40 Things We Know After Week 3 in the NFL

Fans were certainly treated to a surprising week 3 to say the least. From the President’s comments before the weekend’s games to some down-right stunning results, we got a full week of action as the NFL wrapped up its third week of play.

1. Tom Brady is good. Really good.

2. An offensive line that was, well, offensive and a defense that’s still finding itself didn’t hurt Brady on the Patriots final drive.

3. Brady’s final drive included a 3rd and 15 conversion and 3rd and 17. Like I said, he’s really good.

4. The Houston defense owns the Pats o-line.

5. Jadeveon Clowney put on an absolute show in Foxboro.

6. Aaron Rodgers is pretty good too — and he finally secured his first overtime win. Shocking that he’s 1-7 in such games.

7. It’s the Joe Mixon era now in Cincinnati.

8. And it might be the end of the Andy Dalton era in Cincy. An improved offense under new OC Bill Lazor was not enough to register the win nor was it enough to drastically change Dalton’s play.

9. Against a real offense, Carolina’s defense may have shown its true colors.

10. Cam Newton looks far from his MVP form of 2015.

11. With their backs against the wall, the Saints and all their offensive weapons played one of their most complete games on that side of the ball.

12. Drew Brees has a legitimate backfield, led by Alvin Kamara. Look for the rookie to separate himself from vets AP and Mark Ingram.

13. While under pressure for most of the afternoon, Trevor Siemian made some very questionable decisions.

14. The Buffalo defense has shown up in each of the first three weeks. (The offense is hit or miss, but the D has been steady.)

15. The Jets offense was efficient — Josh McCown played his best game of the young season. The defense also held Jay Ajayi to 16 yards on 11 rushes.

16. Miami may have a lot of weapons, but they can’t win unless the run game is working. Jay Cutler cannot carry this team.

17. The Browns looked like a team that could have entered week three’s game 2-0. Yet against the Colts, they looked lost and undisciplined — penalties cost Cleveland 113 yards.

18. Jacoby Brissett has picked up the Colts offense remarkably well and developed a great rapport with T.Y. Hilton.

19. The Giants offense finally got clicking, but New York still has yet to find its running game.

20. Despite a banged up defense, Philadelphia’s offense has successfully masked those defensive holes.

21. How can Darren Sproles tear an ACL and break an arm on the same play?

22. Minnesota looks every bit a contender in the NFC North — with or without Sam Bradford.

23. Case Keenum bounced back after a disappointing week 2 performance and showed great chemistry with Stphon Diggs, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook.

24. Tampa Bay has left us with more questions than answers after two very different performances in weeks 2 and 3.

25. Jordan Howard was the unquestioned best player on the field Sunday against Pittsburgh.

26. Despite the win, don’t be fooled: Mike Glennon’s time is coming to an end in Chicago. Enter Mitchell Trubisky.

27. The sleepwalking Steelers have pulled this trick before — going on the road and underperforming. What’s troubling is that Le’Veon Bell still doesn’t have that explosiveness that has made him so good.

28. The Rams and 49ers combined for 80 points??? It’s been 5 days and I’m still not sure that actually happened.

29. Someone may want to tell Baltimore that they were expected to play a football game in London — it wasn’t a tourist trip. Can Joe Flacco go away? Maybe he’ll stay in England.

30. The London Jaguars at it again!! Who’s more comfortable playing across the pond than the Jags??!!

31. De’Vonta Freeman gashed the Lions’ defense.

32. Make no mistake, the Lions got the raw end of the deal at the end of Sunday’s game. But boneheaded penalties and the inability to stop the run when they needed to put Detroit in that position to begin with.

33. Touchdown or not, Matthew Stafford displayed moxie and calm on the game’s final drive. Call me crazy, but maybe the Lions aren’t the league’s punching bag any longer.

34. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will be giving QBs fits all year (and for years to come).

35. Philip Rivers can only blame himself for the loss to KC. Errant throws and poor decisions put the Chargers in a hole early and unable to climb out of.

