After three weeks, it feels like we’re starting to get a firm understanding of where certain teams stand.
The elite (Patriots, Packers, Seahawks) are obvious, but several other teams, like the Cardinals, Broncos, and Bengals, are proving that they’re serious contenders this season.
Elsewhere, certain teams are solidifying that they’re playoff contenders (Bills, Falcons), while we’re waiting for normally good teams like the Ravens and Lions to get their first wins.
With the NFL season approaching the end of its first quarter, here’s where teams stand going into Week 4.
Week 4 opponent: Bye
Week 3 MVP: It has to be Tom Brady, who after 378 passing yards, two touchdowns, and a 78% completion rate, became the fourth quarterback ever to throw 400 touchdowns.
One thing to know: The Patriots' 119 points through three weeks broke a franchise record, as Grantland's Bill Barnwell noted, and this team is starting to recall the 2007 championship team.
Week 4 opponent: at San Francisco 49ers
Week 3 MVP: Aaron Rodgers is from another planet: 333 passing yards, five touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 138 passer rating.
One thing to know: Rodgers and the Packers have become masters at burning defences once they get them to jump offsides, as SB Nation's Rodger Sherman noted.
Week 4 opponent: vs. St. Louis Rams
Week 3 MVP: Larry Fitzgerald, who with 134 receiving yards and two touchdowns, has found the Fountain of Youth with Carson Palmer back.
One thing to know: The Cardinals haven't faced world-beaters so far (Saints, Bears, 49ers), but they're the only team with more total points this year than the Patriots.
Week 4 opponent: vs. Minnesota Vikings
Week 3 MVP: DeMarcus Ware. The big outside linebacker was dominant against Detroit, logging 1.5 sacks, 2 tackles for a loss, and 3 hits on Matt Stafford.
One thing to know: Despite all the talk about Peyton Manning's deterioration, the Broncos keep figuring out ways to win. This is, in large part, thanks to their defence, which is making a claim for the best in the NFL.
Week 4 opponent: vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Week 3 MVP: A.J. Green, who scored the game-winner, to finish off a 227-yard, two-touchdown day.
One thing to know: Andy Dalton has just one sack and one interception through three weeks, and has a ridiculous 140 passer rating when being blitzed this year.
Week 4 opponent: vs. Detroit Lions
Week 3 MVP: Tyler Lockett. The rookie speedster had a 105-yard kickoff return touchdown at the start of the 2nd half and now has 2 return TDs in his first 3 games in the NFL.
One thing to know: Seattle finally looked like its old self on Sunday. Kam Chancellor made his return and the defence conceded 0 points. Marshawn Lynch left with a hamstring injury, which is worrisome.
Week 4 opponent: vs. Houston Texans
Week 3 MVP: Devonta Freeman, who looks like he'll become the Falcons' primary rusher after a 141-yard, three-touchdown performance against the previously No. 1 run defence.
One thing to know: As impressive as 3-0 is, the Falcons victories have been a come-from-behind against the Eagles, a come-from-behind against the Giants, and a win over a battered Cowboys team. We're still waiting for a defining victory to show the Falcons are true contenders.
Week 4 opponent: vs. New York Giants
Week 3 MVP: In the first road start of his career, Tyrod Taylor went 21-29, with 277 yards, and three touchdowns. Rex Ryan called him 'legit.'
One thing to know: Richie Incognito, who as SI's Peter King notes, is back, and has allowed no sacks and just one quarterback hit in 196 snaps.
Week 4 opponent: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 3 MVP: Andrew Luck. The quarterback threw two touchdown passes just 56 seconds apart in the 4th quarter to lead the Colts to their first W of the year.
One thing to know: With their 35-33 victory over the Titans in Week 3, the Colts pushed their division win streak to 13 games. That's the 3rd-longest divisional win-streak in NFL history.
Week 4 opponent: vs. Baltimore Ravens
Week 3 MVP: Le'Veon Bell returned from a two-game suspension for 60 yards rushing, 70 yards receiving, and one touchdown.
One thing to know: Ben Roethlisberger sprained his MCL and will miss 4-6 weeks. Here comes Michael Vick...
Week 4 opponent: at New Orleans Saints
Week 3 MVP: Joseph Randle. The Dallas running back had 85 yards after just his first three carries of the game and ultimately found the end zone three times in the first half.
One thing to know: Brandon Weeden has now lost 9 consecutive games as a starter, dating back to his days in Cleveland. The Cowboys scored 0 points in the second half on Sunday.
Week 4 opponent: at Cincinnati Bengals
Week 3 MVP: Jeremy Maclin had his best game as a Chief, bringing in 141 receiving yards and one touchdown.
One thing to know: In getting Maclin involved, it was the first time since the 2013 season that a Chiefs wide receiver scored a touchdown.
Week 4 opponent: at Denver Broncos
Week 3 MVP: Adrian Peterson, who after 126 more rushing yards (and two touchdowns), declared himself back.
