tough team in the San Diego Chargers this week and they did it away from home, 27-3. They continue to put up solid offensive numbers while limiting opponents. Matt Ryan looked crisp in the win throwing for 275 yards and three scores, while Michael Turner did his part, rushing for 80 yards and a TD. The defense held the Chargers to just 280 yards of total offense and picked Phillip Rivers twice. This is also the same defense that intercepted Peyton Manning three times in the first quarter last week, giving him his first loss as a Bronco. I know it’s early, but if there’s any team bettors can bank on for moneyline wins this season, it appears to be the Atlanta Falcons.
The Texans got off to their first 3-0 start in franchise history on Sunday by beating the Denver Broncos 31-25. Houston has been a little shakier at times on the defensive side than Atlanta, but has enjoyed an even more explosive offense. With arguably the best running back in the league in Arian Foster and undoubtedly one of the best passing attacks led by Matt Schaub, the Texans are sure to score you points and cover spreads when their defense shows up to play. Schaub only threw the ball 30 times against Denver and still managed to rack up 290 yards through the air and four TDs. Big-play receivers, like Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter also helped the Texans offense look good and they are just another reason to like Houston in pretty much any matchup this season.
Now here is by far the surprise team in the league in 2012. The Cardinals squeaked by with wins over Seattle and New England in weeks one and two and it’s safe to say they got lucky in each contest. Seattle dropped two potential game-winning grabs in week one, only to lose 20-16 , while the Pats missed a chip-shot field goal attempt in route to a 20-18 loss last week. However, this week the Cardinals didn’t have to rely on an opponent’s late-game miscues, but rather their own strengths, as they cruised to a 27-6 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Kevin Kolb simply outplayed Michael Vick this week as he completed 17 of 24 passes for two scores, compared to Vick’s 17 of 37 with no TDs. The Cardinals pass defense is now ranked 7th in the league after their performance against Vick on Sunday. Arizona is still a fairly risky pick, as they haven’t proven themselves yet, but 3-0 is 3-0 and it’s impressive any way you slice it.