After Denver pretty convincingly beat Oakland on Monday night, and Peyton Manning improved his season totals to 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions, are they the best team in the NFL?
With a handful of surprise teams at 2-1 and 3-0, are they teams to beat now instead of the Packers, 49ers and Falcons?
Mark Maske weighs in with his weekly top 10:
1. Seahawks (3-0). They’ve won their past two games by a combined 54 points. But both were at home, where they appear virtually invincible. Now the schedule toughens with consecutive road games at Houston and Indianapolis.
Peyton Manning and Denver Broncos safety Mike Adams fist bump after Monday night’s 37-21 win over the Raiders. (Jack Dempsey/Associated Press)
2. Broncos (3-0). The loss of left tackle Ryan Clady to a season-ending Lisfranc foot injury is a major setback, and an unexpected challenger has surfaced in the AFC West with the emergence of the Chiefs. But Peyton Manning and the offense continue to function smoothly and the Broncos clearly remain the class of the AFC.
3. Patriots (3-0). Quarterback Tom Brady needs to have tight end Rob Gronkowski and wide receiver Danny Amendola back in the lineup as the Patriots approach a rugged three-game stretch of their schedule that includes games against the Falcons, Bengals and Saints.
4. Saints (3-0). They have a two-game lead in the NFC South but there are upcoming tests against the Dolphins, Bears and Patriots before their bye week.
5. Bears (3-0). They’ve scored 95 points in their three games and they never trailed Sunday night against the Steelers after needing fourth-quarter comebacks to win their first two games.
6. Dolphins (3-0). Are they a legitimate contender? Monday night’s game at New Orleans could be telling. The Dolphins don’t have to win to show they’re for real, but a good and competitive showing before a national television audience would be another step in the right direction.
7. Ravens (2-1). The defending champs have allowed a total of only 15 points in consecutive wins over the Browns and Texans after the ugly opening-night loss at Denver.
8. Colts (2-1). The Colts clearly are in win-now mode, with the trade for Trent Richardson. Sunday’s surprisingly lopsided triumph in San Francisco showed that they’re fully capable of getting it done even against a highly regarded team.
9. Bengals (2-1). They’ve rebounded from their opening loss to the Bears with consecutive wins over the Steelers and Packers. Now comes a game in Cleveland against the dismantled Browns, who managed to beat the Vikings this past weekend even after trading away Richardson.
10. Chiefs (3-0). The end of Andy Reid’s coaching tenure in Philadelphia might have been ugly. But he knows how to build a winner and he’s making it happen quickly in Kansas City. He has a quarterback who doesn’t turn the ball over, in Alex Smith, and a team that doesn’t beat itself. Reid beat his former team Thursday night at Lincoln Financial Field, and even if things don’t remain this positive all season for the Chiefs, their first-year coach clearly has made them far more competitive immediately.
Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at email@example.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.
● A Maske post on Jim Haslett’s attempts to be creative, even if the results aren’t there.
● Mike Jones’s mailbag posts mid-day on Tuesday.
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