One thing to know: Week 4 against the Broncos should be very revealing about who this Vikings team is.
Week 4 opponent: at Washington Redskins
Week 3 MVP: Jordan Matthews, starting in the injured DeMarco Murray's place, gave the offence a lift with a combined 157 yards rushing and receiving.
Week 4 opponent: vs. Miami Dolphins in London
Week 3 MVP: Demario Davis: the linebacker led the game with 13 tackles, including two for a loss.
One thing to know: The Jets sorely missed Chris Ivory and Eric Decker against the Eagles. Their offence looked flat all day.
Week 4 opponent: vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 3 MVP: Keenan Allen kept the offence afloat, hauling in 12 catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns.
One thing to know: The Chargers are currently battered by injuries -- they had just five available linemen in Week 3's loss to the Vikings.
Week 4 opponent: at Buffalo Bills
Week 3 MVP: Rueben Randle. The wide receiver was a total non-factor in the Giants' first two losses, but bounced back for 116 yards and a TD against Washington.
One thing to know: Victor Cruz suited up for practice on Monday for the first time since August 17. He promises to be ready for Big Blue's big tilt against the Bills.
Week 4 opponent: at Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 3 MVP: Steve Smith Sr., who with 186 yards and two touchdowns, continues to defy age.
One thing to know: The Ravens are 0-3 for the first time in franchise history, and the defence has given up 65 points in the last two weeks.
Week 4 opponent: at Chicago Bears
Week 3 MVP: Derek Carr: The second-year QB averaged 9.8 yards per pass attempt against the Browns, and racked up 314 yds, two TDs, and no interceptions.
One thing to know: The Raiders snapped an 11-game road losing streak with their win in Cleveland. Derek Carr and Amari Cooper are growing up quickly and could pick apart Chicago's defence next week at Soldier Field.
Week 4 opponent: vs. New York Jets in London
Week 3 MVP: Rishard Matthews found the back of the end zone twice for Miami, and picked up 113 yards on 10 targets. His performance was a rare bright spot in an ugly loss.
One thing to know: Their 41-14 loss to the Bills was the worst home opener loss in franchise history. Ryan Tannehill set a franchise record with 160 consecutive passes without an interception, and almost as soon as this was mentioned by the TV commentator, Tannehill ripped off 3 interceptions before the first half had ended.
Week 4 opponent: at Arizona Cardinals
Week 3 MVP: The defence: giving up just 12 points to the high-powered Steelers offence is no easy feat. They forced a Michael Vick fumble late in the 4th quarter that might have been a game-changer if Le'Veon Bell hadn't recovered it.
One thing to know: Their field literally caught on fire before the game started, which seems like a metaphor for the Rams over the past few years.
Week 4 opponent: at San Diego Chargers
Week 3 MVP: Tight end Gary Barnidge was the most effective pass-catcher on the day, with 105 receiving yards on six catches and one touchdown.
One thing to know: Josh McCown is the starter again, and had an OK game in a loss. How many games does he get before people are calling for Johnny Manziel again?
Week 4 opponent: Bye
Week 3 MVP: Marcus Mariota. He threw for 367 yards, two TDs, and continues to look better than Jameis Winston through three weeks (though they have the same record).
One thing to know: Marcus Mariota was solid, but still threw his first two career interceptions on Sunday, including a pick-6. However, the Titans had a chance to tie the game with under a minute to go in the 4th quarter, but their 2-point conversion was stuffed at the goal line.
Week 4 opponent: vs. Green Bay Packers
Week 3 MVP: It's hard to find an MVP following a 47-7 loss, but NaVorro Bowman led his team in tackles with 9, so we'll give it to him.
One thing to know: Colin Kaepernick threw two pick-6s in his first four throws against Arizona, and four total interceptions on the day. Not great!
Week 4 opponent: vs. Carolina Panthers
Week 3 MVP: Linebacker Lavonte David finished seventh in PFF's outside linebacker grades, finishing with 14 tackles and seven stops in Week 3.
One thing to know: Jameis Winston does indeed look like a rookie. Through three games, his completion percentages have been 48.5%, 66.7%, and 47.2%.
Week 4 opponent: at Indianapolis Colts
Week 3 MVP: Wide receiver Allen Hurns only had two catches, but racked up 70 yards and a TD against the Patriots.
One thing to know: The 51 points surrendered to the Patriots on Sunday was the most in Jaguars history.
Week 4 opponent: vs. Dallas Cowboys
Week 3 MVP: Filling in for Drew Brees is no easy task, but Luke McCown made his first start and went 31-38 for 310 passing yards (but no TDs).
One thing to know: Usually one of the best homefield advantages in the NFL, the Saints have lost six games in a row at home.
Week 4 opponent: vs. Oakland Raiders
Week 3 MVP: Pernell McPhee continues to be the lone bright spot on this terrible Bears team.
One thing to know: Every single one of the Bears' possessions against the Seahawks resulted in a punt. Every. Single. One.
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