36. Kareem Hunt continues to be dominant. He’s a star, playmaker that the Chiefs offense has needed so badly for years.

37. DeMarco Murray is not ready to ride off into the sunset just yet.

38. The vaunted Seattle defense gave up 196 rushing yards to Tennessee Sunday — after giving up 159 to SF in week 2. Not good and uncharacteristic.

39. Seattle’s offense is the only thing worse than their defense. With no semblance of a rushing attack, all the pressure is on Russell Wilson and his receivers to make plays.

40. The Raiders defense is not feared. A boring Washington offense was even able to exploit it.


Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed, @brian22goodwin.



After Week 2 in the NFL, Here’s What We Know….I Think

1. A little home cooking and the opening of your brand new state of the art stadium on national television appears to be just what the defending NFC champs needed to get beyond their uninspired week 1 win in Chicago. But to do it against the Packers — one of few teams we all expect to be there challenging Atlanta for the conference title in January — is a little bit surprising. The defense was flying around, much like they were during the 2016 playoffs, and the Falcons run game was back after going for only 52 yards in week 1.

2. Tom Brady looked like Tom Brady — playing against the Saints’ defense has that effect on quarterbacks. But now, after injuries to Gronk, Chris Hogan, and Philip Dorsett, who’s Brady going to throw the ball to to next week?

3. Despite less than stellar numbers from Marcus Mariota in weeks 1 and 2, Tennessee’s commitment to the run game is what might keep the Titans in the AFC South hunt all year. Derrick Henry looks strong — and appears to have surpassed DeMarco Murray.

4. The Steelers offense still looks a little out of sync, but the Big Ben-Martavis Bryant connection seems on-point. What ever rift existed between the two sure looks like a thing of the past.

5. If you thought Von Miller and the Denver defense were just going to fade away, Sunday’s statement against Dallas was more of an exclamation. Denver shut down every aspect of the Cowboys’ offense.

6. Yes, the gaudy numbers that fantasy owners hoped for were the only things missing from this impressive Bucs’ win Sunday. As Jameis Winston gets more in sync with Desean Jackson, the deep threat will be explosive. He’s already in lock-step with Mike Evans.

7. A defense that totaled 6 sacks on Sunday plus a rookie RB who is in the process of sewing up the Offensive Rookie of the Year award — that’s a good combination for Andy Reid’s team.

8. With all the athletes and weapons in Carolina on the offensive side of the ball, it’s hard to fathom this unit being so inept. Add to that, Greg Olsen has a broken foot.

9. Cincinnati’s offensive woes are of historic proportions — first team in the modern era to fail to score a touchdown in the opening two home games of the season. The OC was relieved, and I’d expect Andy Dalton is up next. Start warming up A.J. McCarron.

10. Oakland’s offense is hot. Everyone talks about Derek Carr and Amari Cooper and Marshawn Lynch, but can we not forget about Michael Crabtree, who caught 3 TDs in Sunday’s win over the Jets?

11. The Saints’ defense should be ashamed of themselves. I don’t know how the franchise can make this up to Drew Brees, but wow. Gonna be a long season in NOLA.

12. It’s amazing what an exceptional defense can do for you. Just ask Seattle. The offense has done absolutely nothing this year — one TD in two home games.

13. The Eagles may have lost the game to KC, but to out-gain the Chiefs in yards and rack up 11 more first downs definitely gives Philadelphia the confidence that their offense can play anywhere, against anyone.

14. Houston needs to do more than sneak out a win against the Bengals to make me forget about a blowout loss in week 1 to the Jaguars. Let’s see how a trip to Foxboro next week suits the Texans and their rookie QB.

15. Going into the SNF game, the Green Bay’s o-line was down two tackles. Then during the game, they lose Jordy Nelson and Mike Daniels. Hard to keep pace with the Falcons when you’re missing so many critical pieces.

16. The Bills remind me of a poor man’s Minnesota team — the defense is there and capable, but the offense is utterly abysmal.

17. Hearing a lot about the rushing attack of the Ravens and their defense. Fine, but talk to me after they’ve played a couple teams other than Cincy and Cleveland.

18. After a surprisingly spry effort in week 1 against the Falcons, the Bears showed all the reasons in week 2 why we expect them to be picking in the top 3 of next spring’s NFL Draft.

