The Pittsburgh Steelers were not expected to be 3-0 right now minus their star quarterback Ben Rothlisberger who is serving a four game suspension after having a highly publicized saucy off-season.
But they are 3-0 primarily because of their unbelievable defense, teams simply cannot score on them and typically regress to a turn over prone shell of their former selves when facing the mean Dick LeBeau led unit.
Unfortunately the Saints defense is not playing as well as the Steelers losing to the Atlanta Falcons in overtime after being gashed for over 200 yards rushing, it didn’t help either that kicker Garrett Hartley shanked a potential game winning 29 yard field goal.
For now the Saints will turn to 49-year old kicker John Carney who signed after Hartley’s costly miss.
The Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs are both undefeated with 3-0 records and I can guarantee that no one called that one before the start of the season, no one.
Meanwhile the Vikings and Cowboys both found their elusive first win of the season after 0-2 starts, now all the Cowboy loving critics can jump back on the bandwagon and re-insert Dallas into the Super Bowl conversation as they are surely on their way after beating the Texans.
Here are the top five teams according to WhoDatDish.com heading into week 4, rankings based off of week 3 performances…
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have always been known as a defensive power house but have been criticized over recent seasons for appearing soft and not playing “Steeler football”. Well that’s not the case in any longer as apparently the Steelers defense got the message and decided to make a statement. Opponents are averaging only 11 points against them (1st in NFL), 59.7 rush yards (3rd in NFL) and 278.7 yards per game (6th in NFL). They will only get better when Rothlisberger makes his return after week 4 and seemed primed for a deep post season run.
2. New Orleans Saints
Unfortunately the Saints have slipped out of the number in spot after a heart breaking loss to the Falcons. They gave Atlanta all they could handle and forced overtime but could not over come the mistakes made. Allot has been made of the teams lack luster performance so far this season with an offense playing more reminiscent of the Saints of old not the league leading unit it has and can be. For now they remain in the number two spot as the defending Super Bowl champs but need to take a long look in the mirror and get back on track.
3. Chicago Bears
Da Bears entered Monday nights game against the Packers 2-0 and left 3-0 after sticking it to an error prone Green Bay team. They have beat Dallas and now the Packers securing first place in the NFC North. New defensive coordinator Mike Martz has the offense humming as they currently rank fifth in the league in pass yards and thirteenth in points with 22 a game. Couple those rankings with a league best run defense (39.7 yards per game) and suddenly the Bears are back into the post season conversation.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
Analysts and critics are stunned the Chiefs are undefeated heading into week four reeling of three straight wins over the Chargers, Browns and 49ers. The fact remains that the young players they drafted this year are stepping up in a big way — Eric Berry, Dexter McCluster, Javier Arenas, and Tony Moeaki— among others may go down as the best Chiefs draft class of all time. A stingy defense (2nd in points, 6th against the run) and league best rushing attack (160.7 yards per game) guarantee them a place in the top five. Everyone seemingly is bracing for what they presume will be an inevitable downfall but maybe for once the Chiefs should get the benefit of the doubt.
5. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts looked shaky against the Broncos last Sunday but managed to make the plays necessary to keep them out of the end zone. Manning is at his usual form leading the third best pass game in the league and the second highest scoring offense in the league with 29.2 points a game. The Colts Achilles heel, not unlike the Saints, has always been its defense but with an offense as dynamic as theirs who cares. They are well on their way to another 12 win season.
Check out Keith Null’s weekly article about the Saints on NFL.com by clicking here.