Divisions where no one knows what will happen next:
-NFC East: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, New York
A week ago, I claimed Philadelphia to be the best team in the NFL, I'm not wavering after the lose to San Francisco, but I wonder if the 49ers have found a way to halt the Philadelphia pass attack. If so, how long till other D Coordinators figure out how to ground the Eagles?
On Sunday night the Dallas Cowboys looked like a Super Bowl team and so did New York on Thursday night! Is this a fluke? New York, no. Dallas, give me a week and I'll answer with a yes or no, rather than a shoulder shrug.
Washington looked good in week 3 with Kirk Cousins. He looked poised, he looked comfortable, he looked like a pure NFL quarterback, but against New York he struggled and new head coach Jay Gruden looked very frustrated with the overall performance.
NFC North- Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota, Detroit
I thought Detroit would run away with this division, but Chicago looked good and there seemed to be a feel that Jay Cutler was more efficient. Then Green Bay proved many people wrong as Cutler continues to struggle with the Packers going to 1-9 against them in his career.
Minnesota, a team surrounded by turmoil took on Atlanta and Teddy Bridgewater saved the day along with an impressive running attack. I thought Atlanta would be true contender in the NFC but with their performance against Cincinnati and now Minnesota, Atlanta looks to be in more turmoil than Minnesota, believe in Zimmer for Minnesota.
Detroit looks strong and was never really threatened by New York. Megatron, outside of week 1 has been fairly silent. I look for a breakout game from him this week against Buffalo.
NFC West: Arizona, Seattle, San Francisco, St.Louis
Not sold on Seattle. Crazy, right?!?! It's hard to repeat anything in the NFL. This division makes it even tougher. Arizona is a really good football team. They had a bye week to help them get healthy (Carson Palmer) but John Skelton could be the QB of the future for the Cards. (I couldn't help but chuckle when I typed that! John Skelton? The Future?)
San Francisco's defense looked really good against Philadelphia and may have corrected what they needed to in the locker room to make another run. But Harbaugh brings drama. As for St. Louis, just put on a red hat and cheer for your baseball team and hope James Laurinaitis stays with the Rams.
AFC East- New England, Miami, Buffalo, New York:
One of the few times I was proven right and it involved New England. The Patriots just are not what they use to be, Tom Brady doesn't have the pieces he usually does and they are extremely young in many ways. New England could still win the division though at 8-8. This is an odd division, but a weak division.
Miami could reach 10 wins, just depends if their offense decide to show up for at least 8 more games. Defense is strong, offense not so much. Buffalo had the attention of the league after starting 2-0. Now they are 2-2 and are changing QBs. Breaking away from Manuel to Kyle Orton? Bad move Buffalo, stick with Manuel, not Orton, who has always been known as "meh" his entire career.
Game to watch in week 5: Arizona @ Denver
-First real test for the Cardinals, both are coming off bye weeks and are extremely hungry.
Week three is in done and over after the Bears performance on Monday Night Football. For some reason this morning I thought of an idea called "Tuesday Touchback". We've all heard of "Monday Morning Quarterback", assessing the prior's day events in the NFL. Well, I want to get in on the fun and decided to go a day later with thoughts and opinions called "Tuesday Touchback" looking back at the week that was in the NFL.
Best Team in the NFL: Philadelphia Eagles- This one causes a stir as the Eagles have had to comeback in each of their three games this season. But scoring 74 combined points in the second half of those three games, shows me this is a team that gets stronger as the game goes, there's something to be said about that, the Eagles are very good, and to me, are doing it with players we don't know that much about yet.
Worst Team in the NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers- There's nothing about this team I like, except maybe their head coach Lovie Smith. He will get this organization right, but for now, this team and franchise is hurting. Lovie knows defense, and this defense needs to be corrected immediately!
