1. Patriots (-) (W 30-14 vs. NYJ) (3-0, 2-1 ATS)
New England has a cakewalk schedule and there’s simply no getting around that. Following the Steelers (remember when that was considered a tough game?), they faced Miami and the Jets. Next few games? @BUF, @WAS, vs. NYG, @NYJ, vs. CLE. None of those teams break the top half of my current power rankings. Their bye also comes before their toughest slate of games. All the pieces are lined up for another trip to paradise.
2. Chiefs (-) (W 33-28 vs. BAL) (3-0, 2-1 ATS)
Kansas City played one of the best teams in the AFC and won. Mahomes looked as good as ever. Mahomes’ Revenge continues.
3. Packers (+2) (W 27-16 vs. DEN) (3-0, 3-0 ATS)
One of three teams still undefeated against the spread (DAL, LAR), Green Bay, after missing the playoffs, is at the head of the North and among the best the NFC has to offer. Crazy what can happen with a new coach. They host Philly at home Thursday night.
4. Cowboys (-) (W 31-6 vs. MIA) (3-0, 3-0 ATS)
Slow start against Miami but ran away with it in the second half. Not much else to discuss here. Travel to New Orleans this week.
5. Texans (+2) (W 27-20 @LAC) (2-1, 2-1 ATS)
Houston beats an AFC competitor on the road. That’s a plus.
6. Ravens (+2) (L 33-28 @KC) (2-1, 2-1 ATS)
Baltimore played a strong game of football against one of the best in the AFC. Despite the loss, the contest confirmed their standing in the conference. Baltimore is for real.
7. Vikings (-1) (W 34-14 vs. OAK) (2-1, 2-1 ATS)
Minnesota handles bad team. On the plus side, Dalvin Cook has been arguably the best running back in football three weeks in. A road win against Chicago would go a long way.
8. Rams (-5) (W 20-13 @CLE) (3-0, 3-0 ATS)
The Rams looked out of sorts on Sunday night and they were one really dumb coach away from letting the game slip away. They may be undefeated but they have questions surrounding them. Jared Goff has been average at best after signing his extension.
9. Saints (-) (W 33-27 @SEA) (2-1, 1-2 ATS)
No Drew Brees? No problem. New Orleans went across the country and handled business. I often say you can tell a lot about a quarterback after he has a week to prepare. Bridgewater looked frazzled after being thrust into the huddle against the Rams. Looked much better on Sunday. Didn’t win the game but didn’t lose it either.
10. Colts (+6) (W 27-24 vs. ATL) (2-1, 2-1 ATS)
I’m as surprised as you but Indy deserves this spot. Top-five offensive line, one of the game’s best coaches and an underrated defensive corps. Luck or not, the Colts will contend for the playoffs. Brissett was near flawless against Atlanta.
11. Lions (+9) (W 27-24 @PHI)) (2-0-1, 2-1 ATS)
Beat the Chargers at home and won a road game in Philly. Impressive. Had it not been for a collapse against Arizona, Detroit’s 3-0. They may have the weakest roster in a loaded division but they’re still a good team. Right now, they’re a great team.
12. Seahawks (-1) (L 33-27 vs. NO) (2-1, 1-2 ATS)
Losing to a Brees-less team at home hurts. Chris Carson’s fumbles are becoming an issue. Amazing what happens when you hand the reigns to Russ, isn’t it? Just missed scratching my top five performances of the week.
13. Eagles (-3) (L 27-24 vs. DET) (1-2, 0-3 ATS)
Philly is one of three teams winless against the spread (DEN, MIA). Another slow start cost them. A slow start in Green Bay will drag them to 1-3.
14. Bears (-) (W 31-15 @WAS) (2-1, 2-1 ATS)
The Bears had an offense on Monday but were also against Washington. Not deserving of a party.
15. Falcons (-3) (L 27-24 @IND) (1-2, 1-2 ATS)
A win on the road in Indy would have meant a lot, especially with Cam and Drew Brees’ future in question but the Falcons have become known for letting golden opportunities slip past them. Happened again on Sunday. Defense looked great against Philly, was a no-show against Brissett.
16. Bills (+2) (W 21-17 vs. CIN) (3-0, 2-1 ATS)
Buffalo is 3-0 but their offense has stalled in back-to-back games and played essentially one quarter in week one against the Jets. Buffalo has escaped with wins, not won decisively. Host New England this week. Good luck with that.
17. Chargers (-) (L 27-20 vs. HOU) (1-2, 1-2 ATS)
Overtime win against the Colts, losses to Detroit and Houston. Oof.
The Rivers-Allen connection was on fire on Sunday and the running duo of Ekeler/Jackson has been more than serviceable but Rivers has no second receiving option. If Mike Williams isn’t being unreliable on the field, he’s being injured off of it. (Remember when he was a seventh overall pick? Ouch) Hunter Henry might never play a season of football again. Travis Benjamin hasn’t been the same since leaving Cleveland (that’s a first). The Chargers need a second receiving option badly.
18. 49ers (-5) (W 24-20 vs. PIT) (3-0, 2-1 ATS)
Five turnovers and escaped with a win because the Steelers are terrible. Hope their bye week cleans that mess up.
19. Panthers (-) (W 38-20 @ARI) (1-2, 1-2 ATS)
Cam is out indefinitely with a Lisfranc injury but how about Kyle Allen on Sunday? Earned my Tim’s top five performance of the week. Least they still have that McCaffrey guy.
