Photo courtesy Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Photo courtesy Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

In short, what we learned was that fecal matter happens. What a bizarre week. It wasn’t so much that wins and losses were unexpected as the way games went down. The Giants didn’t just lose to the Panthers, they were shut out 38-0. The Jaguars lost to Seattle up in Washington, as expected, but they scored 14 more points than the 49ers did.

If you thought you had a grip on the way the league worked, this third week was a cold reminder that there is very little that is predictable in today’s NFL.

One thing we do know is that, if teams haven’t started to turn their season around by now, they probably aren’t going to. Week 3 is the ultimate litmus test for the squads that jump out to a quick 0-2 or 2-0 start, and it’s a key theme in this week’s essential lessons.

This, more specifically, is what we actually did learn this week.

Either The Eagles Or The Cowboys Will Win The NFC East

The Giants and defending champion Redskins just don’t have what it takes. You’d think the Redskins losing to Detroit at home for the first time in the modern era would be the biggest headline, but then again, you wouldn’t think the Giants would get steamrolled by the Panthers.

New York and Washington have a ton of issues. Chiefly, for the Giants, Eli is struggling again, and this time there isn’t a mysterious ‘dead arm’ to blame. You would have to show me an actual DNA test to convince me Eli is anyway related to Peyton at this point. And as for the Redskins? They haven’t gotten the memo yet that the NFL isn’t two-hand touch. Watching them tackle these first three games has been more painful and embarrassing than Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’ music video.

So the East crown goes to either Philly or Dallas. Not because they’re so impressive, but by early process of elimination. It’s true 7-9 might win the division, but it’s also true that the Giants and Redskins don’t seem to have what it takes to even get there.

Al Behrman

Al Behrman

Green Bay Has Serious Defensive Issues

There’s been a lot of hype about Green Bay’s offensive prowess. They probably have the best receiving corps. in the league, Aaron Rodgers is among the quarterback elite, and even the tight ends and running backs have made a resurgence. None of that, however, will keep points off the board.

In their first three games, Green Bay is allowing almost 30 points per match. The times they’ve allowed OVER that (34 against both San Francisco and Cincinnati), they lost. In fact, with their only victory currently against the shockingly bad Redskins, one could make the argument that Green Bay isn’t even the best team in their division.

If the Packers want to make the playoffs, they have got to get the scoring they’re allowing in check. They were up more than double on the Bengals before allowing them to come back. Clay Matthews and KGB can do all the discount double checks they want, but it’s clear that this defensive unit is providing no insurance to the Packers.

They now have two weeks to prepare to host the Lions, currently the third-best offense in the league. This first match up will be at home where their two early losses have NOT come. But, if the defensive issues continue and Green Bay falls to 1-3, it may just be time to dust off the old proverbial panic switch.

It Might Be Time To Pay Attention To Miami

There’s something that hasn’t been said with a straight face all summer long.

As bad as the Marlins were, these fish are now turning heads. Not only are they 3-0, but they’ve already beaten two playoffs teams from a year ago. It was easy to shrug off the wins against Cleveland and Indianapolis, but add in Atlanta? Now we have to look at them in a very different light.

The numbers themselves aren’t pretty.  They’re in the back nine of the league in both offense and defense and the only place where they’ve repeatedly found success is in the passing game, but you know what? They’re three and oh. So far, ugly numbers aside, these tropically-colored dark horses have found a way to scrap out victories week-in and week-out. That’s something only six other teams can say with the pool dwindling every week.

Next on the docket is a road game at New Orleans. Obviously, this should be a stark reality check for these cardiac carp, but even if Miami loses that shouldn’t mean we go back to overlooking them. There are still 8 games on the Dolphins’ schedule that, at this point, they should be considered favorites to win. Account for bad games and a surprise here and there and you’re still looking at about a 9-7 team. At the very least, that will be enough to keep them in the running come Week 17.

Bill Kostroun/AP

Bill Kostroun/AP

The Jets Aren’t The Disaster We Expected

Don’t look now, but that team I’ve loved to call the Bronx Zoo Two has a winning record. And with the first quarter mark of the season quickly approaching, the Jets are avoiding losses better than Rex Ryan might be avoiding carbs.

Now, you’re saying, wait a minute, all they’ve done is beat the Bucs and Bills. And both were at home by a combined 8 points! Yes, but let’s remember how little we thought of this New York team heading into the season. Some pundits thought there was a legitimate chance this team would have the first overall pick next year and there wasn’t much of a counterargument for the gang green diehards.

I myself thought they could start out 0-8 or even worse before nabbing their first W. Well, the Jets have two and it’s not even October.

Are their plenty of games where they should look outgunned on the schedule? Sure, but New York still hosts Oakland, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. As it is, those are very winnable games. And in an upset here or there and you have an 8-8 team. It’s nothing history will remember, but, as bad as we were making this crew out to be, that’s probably what the Jets are aiming for.

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When Bryan isn’t writing, he is on Twitter! Make sure to give him a follow @bclienesch!