While all of the attention is on the replacement referee debacle, there are actually other storylines after week three of the NFL season. I figure every writer at ESPN has replacement referees covered for a while, so I want to help them out and cover all of the other important stuff going on in the NFL:
• There are only three undefeated teams left after three games. The Falcons and Texans are both dominating their opponents each week and have the look of legitimate Super Bowl contenders. The problem is that many have been saying Atlanta’s year is coming for the past couple of years now. Also, the only real competition they’ve faced is the Denver Broncos, who the Falcons played week two and the Texans week three. The only way these teams are going to show what they’re made of is in the playoffs.
• Did I forget the third undefeated team, you ask? Nope. They just deserve their own paragraph. Unlike the previous two teams, the Cardinals have shown they can compete with the best by defeating the New England Patriots in week two. Some may say that the Patriots beat themselves but a win’s a win and the Cards came back with a blow out victory against the Eagles the following week. This defense is proving to be able to contend with any offense it faces. Who knew that the best team in the NFC West might not be the 49ers? And it might be lead by Kevin Kolb???
• Speaking of the Patriots, what’s going on in Foxboro? The Patriots have a losing record for the first time in years. Blame the replacement refs all you want but despite a big win in the first week where the offense shined, their two losses have shown that there are some serious flaws in what should be the most potent offense in the league.
• Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens have still yet to sign with other teams this year…. Just kidding. No one actually cares.
• Rookie quarterbacks look impressive this season. Luck and Robert Griffen III haven’t been perfect, but their play has been promising. Unfortunately they can only go as far as the rest of their team and neither team has much surrounding its franchise QB. At least they have rookies that are clearly franchise QBs (cut to Brandon Weedon and Ryan Tannehill consoling each other).
• The New Orleans Saints are clearly struggling without Sean Payton at the helm. All those that criticize coaches saying that they aren’t important just need to look New Orleans’ way.
• The Seahawks might not be terrible, except for the fact that they got bailed out with a horrific call Monday night that robbed Green Bay of a win. These replacement referees are making a joke out of the NFL. Oh, wait, I wasn’t supposed to bring that up. Whatever. Bring back the real refs!