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NFL season has already produced surprises

Originally published October 1, 2010

We are just three weeks into the football season and the NFL is already proving why it’s the best of the four major professional sports leagues.
Every year in the NFL you can count on three things to happen: the Indianapolis Colts will win 12 games and make the playoffs (and then proceed to lose in the playoffs), Brett Favre will retire and then play, and there will be a handful of surprise teams that get off to fast starts and challenge for a playoff spot.

This season has been no different.

But who could have predicted that the last three undefeated teams would be the Steelers, Chiefs and Bears?

The Steelers have done it without suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and behind the strong play of its defense, which may be the best in the NFL.

They have a huge Week 4 matchup with the Ravens. With a win, the Steelers have to be the favorites to win the AFC North. The Bengals have been far from impressive and proven that the preseason hype was way overblown.

Roethlisberger will be back for the Steelers after the bye week, and despite being a huge slime, Big Ben is one of the better quarterbacks in the league.

With its defense and Roethlisberger, the Steelers could be one of the favorites to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

The Kansas City Chiefs are 3-0 for the first time since 2003, but they have done it by benefitting from an easy schedule. The combined record of the Chiefs’ opponents is 1-8.

It will only get tougher for them going forward. With road contests against the Colts and Texans looming after the bye week Kansas City should be humbled soon.

Even with the great start I would be surprised to see the Chiefs in the playoffs. They don’t have the talent to overtake the Chargers or Broncos who are far superior.

That leaves us with the red hot Chicago Bears.  The Bears have been the most impressive of the undefeated teams beating NFC favorites, the Cowboys and Packers.

It’s hard not to be impressed by a team who has beaten two of the best teams in the NFC on its way to 3-0. But don’t get too excited Bears fans.

To put it bluntly, Jay Cutler is not a very good quarterback. He has great measurables with a strong arm and the mobility to match, but he still makes mistakes that a veteran NFL quarterback shouldn’t make.

There are times Cutler “wows” you but then the next second he is throwing a wounded duck off his back foot that gets picked off.

On the last drive in Monday night’s game against the Packers, Cutler made two of those throws on the final drive.

I don’t think Cutler has the poise to lead a team to the playoffs and the Bears offensive line is still not very good.

No team in this league can win with an average quarterback and a mediocre offensive line. And regardless of the loss Monday night, the Packers are the better team.

I hate to break it to you Bears fans, but I don’t see any way the team can finish higher than third in the NFC North. Both the Packers and Vikings are more talented.

The Packers will correct the stupid pentalties and still be the class of the NFC at the end of the year. The Vikings have way too much talent to continue to struggle.

Enjoy the division lead while it lasts, Bears fans. Because it won’t.