bill-swift - September 26, 2012
Every season there are teams that you expect to win, some you expect to lose, and some you expect to be, eh--okay. Fans and analysts like to think that they can figure out who those guys are going to be each and every season. Sometimes they are right; sometimes they are wrong.
Ask anyone during the preseason and they would have told you that the Seahawks and Cardinals would have been okay at best while the Eagles, Falcons, and Ravens were going to be among the NFL's elite. So far it looks like three of those predictions would have been wrong.
Three games into the '12 season and the Falcons are exactly where they were expected to be, undefeated at 3-0 and looking like a team on a mission. Baltimore lost a tight one to Philadelphia in Week Two, but showed fans what they expected by defeating the New England Patriots in a tight 31-30 contest Sunday night.
The surprise is in the other three. After Sunday's 27-6 loss at the hands of the Cardinals the Eagles are 2-1 (and lucky to be that), but the Cardinals are 3-0.
Yes, you heard that right. The Arizona Cardinals are undefeated at 3-0 for the first time since 1974 when they were still in St. Louis.
So far the Cardinals have been efficient on offense, and opportunistic on defense. Kevin Kolb looked like the guy they hoped he would be against the Eagle which will put the team in a tough spot once John Skelton becomes healthy once again.
What may be more surprising--and will be overlooked in light of the way the Monday Night Football game ended--is that the Seahawks are 2-1 (their one loss coming against the Cardinals in Week One).
Russell Wilson appears to be working his way into starter's form thanks to a strong running game via Marshawn Lynch, but more importantly, a dominant defense like the one that battered Aaron Rodgers and the Packers Monday night.
The outcome of the game will be all that is talked about, but the fact remains that the Seahawks defense was all over Rodgers, Cedric Benson, and the rest of the Packers for the entire game. Throughout the first half the Rodgers barely had time to throw there were so many Seahawks in the backfield with him. By time the first half was over he had been sacked eight times!
Philadelphia doesn't look like a team that needs to rebound with a 2-1 record, but they are. Both wins were ugly; one coming against a Browns team that should have never been on the field with them. If they are able to clean up their act--especially Michael Vick who has become turnover prone this season--they could still have a solid season.
The season is still very young. A lot could still happen, but at this point it appears pretty safe to say the rest of the NFL should do one thing:
Beware the Birds!
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