19. A loss to the Redskins is not a shocker, but perhaps after his sophomore slump, Todd Gurley is back on track to being one of the league’s premier running backs.

20. It’s clear now the Vikings defense will have to carry them to however far they want to go. Sam Bradford just has to stay healthy and manage the game, offensively — which, as time goes by, should involve giving the ball to Dalvin Cook more and more regularly.

21. It took overtime for the Cardinals to beat the hapless Colts. David Johnson’s absence is only a part of the problem in the desert. Don’t try and spin this as a “great” Cardinal comeback in the 4th quarter. Stop it.

22. Washington looks like a team committed to running the ball. Nice little win in L.A. over the Rams. Hard to see this as much else.

23. I don’t think the Dolphins could have expected a much better result in their opening game of the season. Jay Cutler was efficient and Miami won across the country in L.A.

24. Dallas’s offensive line is not what it’s been and the defense is not anywhere improved from a year ago. They made Trevor Siemian look like an all-pro.

25. It’s going to be a real struggle finding nice things to say this season about the Jets. Ummm, Jermaine Kearse caught 2 TDs. There.

26. An 0-2 is not the start the Chargers had hoped for in their inaugural season back in L.A. The offense needs to run more efficiently and the defense has to make the stops it’s supposed to make. You can’t let Jay Cutler come in off the sofa and beat you in his Miami debut.

27. Jacoby Brissett wasn’t a bad as I thought he’d be — I like JB, but not in that mess that we call Indy’s offense. He did have a good thing going with Jack Doyle. No reason to think we’ll see Scott Tolzien again.

28. Nothing like throwing your rookie QB to the wolves — injury plus poor playcalling won’t make DeShone Kizer’s life any easier.

29. Blake Bortles has 17 games of 2 or more turnovers — and the Jags are 1-16 in such games. Three straight possessions Sunday resulted in a Bortles turnover. Just run Leonard Fournette every play.

30. The 49ers scored 3 points in week 1 against Carolina and in week 2, they put 9 up versus Seattle. Certainly, not the easiest of matchups, but something tells me this is something SF fans should get used to seeing.


Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed, @brian22goodwin.


What We Learned from Week 1 in the NFL

1. In the most highly-anticipated game of the opening weekend, the Green Bay Packers defense showed how much its improved from last season. While the offense had some hiccups against the tenacious Seattle D, the defense looks faster and more consistent than a year ago — and if it keeps this play up, Green Bay’s chances of a championship-caliber season will only increase.

2. Seattle’s defense is fine — heck, it’s better than fine. They kept Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense silent for most of the game. The questions will continue to amplify if the offense doesn’t get rolling.

3. The Atlanta Falcons appear to miss the playcalling of Kyle Shanahan. Not great creativity plus an under-used Julio Jones and you’ve got the perfect formula for an underwhelming 2017 debut.

4. Carson Palmer looked his age. Forty is not the new 30.

5. The Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot to look forward to after the 2-sack and interception debut of T.J. Watt.

6. Dallas used the 2 losses to Big Blue last year to help motivate them Sunday night. It was not a game the ‘Boys were losing.

7. Carolina’s defense might resemble the 2015 version, as opposed to what we saw from that unit last year.

8. Forty-six points??? I know, I know — it deserves an asterisk because it was against the Colts. But still, nice debut for head coach Sean McVay and his Rams. Defense looked solid and Jared Goff had his best pro game.

9. Those who believe in Carson Wentz appear to have placed their faith in the right QB. And that pass rush looked impressive as well.

10. Marshawn Lynch had a productive and helpful 76 yards on 18 carries. The Raiders offense had nice balance and the defense played better than what we became accustomed to seeing in 2016.

11. Corey Coleman looked promising in the first 2 games of 2016 until an injury derailed the rookie’s debut season. Now, he’s back and healthy and the best threat on an improved Cleveland offense. Coleman was big against Pittsburgh to open this year. We should expect it to carry on that way.

