There are always big storylines in the NFL and Week Three had its share -
1 - Aaron Rodgers Is Proving His Critics Right - Before the 2011 season came two pieces showing that Aaron Rodgers is not capable of comeback wins. Now we see Green Bay's 34-30 loss to the Bengals where the Packers erased a 14-0 gap, led 30-14, and lost. During that game Rodgers was seen arguing with head coach Mike McCarthy and another player having to step in. It brings back memory of two former Packers receivers ripping Rodgers' locker room demeanor.
The reality is Rodgers is the a-hole he's been portrayed as being. He's stuck-up, full of himself, and every bit the dopey gunslinger Brett Favre was. And the result will be the Packers may win a lot of games but will still lose in the end.
2 - Yes Bill Belichick Should Be Trusted - The Boston Globe Magazine published a piece on Bill Belichick that was mostly a compedium of criticisms and outright mockery. There are some positives portrayed about Belichick but for the most part the piece wants the reader to hate him for being stand-offish, dishonest, etc.
The piece references Spygate several times, and it is obvious a refresher on the facts is needed. Belichick is also criticized for ostensibly poor drafting, and the piece even sees fit to include Wes Welker's self-pitying quote about thinking about Belichick during Broncos pressers.
Here are the hard facts about why Belichick is more trustworthy than the Boston Globe -
Belichick tells the truth.
Belichick has been the best GM in the NFL for 13 years; the Steelers, the Ravens, the Colts, the NY Giants, etc. cannot credibly be portrayed as better.
Belichick understands roster construction because he doesn't fall in love with Names (Wes Welker, Deion Branch, Richard Seymour etc.) and doesn't fall in love with volume stats.
The players let go by Belichick have all proven inferior to the system in Foxboro (yes even Wes Welker, who's been irrelevant to the Broncos despite his volume stats there).
Belichick doesn't play the media game because the media game accomplishes nothing as far as winning goes.
3 - The AFC in not weaker than the NFC
- This past weekend saw eight interconference games and the AFC won six of them. In all the AFC has won eleven interconference games.
4 - The Browns aren't giving up on the season - Brian Hoyer took over as quarterback and pulled off the most exciting win for the Browns perhaps in the history of the club's present incarnation, this following the unusual early-season trade of Trent Richardson and scuttlebutt that a receiver or two are on the auction block as well. There are legitimate pieces with the Browns right now.
5 - The AFC South is a three-team race - Indianapolis and Tennessee pulled off quality wins - the Colts pummelled the 49ers at The Stick a week after a bitter loss to the Dolphins, while the Titans defeated the Chargers for the first time since 1992, and did so in comeback style; it showed that Jake Locker can play, and it was a comeback win after he struggled in comeback situations in 2011 and 2012. This came all amid Houston's ugly loss at Baltimore, putting the Colts, Titans, and Texans at a 2-1 logjam in the division.
6 - The AFC East is becoming a multi-team race - New England and Miami are 3-0 while the Jets are 2-1; the Bills are 1-2 but are 10th in the league in turnover differential and EJ Manuel is looking like a rookie with a solid future.
7 - The AFC West may become a three-team race - The Broncos have the most explosive offense in the conference but haven't really been tested yet; San Diego is better than last year and Kansas City has vaulted to 3-0 with successful formulae from their past - they used to be 49ers East with quarterbacks (and they still are); now they are also Eagles West with coaches. Even the Raiders, while not ready for primetime, have some positive energy with Terrelle Pryor.
8 - The AFC North is the weakest division in the conference - The Bengals are the best team in the division and even the Browns look good. The Ravens are 2-1 but their schedule takes what looks to be a turn for the worse with road games at Miami and Buffalo in the next two weeks. The Steelers meanwhile have collapsed and their season is staring at their first losing record in ten years.
9 -The NFC South is - for the moment - a New Orleans party - The Bucs are in disarray despite being respectable on defense; the Falcons are good but got exposed as beatable by the Dolphins. The Saints are 3-0 after two shaky performances, while the Panthers got on the board by destroying the same NY Giants squad that embarrassed them last season. The Panthers can make a run at the Saints and the Falcons are certainly not out of it.
10 - It's overdue to question the coaching competence of Mike Shanahan - the Redskins are 0-3 and a lot of talk has centered around Robert Griffin, yet questions should be asked of coach Mike Shanahan, who has still not shown he can win a lot since John Elway retired and has shown no answers to Washington's on-field issues.
That's the Top Ten for this week.