And then there were six – undefeated teams that is. The Arizona Cardinals must have read my article last week, and decided they’d prove me right, as they dropped a crucial divisional game against the St. Louis Rams to fall from their perch.
Elsewhere, the Chicago Bears notched their first win of the season, just squeaking past the Oakland Raiders, the Denver Broncos kept their season perfect and the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers continued to impress, a little more on them later though.
With Brady having the bye, and Aaron Rodgers not being his usual dominant self against San Francisco, Phillip Rivers and Andy Dalton took over as the supreme QB pairing of the week. Speaking of Andy Dalton…
The Cincinnati Bengals road to relevance
Maybe relevance isn’t the right word, but I get a huge Richmond FC vibe when it comes to these Bengals and the playoffs – impressive regular season victories with nothing to show for it.
As a Richmond fan I completely feel their pain, and though Dalton is balling out to start the 2015 season, I would advise any Bengals fans out there to exercise great caution in removing any “lids” this year. A win this week against the Seattle Seahawks would see them become the first Bengals side to start 5-0 since 1989. That team went to the Super Bowl – just saying.
Fantasy watch: Jeremy Hill (RB, Bengals) was huge in the red-zone, pairing his 40 rushing yards with three TD’s, a two-point conversion and 24 fantasy points.
Did the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets switch jerseys before this season started?
Seriously. There’s genuine hope being generated out of the Meadowlands after a less than awful start to their season. Sure, the second coming of Darrelle Revis is enough to lift any team’s spirits, but apparently it’s also enough to make Ryan Fitzpatrick a starting calibre QB? The guy is playing out of his mind. But that’s by his standards, so still only just serviceable.
It seems that Ndamukong Suh might just be having the opposite affect on the Dolphins. Their defence collectively has just one sack through four games, and their offence needed several hefty pass interference penalties to put up a respectable total against the Jets. It was enough of a stinker to get their coach fired, and to have the interim coach punish the team with the Oklahoma Drill in their first practice together. Sit tight Dolphins fans; this might be a rough season.
Fantasy watch: My boy Chris Ivory (RB, Jets) got it done in a big way, bulldozing his way to 166 rushing yards, one TD and 22.60 fantasy points against a Dolphins D that can’t stop the run.
All they needed was time – 2nd year QB’s finding their feet
I guess this is where logic, or rather patience, wins out. Many were ready to write off Blake Bortles as a bust at the end of last year, and some before he’d even played a game. Bortles is rewarding those who kept the faith this year with a stronger than expected start, particularly when it comes to sound decision-making; he’s started the season with six TD’s and just three interceptions.
The other second year QB on my radar is Derek Carr of the Oakland Raiders. Carr was impressive last year, but has taken his game to another level to start 2015 with seven TD’s and two interceptions. Oakland did Carr a huge favour by going out and picking up Alabama’s Amari Cooper in the draft and recruiting WR Michael Crabtree from the San Francisco 49ers. Putting offensive weapons like that alongside Carr will start to excite Raiders fans, and the early signs are damn good.
Fantasy watch: Despite losing to the Bears, Blake Bortles (QB, Jaguars) had a decent fantasy game throwing for 298 yards and one TD to tally 19.02 fantasy points. If available in your league, he would be a worthy backup.
Cam Newton vs. Matt Ryan, or, the return of the NFC South
This was the worst division in football last year. So bad in fact, that it seemed a shame to give them a spot in the playoffs. This year is a completely different story. Ryan and Newton are both playing at an extremely high level and between them they have zero losses, which on it’s own is impressive.
Couple that with the fact that Newton lost his number one WR Kelvin Benjamin before the season even started, and that Ryan has to throw to Julio Jones and these starts are even more impressive. Wait…what? Ok, so maybe Ryan has more offensive weaponry at his disposal (see: definitely) but this year he is actually using it. He’s targeted Julio Jones a lot, and he’s let Devonta Freeman do bad things when necessary. That’s Run DMC “bad” for those wondering.
The only down side? We have to wait until week 14 to see them face off.
Fantasy watch: Devonta Freeman (RB, Falcons) owners rejoice! Freeman went off again this week on his way to 68 rushing yards, 81 receiving yards, three rushing TD’s and 32.90 fantasy points.
Questions? Insults? Let us know in the comments section.