12. Who said the Lions didn’t have a pass rush??!! They did in week 1. Next question — where’s that run game?

13. Kareem Hunt is no joke. (The Eric Berry injury is devastating, though, to the KC defense.)

14. New England is not unlike other teams in the NFL — they require time to gel and get players comfortable in their system. Once they do, expect the Pats to play like we’ve grown accustom to them playing

15. Is the plan in Washington to have such a terrible offensive line so that Kirk Cousins gets his head ripped off and then the front office looks smart for not giving hm the long-term contract? If so, great work — you’re on your way.

16. The stunner from week 1 for me? The Ravens shutting down the Bengals in every phase of the game.

17. The Titans better adjust themselves and hunker down. One loss is only one loss — but the offense looked less innovative as we expected it to (especially considering they were facing a poor Oakland D).

18. Buffalo’s defense made the Jets, well, look like the Jets. We’ll know more once the Bills play a real team.

19. The Jaguars defense is fast and young and nasty. The offense is nasty, too — for all the wrong reasons. But, hey, a win’s a win.

20. Houston — say hello to DeShaun Watson. That didn’t take long for the depth chart to change.

21. Was there a more disappointing and underwhelming performance in week 1 than the Bengals?

22. All those questions about the Giants offense are legit. Someone tell Ben McAdoo and Eli that the season has started.

23. Are the Bears not as hapless as we thought? I need another week to see if the week 1 showing versus Atlanta was more about the Bears or about the Falcons. (But I sort of think the Bears didn’t look that bad….)

24. I didn’t know the Rams offense was capable of going for 46 points. Leave it to the Colts to see to it that it happened.

25. Can we borrow a rule from European soccer and relegate the Jets and 49ers to the “minor leagues”? It’d make Sundays more enjoyable.


Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed, @brian22goodwin.


NFL Playoff Predictions and Awards: 2017



Seahawks over Giants

Buccaneers over Eagles


Packers over Buccaneers

Seattle over Falcons


Seahawks over Packers

This Seattle defense knows it probably has one last great run in them.



Steelers over Bengals

Chargers over Raiders


Patriots over Chargers

Steelers over Titans


Patriots over Steelers

Mike Tomlin has not been able to figure how to stop the Pats offense in years past when it wasn’t nearly as explosive as it is this year. Good luck.


Patriots over Seahawks

A rematch of one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played, capped off by one of the most heroic individual plays in Super Bowl history. If these two meet in Minneapolis, it’s probably a coin flip. I’ll stick with Brady and Bill.


Tom Brady — The team has too many weapons and the Patriots will be winning a lot of games. Those 2 factors should give Brady a slight leg up over Rodgers, Mariota, and Winston.


Joey Bosa — The “newest version of J.J. Watt” is what I recently read about the high-motor defensive end from L.A. He’s a lot like Watt and the Chargers defense, on the whole, should be aggressive.


Jameis Winston — A high-octane offense with speed all over the field will help Winston put up some very gaudy numbers.


Christian McCaffrey — The kid can line up in the backfield, out wide, in the slot. He’s going to be everywhere. And his numbers will reflect that.


Derek Barnett — The edge rusher has some tenacity and shouldn’t have too much difficulty disrupting opposing backfields.


Anthony Lynn — Close race between Lynn, Philly’s Doug Pederson, and Tennessee’s Mike Mularkey.


Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed, @brian22goodwin.


2017 NFL Predictions: The AFC


Patriots 13-3: Bill Belichick certainly did not stand pat over the offseason. The defending champs adjusted their roster, as usual, with the likes of Brandin Cooks and Mike Gillislee. They responded to the Julian Edelman and Cyrus Jones ACL injuries by trading for Phillip Dorsett to stabilize their punt return game and wide receiver position. What Belichick and Matt Patricia do for an edge rusher opposite Trey Flowers will likely be very creative. Oh and number 12 is still under center. So there’s that.

Dolphins 7-9: Miami could be a playoff team. The move to Jay Cutler is a little worrisome for folks outside of the organization — can Cutler walk in off his couch and give the Dolphins 9 or 10 wins? That’s a legitimate question. Is Jay Ajayi a true workhorse at running back who can put together a full consistent season and not just three remarkable 200-yard rushing games?

Bills 5-11: LeSean McCoy better be ready to carry this team each and every week. The Bills don’t have a lot around him or Tyrod Taylor. If I’m either of those players, I’m not thrilled about how the offense has been gutted this offseason. Not sure how that will translate on the field.