Team to watch our for: Arizona Cardinals- The Cards missed out on the playoffs last season, even though they went 10-6! They start the season 3-0 and 2 of those wins have come with John Skelton at quarterback!!! This team has talent spread around the field and will hurt some feelings (San Francisco).
Fools Gold: New England Patriots- I say this knowing I could be surprised, but I just don't see it right now. The Patriots are having a tough time getting going and so is Tom Brady. They are 2-1, but I can't get past the lose to the Dolphins in week 1, and then they struggle against the Raiders at home in week 3. The defense is improved, giving up only 49 points in the first three weeks, 33 of that in the opening game. Edleman is efficient at wide receiver, but something about this team screams "2-1 isn't accurate".
Game to watch in week 4: Carolina @ Baltimore- Is Cam healthy or will we see Derek Anderson again? He looked good in week 1. Pittsburgh took care of Carolina on Sunday Night football in Carolina, can Baltimore do the same but at home? The Ravens are still struggling at who will take majority of the snaps at running back. There hasn't been a rusher who has passed 100 yards in their first three games, and on top of that, they've had a different leading rusher all three games! Sure Joe Flacco does what Joe Flacco does (728 yrds passing, 4 TDs) but how long can the Ravens survive without a rushing attack in the AFC North?
A few thoughts through out the contest quarter by quarter.
Bengals elect to put the defense on the field first- defense carries team this season.
Vincent Rey starts at ROLB in place of Burfict- Can he keep up?
Defense seems to be on their heels in the opening drive. Trying to apply pressure on Locker, so far, nothing.
Missed FG by Succop, great stand by the defense that started slow.
Offense for the Bengals moved the ball well, but again, struggles in the red zone. Nugent good on the FG. 3-0 Bengals
Adam Jones makes great plays, but he does miss the occasional tackle that turns into big gainer.
Jeremy Hill= Run down hill
WOW!!!!! Sanu to Dalton for a TD! Dalton’s first career pass reception is a TD. How about the stretch on the goal line?!?!
10-0 lead for the Bengals to start the 2nd
Again, Adam Jones makes good plays, but his missed tackles do hurt.
Terrific punt by Huber to pin the Titans at their own 2.
We talk about the offense and defense, but the special teams for the Bengals is much improved too! Safety on the punt, with a hold by the Titans with the incredible pressure for a block.
Big hit by George Iloka cause a tip and an INT by Robert Geathers!
Gio wraps up the drive after the pic with a 1 yrd TD run.
Bengals commit first turnover of the season on the Dalton Int. We knew it was going to happen.
Pic by Reggie Nelson in the end zone keeps a potential shutout, intact!
Offense sputters to start 3rd quarter. See how the defense does.
This defense is so talented, holding the Titans once again as they crossed midfield to 0 points.
This O-line just gets stronger and stronger as the game goes. Very impressive.
Defense holds shutout till 6:09 in the 4th. Just another day at the office.
Jason Campbell’s fist action of the season.
As you can tell, the 1st half was a limit more intriguing than the 2nd half but here is the short and skinny.
This game was never really close. The talk after the game was about the Bengals being very effective when they needed to be, if you look at the state sheet afterwards, it would look like the Titans dominated, but certainly not the case. This Bengals team looks to be very special, but can they stay healthy? Having the bye week early, may actually help this team in getting healthy. Imagine this game if Burfict played? Or having Tyler Eifert out there catching passes? What about Marvin Jones? This team, can be special for the Queen City!
In the coming weeks, you will see more additions to the Bengals blog, like us on Facebook "ESPN Radio Lex".
Avery is a rookie, but is progressing to become more of a role player in the NFL. Listen here to learn about the former Wildcat and current Tennessee Titan on the first few months of his career, as well as his relationship with former Wildcat Wesley Woodyard.
All the way from San Diego, California Bernie D'Amato joins Matthew on Back Spin Golf. Bernie a writer for Southland Golf, gives his insight on topics with Matthew. Visit and chat with Bernie on twitter @bdamato711.