20. Titans (-5) (L 20-7 @JAC) (1-2, 1-2 ATS)
The Tennessee offensive line is weak this year which is why I found it odd that most spreads had Jacksonville as two point dogs at home. Weak offensive lines against Sacksonville? No thanks. Destroyed repeatedly, the Titans offense was brought to a standstill. The team is hurting at receiver (Fifth overall pick Corey Davis wasn’t the dynamite they were hoping for) and if Henry gets funneled, the offense runs out of cards to play. The defense bottled Fournette but got shived by the Gardner. After a strong opener, Tennessee is falling back to Earth. That second overall pick you spent on Mariota hasn’t worked out so well either, huh?
21. Jaguars (+2) (W 20-7 vs. TEN) (1-2, 2-1 ATS)
Gardner’s Garden of Misfits (potential fantasy name for next year?) looked great on Thursday night. Nine sacks for the defense certainly helped but Gardner Minshew has really impressed. D.J. Chark has made some dynamic catches and certified himself as a viable fantasy receiver and, more importantly, the WR1 the Jags have been looking for. Shame Doug Marrone is incompetent and driving out their best player (Jalen Ramsey).
22. Browns (+5) (L 20-13 vs. LAR) (1-2, 1-2 ATS)
Competitive game against the Rams earns Cleveland some points but the offense is massively underperforming. Baker needs a real coach. The coaching in the final minute, with four plays, three timeouts inside the ten and 40 seconds on the clock, cost them a chance to tie. Terrible coaching has destroyed many teams and thus far, 2019 Browns is being added to the list.
23. Bengals (-2) (L 21-17 @BUF) (0-3, 2-1 ATS)
Down 14, Cincy scored 17 straight before Buffalo put the final nail in the coffin. Joe Mixon got a chance to perform and the Bengals offense isn’t terrible. They’re nowhere near as bad as expected.
24. Steelers (-2) (L 24-20 @SF) (0-3, 1-2 ATS)
Five takeaways and you still lose. This is the bottom. Rudolph looked pedestrian and the Steelers won’t run the ball. Awful coaching makes bad teams worse. I expect 0-4 next week.
25. Redskins (-1) (L 31-15 vs. CHI) (0-3, 1-2 ATS)
Can we fire the mediocrity that is Jay Gruden now? Washington has been stuck in the swamp of average since Kirk Cousins was their quarterback and now they’re not even that. They have a young core (Terry McLaurin is among the best rookie receivers thus far and almost the entire defensive line is first-rounders.) and some veteran talent. They can’t compete with Dallas or Philly but a new face could create a new beginning and identity for a team that desperately needs it.
26. Giants (+4) (W 32-31 @TB) (1-2, 1-2 ATS)
Daniel Jones’ first start featured an 18-point comeback. Very impressive but also one game. Still, brought a new energy to a team that needed it. Saquon out a minimum four weeks is gonna hurt.
27. Buccaneers (+2) (L 32-31 vs. NYG) (1-2, 1-2 ATS)
Mike Evans had a phenomenal day and the Famous Jameis Bakery was closed on Sunday but kicker Matt Gay missed an extra point, had another blocked and missed a 34-yard field goal as time expired. That’s five points left on the board. They lost by one. They also blew an 18-point lead.
28. Broncos (-) (L 27-16 @GB) (0-3, 0-3 ATS)
In three games with Bradley Chubb and Von Miller, Vic Fangio has managed zero sacks and no takeaways. That’s…not good.
29. Raiders (-3) (L 34-14 @MIN) (1-2, 1-2 ATS)
Raiders look like the old Raiders again.
30. Cardinals (-5) (L 38-20 vs. CAR) (0-2-1, 2-1 ATS)
Kliff Kowardice and company were down 21-20 near the end of the third quarter at home against a quarterback most people had never heard of it. It was a bad spot to be in but they could still change their fortunes.
Arizona was outscored 17-0 the rest of the way. At home. Against an undrafted quarterback who made a living on the practice squad.
Take your false promises and go to the basement. Try to figure out what a run defense is while you’re down there.
31. Jets (-) (L 30-14 @NE) (0-3, 1-2 ATS)
They covered the spread at least? Adam Gase is an awful coach. Shocked the Jets looked like a poorly-coached team. Again.
32. Dolphins (-) (L 31-6 @DAL) (0-3, 0-3 ATS)
This game began with Rosen throwing a bomb to DeVante Parker, who managed a one-handed catch while being draped by a Cowboy.
Miami proceeded to miss the 47-yard field goal.
Down 10-0, Flores did his team no favors by settling for a 19-yard field goal. You have been torpedoed in back-to-back weeks. You can’t lose much worse than 43-0. Go for it.
Down 10-6, Miami was in the red zone in the final minute of the first half. RB Kenyan Drake fumbled and Dallas recovered.
Still, despite bad miscues, Miami was in the game. The offense looked better with Rosen. Had the Dolphins converted their opening field goal, secured seven on 4th-and-goal and got points on their last drive of the second half, this game might have gone differently. Instead, Elliott and backup Tony Pollard each grabbed 100 yards and a score and Dallas cruised in the second half.
Through three games, Miami has a -117 point differential, the worst in the Super Bowl era. They’re competing with the 0-16 Browns and Lions for the worst team in NFL history.
Biggest Climb: DET +9
Biggest Fall: LAR/SF/TEN/ARI -5