Jets 1-15: The Jets are fully committed to being terrible. And for the first time in years, we might have found something the Jets are good at.


Steelers 10-6: An older roster led by a quarterback who is likely down to his final years usually isn’t a recipe for success. Add to the intrigue that running back Le’Veon Bell skipped all of training camp and the preseason. How will his hamstrings respond to real live game action in week 1?

Bengals 9-7: Riddle me this: how many Bengal running backs can fit in the Cincinnati backfield? We’re going to find out this season. Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill have shared time over the years with a pretty good amount of success. Add injury and age to the equation and the Cincinnati front office thought it was time to add some youth in the form of rookie Joe Mixon out of Oklahoma. Call me crazy, but I don’t think you can win with just one RB anymore in this league — and maybe the more, the merrier. Andy Dalton is still a serviceable quarterback who’s made even better by having A.J. Green. Rookie John Ross adds speed and a nice compliment to Green.

Ravens 6-10: This is uncharted waters for the Ravens franchise and the Ozzie Newsome-John Harbaugh braintrust that has been so successful in Baltimore. After back-to-back seasons of missing the postseason and 3 of the last 4 without a playoff game, the pressure is on. But the task will not be easy. Offensively, many questions abound — starting with Joe Flacco’s health. And the playmakers on the roster don’t exactly keep opposing defensive coordinators up at night.

Browns 5-11: If the Browns indeed have their quarterback in DeShone Kizer, they might be going somewhere. Running backs Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson are talented backs who should carry quite a bit of the offense. Moves on defense still leave a lot to be desired. But let’s be honest — the Browns aren’t winning this season. It’s all about positioning themselves for the future.


Titans 11-5: Tennessee was a healthy Marcus Mariota away from being a playoff team at the end of 2016. Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray comprise one of the best backfields in the league. Eric Decker and rookie top-5 draft pick Corey Davis will add some depth to the receiving corps.

Texans 6-10: It’s never a question of the D in Houston — their season is dependent, as always, on quarterback play. Tom Savage and/or DeShaun Watson may have to play darn-near perfect football for the Texans to not take multiple steps backwards.

Jaguars 5-11: How many times will the Jags get experts to pick them as the hot pick heading into September. Not this year. Granted the defense is fast and young and should be pretty good, the offense, led by Blake Bortles, has too many holes. Rookie running back Leonard Fournette looks promising, but the Jaguars need more.

Colts 4-12: The success over the past couple seasons for the Colts came down to a matter of Andrew Luck’s health. This year, even a healthy Andrew Luck probably can’t get this team above .500; and a Colts team without a healthy Luck has very little hope for 2017.


Chargers 9-7: The Chargers year after year get burned by injuries, and 2017 seems no different. But WR Mike Williams should be healthy enough to return by week 8 and the offense should do fine until then. The emergence of Melvin Gordon in 2016 and Keenan Allen’s return after his gruesome week 1 injury a year ago will give Phillip Rivers the playmakers he needs to keep L.A. in the hunt all season. Oh and the defense? One of the most underrated units in the AFC — a front four that can get to the quarterback and two CBs who are even better than Denver’s.

Raiders 9-7: Derek Carr is the real deal. But Oakland’s defense is not much improved from 2016. In addition, the rushing game is now led by 31-year old Marshawn Lynch. This is a young talented team, but they took a step in the wrong direction this offseason.

Chiefs 8-8: Too many changes in KC will adversely affect this club. The defense will still be fine, but the run game is reliant on rookie Kareem Hunt out of Toledo and Charcanderick West — a bit of a cry from Jamaal Charles, Spencer Ware, and Knile Davis. Also, let’s not gloss over the elephant in the lockerroom — the Chiefs used a first round pick to grab quarterback Pat Mahomes. How that decision sits with Alex Smith’s mindset is something to consider this season, if things don’t seem right out there.

Broncos 6-10: A terrific defense, but little else. Too many uncertainties on offense, starting with the quarterback.

Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed, @brian22goodwin.


