The Steelers and Chiefs are 3-0?
We'll start with the established contender in Pittsburgh. I didn't think the Steelers would be 0-4 without Ben Roethlisberger, but I didn't expect them to be 3-0. The dominated a great offensive team in Week 1 in the Atlanta Falcons. On the road against the Tennessee Titans and stopping the best running back in the NFL in Chris Johnson. Matched up against another 2-0 team in Tampa Bay they showed who is more deserving of an undefeated record by destroying the Buccaneers. Doing all that without an established quarterback. Dennis Dixon played okay during the first game. Dixon was hurt in Week 2 and Charlie Batch looked shaky in reserve. Batch did redeem himself with a 3 TD performance against the Bucs. The Steelers play host to their division rival Baltimore in Week 4. The Ravens are looking to solidify themselves as the favorite in the AFC North, but the Steelers have put themselves in a great position to be in contention when Roethlisberger returns to lead the offense.
Kansas City is winning the games they should be winning. Aside from the Week 1 defeat of the San Diego Chargers which came as a surprise to most, the Chiefs are winning the easy games. They have the best running team in the NFL through the first three games (160.7 yards). They have the 13th ranked defense in the NFL. They are the talk of the AFC and many wonder if they can keep it up going into November and December. After their bye, their next two games are at Indianapolis and Houston. That will be the ultimate test for them this season. Also will they be able to beat the Chargers in San Diego and stop the Titans at home in December. Aside from that they have a relatively easy schedule to go 10-6 and make the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
The defending champs have some competition
It's easy to say that the Saints should have won that overtime game against the Atlanta Falcons if Garrett Hartley made that field goal. It's true though. I will instead focus on the fact that the Saints are not the only great team in their own division. The Falcons have great depth at running back. In Week 2, they lost Jerious Norwood for the season with a knee injury and Michael Turner went out with a hamstring injury. Jason Snelling, who is third on the depth chart stepped in and single handedly beat the Arizona Cardinals. With Turner back and Snelling added to the mix, the Falcons bruised the Saints by rushing the ball for 202 yards. It showed in the second half and in overtime when the Saints had no energy in stopping the ball carrier. That is a recipe for success against the Saints. By running the ball and controlling the clock, you can keep Saints quarterback Drew Brees off the field. The Atlanta Falcons have a good team, but they potentially are a great team if they can dethrone the Saints this year.
There is something wrong with the San Diego Chargers
I can't quite put my finger on it, but the Chargers are somehow the most underachieving football team and yet find a way to make the playoffs every year since 2005. Does it start from the top or does it start on the field? It seems to me that it is starting from the top. General Manger A.J. Smith has been called the "lord of no rings" on multiple occasions. Why is that? Smith fired Marty Schottenheimer after a 14-2 regular season that ended in a divisional playoff loss. LaDainian Tomlinson was shown the door this past off-season. Michael Turner was let go for nothing in return. The same was said for Drew Brees. What's been more taxing on the team is the handling of the holdouts of left tackle Marcus McNeil and wide receiver Vincent Jackson. Now the players gambled and lost big, but the Chargers front office went about it the wrong way. Philip Rivers has been struggling to get the offense into a rhythm and it could be due to the fact that he is under more pressure because of the absence of McNeil. Or it could be that his deep threat Vincent Jackson is no where on the football field. McNeil will be returning in a few weeks, but Jackson probably is done in San Diego this year via the holdout. Either way you cut it, the luck of the Chargers might be running out this year. They can't keep shooting themselves in the foot aka giving up two kickoff return touchdowns to Leon Washington of the Seattle Seahawks and expect to win football games. But knowing San Diego they almost always show up in November and December so all might not be lost for them this year.