2017 NFL Predictions: The NFC

Every year a team comes from nowhere to contend for a division title or a playoff spot. Right on queue, the 2017 NFL season appears chalk full of teams, who have made a habit out of missing the playoffs for years, ready to make a realistic run at a postseason berth. Whether they’re all contenders or just pretenders, don’t be shocked to see some unfamiliar faces playing meaningful football in December and January.

On the contrary, the cream of the crop will look very familiar to everyone. The best teams in the NFC from a year ago look poised to make another run at a Lombardi Trophy this upcoming season.

Here are my thoughts on how the 2017 season might shake out in the NFC:


Eagles 10-6: Maybe this is a little premature, but Carson Wentz has weapons around him that should make this offense potent. The run game, the offensive line, and the defensive front set the Eagles a notch above the rest of a very wide open NFC East division.

Giants 9-7: Don’t put a ton of stock in the preseason, but it’d be hard not to notice the Giants lackluster offensive output through the 4 games. Landon Collins is a stud at safety and Odell Beckham is outstanding at wide receiver, but there’s little else that stands apart on this roster.

Cowboys 7-9: No Zeke, yes Zeke. Who knows. What I do know is this Cowboys offensive line has some real questions to answer. And can Dak produce again? Too many unknowns for my liking.

Redskins 5-11: The dysfunction between Kirk Cousins and the Redskins front office is something to keep in mind as this season plays out– will it impact Cousins or the team? I like the potential rushing attack in Washington with Rob Kelley and rookie Sam Perrine. But the exodus of two 1,000-yard receivers in Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson in the offseason won’t help.


Packers 11-5: Aaron Rodgers will be in the running for another MVP when the season ends. The offense can’t be matched in the North. The defense has to be better for the Pack to challenge for a Super Bowl.

Vikings 8-8: There are things to like with Minnesota. Dalvin Cook is a fascinating addition and Stephon Diggs seems like a legit number one wideout. Sam Bradford has to stay healthy for this all to work.

Lions 7-9: Yes, GM Bob Quinn added to the offensive line. But there’s still no hammer coming out of the backfield. On the other side of the ball, the Lions needed another edge rusher opposite Ziggy Ansah. Not to mention the linebacking crew is thin. I don’t know how this defense puts pressure on opposing QBs.

Bears 2-14: There’s a lot of talk about the Jets and Bears maybe going winless. There’s a reason people are having that conversation.


Falcons 11-5: Could the Super Bowl hangover affect Atlanta? No question. But they are full of a lot of talented players at many different positions. Tampa Bay is the sexy pick, but I’ll stick with what I know Atlanta can be.

Buccaneers 10-6: The Bucs are a fun, exciting, happy bunch. Led by James Winston, who’s primed for a big year, Tampa Bay still has to answer questions about their defense and their rushing attack. I’m not certain either is good enough to dethrone the reigning conference champs in the South.

Saints 7-9: The Saints seem stuck in no-man’s land. They’re not a playoff team but they’re not awful either. Would love to see Drew Brees put a run together, but I can’t see New Orleans being consistent enough on defense.

Panthers 7-9: I love what Carolina did in the draft. The offense has firepower and speed. But watch Cam Newton closely — will that surgically-repaired shoulder hold up? And can the defense return to it’s form from 2015?


Seahawks 10-6: The defense is still good enough in Seattle, and Russell Wilson is a proven winner. The pieces that have held the Seahawks back in the past are back again in 2017 — the O-line and the run game.

Cardinals 8-8: I was prepared to pick 11 wins for the Cardinals. But let’s not forget that age is not a quarterback’s friend. Players like Tom Brady are the exception to the rule — even Peyton Manning missed time for poor play during his final season en route to the Super Bowl. Forty is not kind to QBs. I won’t believe Carson Palmer can beat the “age curse” until he does it.

Rams 5-11: The defense is good. Maybe Jared Goff takes a big step forward. Even still, the ceiling is pretty low for the Rams in ’17.

49ers 3-13: Another offseason, another host of changes for the Niners. It looks like GM John Lynch has a plan and knows what he wants to do. But the roster isn’t good enough right now — no QB and a very young club. The future, finally, looks promising for San Fran fans.

Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed, @brian22goodwin.